Southwest

I fucking love Southwest Airlines

“Customer Appreciation Day is Everyday”

You fucking bet your ass it is!

Last week, I was drinking some wine and thought…I am going to write Southwest Airlines and Maxipads. The wine was moving me. Recently I got back from a short trip from Arizona. I had a great experience with Southwest. Maxipads is a fucking great product that got me through a shitty time in my life. So, I’m going to write these companies to say fucking thank you and give them a virtual high five….well both companies got back to me.

The first weekend of August, I flew to Arizona to visit my best bud who had her first baby. He was 4 months old now and needed to visit before he turned 16. Time goes by fast and needed to take some fucking action on visiting. Let me tell you, it’s a great time to fly to Arizona in August. The “sweaty Arizona deals” on Southwest were amazingly cheap. Southwest was begging me to go on vacation. I fucking love it. Booked and done.

My dad drove me to the airport and that is always the scariest time of my life. He’s always available to drive and it’s nice to save money. Sometimes I wonder if the free ride is even fucking worth it. I have to tell him to come early and lie about my flight’s departure. It’s the only way to travel with him or have him be apart of my travel plans. He usually runs behind schedule. Driving to the airport can be stressful, hoping there’s no traffic delays, you didn’t forget anything, long security lines, etc…Having my dad driving, brings on whole another level of travel anxiety.

My dad came to pick me up.
Dad: “You check your flight?”
Me: “Yea all set.” I didn’t fucking check.

We start to get on the highway. He wants to make a call…why now? It’s an old flip phone, I’m not even sure if there is a place to plug in ear buds. That’s how fucking old it is. 

Dad: “What? No go to Smith’s House and then meet me at Mi Casa!” He’s speaking in spanglish. Hangs up the phone and then starts eating a bag of potato chips. Where the fuck did these chips come from?  He had them stored in between his door and seat.

Dad: “Oh shit, I need to get over”.
Swerves fucking two lanes over.
Me: “Fuck, do you know where your going?”
Dad: “Yea”
Me: “Why do you have eat all that shit and talk on the phone when driving me to the airport?”
Dad: “What, it’s lunch time…”
Me: “Please get me to the airport safely.”

We are driving and he has told about five different stories. All which have no endings and he will stop mid sentence to go back to another story. You really have to pay attention, if you want to be apart of the conversation. How is he not medicated for his ADD and ADHD? Pretty sure he has BD with the way he acts. Now, we are drifting into whatever lane he wants and is not looking at the exit signs.

Dad: “Oh damit, I wanted to get off there.”
Me: “Of course you did, why are you not paying attention?”
Dad: “It’s fine, we can get off at the next one.”
Now, he cracks open a spirit. Drinking, eating, phone calls…how does he have drivers license?
Me: “Don’t fucking miss it, because then there are no more exits left for the airport.”

Finally we get to the airport, phew that fucking death ride is over.

Dad: “Safe Flight.”
Me: “Love you, text you soon.”
Dad: “Love you too, okay whatever.”
He waves an awkward good bye. Almost looked like he flashed me a gang sign with his crooked pinky. Or was that the middle finger?  Either way, I know he loves me too.

Vacation has officially started!!

I find my flight and gate. What the fuck? I’m delayed….why am I delayed? Hmm maybe it’s so hot in Arizona, that the planes fucking blow up when you land. There’s no other flights leaving Chicago going to Phoenix delayed…Strange, whatever…more time to drink at the airport bar. YES! I love traveling somewhere and drinking at the airport. Some of the best people watching and makes me feel so excited to be traveling.

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I order my first beer…taste delicious. As I was relaxing and settling in at the bar and making myself at home, there was a woman completely drunk sitting a few seats down from me. She was from the south and extremely loud. Someone said her flight has been delayed for hours and been at the bar for a long time. She was fucking hammered. I got the biggest kick out of watching this shit show. This lady became the center of attention. I made a few new best friends at the bar, a nice older mom, an Italian twenty something going to his bachelor party, and a hungover couple from KC coming from Mexico….isn’t the airport the fucking best? Old school communication at its finest.

As much as I could live at the airport bar, I  had to go to my gate. I board my flight and hear someone saying our flight was delayed because our plane was coming out of New Jersey. This woman said “Everything is always delayed from Jersey.” I just fucking nodded, like I knew that too. Fucking Jersey…unbelievable, really I have no idea what is wrong with New Jersey’s airports and why shit is delayed. I love Jon Bon Jovi, New Jersey is forgiven.

It’s funny when you fly on Southwest. Once you board,  it turns into a game of profiling of who you want to fucking sit with. I really love a window seat and end up with these two big men next to me.

The flight takes off…can’t wait for a drink. I get a vodka soda and listen to music…this feels amazing. I can never do this anymore. The little moments you take for granted when you have kids. I have peace of mind on an airplane. I’ll have another vodka please. These wheat thins taste incredible...yum…is it because I am alone and no one is bothering me? Or I actually can enjoy food, without shoving into my mouth and screaming at the kids? Wow, who knew I had taste buds.  Few hours have passed and ready for my third drink. Why am I the only one drinking on the plane? It’s fucking Friday night. Fuck, I have to pee. I look at my row mates. One guy on the aisle is completely involved with “Lost or Survivor”. I see his iPad screen and shit is about to go down in a jungle. Crap, he’s big and don’t want to bother him. The middle guy is sitting and looking straight forward. Come to think of it…He brought nothing to do for a 3-4 hour flight. Did he even sleep? I’m to embarrassed to ask these guys to move. I should’ve sat next to some kids. They always have to get up and to fucking pee.

I am now sipping my third drink…Awe so tasty, now this is the life. What kind of vodka does Southwest use? It’s gotta be the fucking good stuff. I suddenly was intrigued with my row mate.

Me: “Are you visiting Arizona or do you live there?” Just by this one question, it turned into a fucking therapy session…
Row Mate: No, I’m from Indiana and flying to Phoenix. Then driving to Tucson to drive my truck back home.”
Me: “Oh wow, that’s a long drive, why is it out in Arizona?”
Row Mate: “I helped my ex-girlfriend move to Tucson and flew back. I want my truck back and she would not return it.”
Me: “That’s not right.”
Row Mate: “No, it’s not….I had to call the cops to find it. That spooked her and she left it at some bar.”
Me: “This ex-girlfriend sound’s like a real asshole.” Now I want to beat the shit out of her. I have rage from my cocktails on the plane.
Row Mate: “Yea it will be okay, my brother is flying in from Tampa and meeting me here in Phoenix to help me drive it back.”
Me: “Now that’s a fucking good brother, right there”. I suddenly am from the south like the woman at the airport bar.

His sad phone was about to die. I had a cordless charger, gave it to him to charge his phone and offered my Fritos. Which he ate! Pour fucker, really down on his luck.

I rang for the stewardess

Me: “I need to pay for my drinks.”
Stewardess: They are for free, Southwest thanks you for your patience with being delayed.”
Me: “Are you fucking kidding? No…thank you for the free drinks.” Wow, can this day get any better? Saved myself some money and have new best friends from the airport.

I get off the plane and wish my row mate good luck.

My weekend went by so fast with my best bud. Just relaxing, talking, and meeting her little baby. Everything in her house was clean, no sticky hands, crusty couches, shit was fucking white, felt so good…I fucking love my house…but this was a nice peace of heaven. She is going to die when her little guy starts fucking up her house.

My buddy drove me back to the airport, it was time to head back to Chicago. I get to the airport and my flight was delayed. Wtf? Again? It’s the only flight from Phoenix to Chicago delayed. This was deja vu. How the hell did I pick the two flights out of hundreds to be delayed in a round trip. Oh well, time to go to the bar….

After a drink or two…I board the plane. As I’m walking, the stewardess says “would you like to be in the Emergency Exit aisle”. Fuck okay. We got our flight instructions and then waited on the tarmac for about 40 minutes. This is getting ridiculous and now I need a drink. I got to thinking…can I drink in the emergency exit row? Seriously, what happens if we have an emergency and I’m to shit faced to help anyone off? Or I open the exit door and fucking fall out with the door? So many scary thoughts started going through my head and was getting nervous about my responsibilities. The guy next to me was drinking coffee. I admitted I had a few drinks and was planning on getting more. So, in case of an emergency, he will have to do his part and mine as well. He just stared at me and said okay. Phew I have a back up plan now.

I got only two drinks this time, instead of three. I rang the stewardess…

Me: Can I pay for my drinks?
Stewardess: “They are for free, Southwest thanks you for your patience for being delayed.”
Me: “What? Drinks are free again?!” I should’ve ordered a bottle. Do they have bottle service on airplanes?

We land safely….Thank god, no emergencies or responsibilities were needed. Could you imagine the headlines? “Swearing drunk lady, trying to get an airplane door open and fails.”  Just to save some future embarrassment, I don’t think I will sit in an emergency exit row again.

Chris pulled up with the kids and I had a fantastic buzz going on. So happy to see everyone, fucking recharged to see my family!

Now, that’s what I call a vacation.

2 weeks later…I got 4 free drink coupons from Southwest Airlines in the mail, apologizing for the delays and appreciate my business. WHAT?! This is fucking awesome! I’m booking a flight to New Jersey, to purposely get delayed, and then drink for free on the plane. It will be the best vacation ever!

So, I wrote Southwest Airlines an email, explaining everything I just wrote. Keeping all swear words intact to have them really feel my gratitude. I thanked them for all the free drinks and said I will be using your airline again.

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Next day, I got an email saying we have received your request and we have had a busy summer. Be patient with us in getting back to you. I thought, fuck…never hearing back. Oh well, worth the try.

Another day goes by, I’m running around my house, trying to get shit done. The phone rings…it’s a 1-800 number. Oh what the fuck do these people want? I’m getting ready to say “put me on your Do not Call list.” with the bitchest tone I can muster up.

Southwest Airlines: “Hi is this Christine?”
Me: “Yes?” Already fucking skeptical of how the solicitor got my name.
Southwest Airlines: “This is Ashley from Southwest Airlines, I am calling about the email that you wrote to us a few days ago.”
Me: “Omg what? Wait your calling me?”
Southwest Airlines: “Sometimes it’s easier to call people to truly understand the reason for writing us.”
Me: “Oh, okay.” My stomach was starting to turn, fuck…I can’t remember what I wrote!
Southwest Airlines: “We have to say, we have really have never had a response like that before.”
Holy fucking shit…did I offend them? My face is getting red. 
Me: “Ummm well I was shocked at how many free drinks I had received on my plane. I truly enjoyed my experience with Southwest. I love how you force people to chat on the plane as well.” Starting to feel a little sweaty…fuck what am I saying, does she think I’m alcoholic?
Southwest Airlines: “We appreciate that you had a good experience in the time of a delay. No one ever really says thank you for a delay. Usually it’s the other way around. We experience more upset people, than happy in delayed situations.”
I’m totally blushing right now.
Me: “Oh okay, I felt like I was in heaven, being on the airplane. The other night I had a glass of wine. So, I just was feeling the moment to write to say thank you.” I sound like a psychopath right now.
Southwest Airlines: “Well thank you for the kind email.”
Me: “Haha um okay, thank you.”
Southwest Airlines: “Okay, thank you for reaching out to give us feedback and hope you have a nice day.”
Me: “Thank you for calling and have a great day as well.”

We fucking kept saying thank you to each other, it was ridiculously awkward and hilarious. I’m will be flying Southwest all the time and give them a thumbs up for the drinks. I hope you get delayed and experience free drinks on your next travels. Cheers.

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