This past weekend I flew SFO-PHX on WN (to visit my husband's grandparents). We were booked on the 8pm flight, but got to the airport early enough and stood by (successfully) for the 6pm. (I should note here that although I didn't try it, they were advertising that the modem/fax jack on the back of their airphone was in fact operational).
Flying back, yesterday morning (scheduled to depart 10:50MST), we had a delay. "SFO has closed all but one runway", they said, "we should be delayed here, perhaps an hour".
Well that was fine for most people. Unfortunately *I* had my Delta flight to catch back to Boston ... an hour after we were due to land in SFO *originally*. Which meant I'd have a layover of approximately 0 minutes :)
So I went up to the WN desk. "what can you do for me?". They hummed and hawed and looked up any other flights that might be leaving earlier that we could catch. No luck. I came up with the idea "Hey, haven't you guys just merged with Morris -- what about flying us to Salt Lake City on Morris?" (our DL flight was SFO-SLC-BOS). "no, sorry, even though the merger is complete our computer systems aren't merged yet, and we have no way of accessing their information. (but this normal gate agent *knew* about the merger! Intelligence! in a gate agent! what a *concept*! :)
I asked if my bags hadn't gotten on the plane yet if they could give them to me so I could carry them on instead (they were checked out of laziness, not because they wouldn't have fit in the overhead bin). "Well, they're on the plane already, but I'll go and look in the hold for you!" (said a nice man named "Scott". WN customer relations is going to be getting a nice letter from me about Scott and about my whole WN experience :-). About 25 minutes later he came back. "We loaded some mail in after the bags and I couldn't pull all of the mail out of the way. But I'll call a ramp supervisor and we'll go in there together."
Scott was just a regular gate agent. He wasn't supposed to be digging around in planes. He was wearing a T-shirt and shorts (guys on the ramp wear overalls, probably to keep themselves from getting dirty). He met the ramp supervisor (who showed up *forty five seconds* after Scott had placed the call) on the ramp and they both went out to dig in the hold.
Five minutes later they were back, with my bags! "You'll have to take them down to security, otherwise we can't let them on the plane". I had no way of knowing if they would check me on this or not. Being the nice sort and not one who breaks rules, I lugged them out to security while my husband pre-boarded ("no small children, just a small layover" :).
On board, the head flight attendant was just as accomodating. "As soon as we're in radio range of San Francisco I'll have the pilot call to see if we can get you a cart. And we'll call ahead and see if your Delta flight is late as well. Oh and we'll call the Delta SFO operations and tell them to expect you."
For an airline that doesn't do interline baggage transfers, they sure went above and beyond the call of duty to get my husband and I onto another airline's flight.
Kudos to WN for a job well done. I *really* mean what I say in my .sig :)
Helen Trillian Rose Davis
Kapor Enterprises, Inc. Flames to: Systems and Networks Administration firstname.lastname@example.org I like: DL, WN, Boeing I don't like: NW, HP, Airbus
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