Ronald Culberson visited Southwest Airline’s people department and came away with some really great stories including this one:
…a senior executive spent a day working at the ticket counter and with the ground crew to have a better understanding of their roles.
While she was helping direct a plane to the gate using those long orange directional devices, one of the seasoned ground crew members told her to rotate her wrists in a circular manner.
When she did this, the plane did a 360 degree turn! She began to scream thinking she had sent a confusing signal to the pilot.
In reality, the ground crew had contacted the pilot and told them they had a “greeny” directing the plane and that they wanted to have some fun with her. The pilot enthusiastically agreed to play along. Very cool.
That has to be one scary moment – when something you do makes a fully loaded airline jet pirouet right in front of you.
One thought on “Fun at Southwest Airlines”
This story makes my heart warm. This really does embody a bit of the spirit of Southwest. My father flew for Southwest for 27 years and took part in many jokes like this. I love and respect the airline for the happiness that they give to so many. My mother also worked as a flight attendant for them for many years, gaining many joking co-workers. Therefore, when I flew Southwest as a young child and the flight attendants figured out who I was, they made me serve peanuts to the passengers and “work” the flight. So many great memories. Herb also personally showed up to my father’s retirement ceremony at Dallas Love Field in a pinstripe suit while smoking a cigar with a big grin on his face. Only Herb could get away with that fantastic persona.