Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Magic at Work!

Today at work bordered on magical; it was like a closely-held belief fulfilled. On Flight 1 from Houston to Tokyo, our crew demonstrated how it's possible to pull success out of the clutches of the atmosphere of failure that surrounds us. 

In our briefing, the captain emphasized that we would be flying fast since flight 1 was made a focus after gathering customer complaints as a result of missed connections in NRT due to chronically late arrivals. Who could fail to note that flight 1 was recently "re- timed", DELAYING departure by 15 minutes? (Even though the affected NRT outbound connections bank timing was unchanged). 

"Is this airplane equipped with wi-fi?", I was asked by two different B-zone customers during boarding, one of whom was a very disappointed 1K when I answered.  "How can I be disconnected for 14 hours?", he said, as anxious as he was sarcastic.  Who could disagree that an approach that first equips smaller, relatively short-range equipment with satellite wi-fi seems questionable?  (All wide bodies are scheduled for completion by the end of 2015; little consolation for him). 

Several customers were directly impacted by yesterday's monumental weather assault on IAH. I overheard that more flights were cancelled in IAH yesterday than on any single day in the airport's history. 

So far, does this sound like a recipe for success?  Maybe not. But then, the cabin door was closed. 

From the moment that the words "Flight Attendants, prepare doors for departure, cross-check and stand by for all-call" were uttered, success was ours!  We were in our element, doing what we do, making the difference that we've been trained for. Most importantly, we believed in and supported each other. Does anything feel better?!  (OK, be reasonable. You know what I'm talking about!)

The ever-critical galleys were staffed by 3 of the best:  Julie, Donna and Grace. The aisles were nothing but unflappable, unyielding people-pleasers:  Yuka, Sylvia, Robin, Mitsue, Vicki, Yoko and Rosey (oh, and me!).  And when it comes to onboard leaders, our Paul is a superstar!

We didn't solve all the problems in my airline employer's world today. We just did what we do, what all of us are capable of doing.  We dominated our realm of control and prevented extraneous factors from stealing our thunder.



I have no doubt that we'll pull another rabbit out of the hat tomorrow on flight 6, come what may. 

Who is the FACE of MY AIRLINE?

"Hello.  Welcome to XXX!  My name is..."

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