Friday Night in MIA and PHL

Art at ISP

Aug 20, 2002
Dix Hills NY
Although you all know me to be somewhat of a "cheerleader" for US, I had an experience on Friday afternoon, which exemplified how outstanding you front line folks really are, and which goes to show you that there is a GOOD reason most of us stayed loyal to US all this time--YOU!

Since I expected some irregular ops in the northeast late Friday, I got to MIA very early for my 3:40PM departure to PHL on my way home to LGA. After a very pleasant visit with my friends at the MIA station, I watched them reviewing operations information constantly, and keeping the passengers informed as to what was going on regarding schedules etc. (the flight had already had an equipment change from a 734 to a 320, but I think there were minimum seating disruptions). I had a chance to talk to a deadheading FA and the actual working crew in the boarding area, and noted they were working on a release and getting us boarded as quickly as possible-the plan was to push off and wait on the ramp for our wheels up time as Ernesto headed up in the direction we were headed.

Buttoned up and pushed back with 5-10 min of schedule, we sat next to the new J concourse as the captain kept us completely up to date with the ATC situation, and even gave a layman's explanation to the passengers as to why what was happening was happening. There were NO irate passengers on this obviously leisure dominated flight (a large church group returning from a cruise), and the FA's took it upon themselves to keep the drinks and snacks flowing during the delay. At one point a crew member asked ops to bring out headsets for the passengers, and they ran the movie.

Of course I offered to help in any way possible to the extent that a customer can, but this crew had everything firmly and pleasantly under control. The passengers were in good spirits, and finally we were able to start engines and taxi out--just to wait a little longer at the end of RY 27. As it turns out we got off the ground just in time, as weather was moving directly overhead MIA.

We landed in PHL, and the crew repeatedly asked those terminating in PHL to remain seated while connecting passengers got off first--there was a crew waiting to park us right away, and everyone appeared to cooperate. I am not sure how others made out but my flight to LGA was delayed as well, and I got to F14 just in time for boarding to start. The commuter was allowed to take off on RY 8, which saved about an hour of waiting on the ground. While making the thank you speech after landing, the #1 also thanked us the passengers for being so understanding and cooperative during the delay.

Folks, as much complaining is done (and there is valid reason for most of it), this is an example of how simple caring about the customers and good planning can pay off--an EXCELLENT team effort-from the Gate at MIA to the crew on board US498 Friday, even to the folks in PHL! I'd also like to especially thank the FA's and the flight crew--great coordination all around, and I enjoyed the conversations I had with each of you.

Great Job EVERYONE!!!! Keep it Up.
This is a great example of what can take place when there is communication. Most people appreciate being updateded when there are delays/cancels.
A perfect example of why telling the truth to the passengers is a lot more effective toward calming anger and frustration than giving them a bunch of bull.

My best story along those lines...
We had just pushed at DFW one day a few years back, and one of those freak Texas storms blew up and hit the airport. Ramp closed, departures and landings stopped. Wind was blowing in gusts up to 50 mph.

Passengers were starting to grumble about the delay when the captain came on and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please understand that we cannot move the a/c without instruction from the tower and ATC. We will depart as soon as possible. Also, take it from someone who knows and has been there...You would much rather be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here." :lol:

The passengers quieted down immediately and stayed content until we were able to takeoff.