Wednesday, March 12, 2014
With one small gesture...
Standing at the Door 3 crossaisle during boarding on our AMS-bound 777, My colleague Joel and I were greeting our UE customers. The blind passenger we were expecting for seat 25A was coming toward us and I think that we were relieved to see that he wasn't traveling alone. I said, "I'll take this one" to Joel and moved to intercept the couple for an individual briefing.
I introduced myself as they got settled and began my briefing. The blind gentleman quickly informed me that he'd been flying "quite a bit" for 30 years and could probably brief me...but on we went to fulfill the FAR requirement. As I started to talk about pressurization, he reached up to touch the panel which houses the O2 masks, compliantly participating in the briefing. I said, "your hand went directly to the correct panel. How did you know?" He replied, "the only thing I don't know is how the mask 'looks'". Light bulb moment!
I retrieved the demo kit from the J/S and was back in a flash. "Hold out your hand." What happened next was one of "those" moments. He turned the mask every way but loose, able to "see" what he'd heard about so many times before. We repeated the exercise with the life vest (which he amazingly oriented, donned and fastened correctly on the first try). I explained the subtle differences in demo equipment versus live equipment and it ended with a big smile on his face.
"Thank you for letting me see those things. It makes a huge difference."
Don't ever underestimate your own power.