A couple of weeks ago I posted a link to an article about a friend of mine, Frank, who was featured in a Fortune article about “innovators” in these tough economic times. As I mentioned in my post, Frank’s the one to thank for the SFO maintenance base tour a couple of years back, as well as the invitation to FlyerTalkers for Fleet Week this past year. No one loves United more than he does, that’s for sure.
Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to fly with due to constantly conflicting schedules, but this changed a few nights ago. He let me tag along on a redeye he was working from San Francisco to Chicago, UA158. I sat in 39B (the exit row by door 3L) while Frank worked the coach cabin, and conveniently enough was seated at the jumpseat right across from my seat.
Frank is incredible. Never before have I flown with a flight attendant so genuine, cheery, and attentive, and we’re talking about coach here! While most people were grumpy to be on a 3.5 hour redeye, Frank constantly smiled and did an incredible job.
As passengers woke up reluctantly and we arrived at the gate, Frank talked to passengers and said bye to more people than a Wal-Mart greeter does in a day. I witnessed as an older lady that had a wheelchair struggled with her bag, and what did Frank do? No, he didn’t say “Sorry, I’m not allowed to help you with your bag.” Instead he carried the bag for her to the front of the plane and even to the terminal where a golf cart was waiting for her. As it turned out the seat on the golf cart was wet, so Frank literally sprinted to the restroom, got paper towels, and wiped down the seat for this old lady.
Simply put, Frank’s the man. I don’t think United has a more loyal and professional employee than Frank. He’s the Captain Flanagan on the other side of the flight deck door.
Some people restore my faith in the airline industry and more generally customer service, and Frank’s definitely one of them.