I CAN'T BELIEVE I am about to recommend an airline. For starters, I HATE flying. And not for the reasons most people do--I'm not afraid of it. But given our always dicey finances, I feel like the airlines go out of their way to make you miserable, and to ensure that you spend a lot of time thinking, "I paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars for THIS?"
(Note: I realize that I should simply be delighted and amazed that we can fly. That I can get from Denver to Vermont in only 4 HOURS. Just like this hilarious video says...)
Enter Southwest. First of all, we were able to check bags for free. Just like in the good old days!
We were flying on Christmas Day. (It was cheaper that way.) All of the people working for Southwest that day were, in a word, delightful--when they could easily have been surly for having to work on a major, major holiday.
"In the event of an unscheduled water landing... because we've stopped scheduling them..."
"To inflate the life vest, pull on the red tab. If that doesn't work, blow into the red nozzle. If that doesn't work, well, you're just not having a very good day, are you?"
"Be sure to fasten the oxygen mask over your own face before helping your child. If you are traveling with more than one child,... what were you thinking? God bless you. Well, just choose the one you like the best!"
And he played with us:
"Hey, folks, if you're on the left side of the plane today, be sure to look out the window, because, well, you just don't get to see tha-- oh, nevermind, it's gone now."
"Be careful when taking your belongings out of the overhead compartments, as they may have missed you during the flight and might jump out to see you!"
"We'd like to welcome you to Hawaii. Except you're not there, so we can't. OK, then, welcome to Boston."
The return flight on New Year's Eve also featured a joke by the pilot, as well as a beautiful smooth landing despite incredibly turbulent air coming into Denver (We all applauded.).
In my scientific sample of two entire flights, it appears that the employees of Southwest actually enjoy their work and are encouraged to do so.
I am determined to ONLY fly Southwest whenever we fly in the future!