Jan 13 2012

Southwest Airlines and the Extra Mile

So, while this is not a surprise to anyone in my bitstream, I am a dork.

My latest demonstration of this is my inability to care for my brand new stuff.

My sweet, precious, long-suffering wife gifted me a Kindle for Christmas. The VERY first trip that I took with it, I managed to leave it in the seat back pocket of the plane I was riding home.

Did I mention that I was a dork?

I figured out it was missing as I was contemplating the benefits of Amazon Prime and whether a free loaner book a month was worth the price.

No Kindle beside the bed, no Kindle in my bag. Crap.

Got on the phone with Southwest, filed a missing gadget report. Waited 24 hours. Paced, tapped foot, squirmed. Called back in to check on the Christmas present I had barely used before losing.

Very nice lady on the phone, “Oh sir, it might be days before we know anything. They send it to lost and found, go through everything, ship it to Dallas, go through it again and compare the lost reports to the missing reports. It could be a week or more.”

In my mind that lost and found warehouse in Dallas is the place where they dropped off the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Hmm, lost Kindles go on shelf 4,637,356....


Lo and behold, I have a message this morning from Paula in Lawn Gyland (I think that was what she was saying). The plane got all the way to ISP in New York before they found my Kindle and pulled it off the plane.

She also chided me very gently for not labeling my toy, and for having old numbers in my frequent flyer profile. My little personal Sherlock Holmes went through my reservation string to find where I had put in my cell number to receive text updates on this flight and got a number to call me from there.

She got a shipping number from me and I got my Kindle back in one day instead of 2 to 3 weeks.

So, lessons learned (in no particular order):

Label your electronics if you travel.

Got to your frequent flyer accounts and make sure that you have current info in them.

Be nice to the airline people. As we say in the South “You get more flies with honey than vinegar”

In conclusion, I just want to say thanks to Paula and Southwest Airlines for going above and beyond on this.

Now where is that stupid label maker?

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