This past week my favorite aunt lost her father, and my amazing cousin lost her grandfather.  As a child, Mr. Taylor was always kind to me.  A big lovable guy and I remember him working at the Lakeside gas station.  He was married to his wife for 63 years!  Together they had 9 children, and many many grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.  He had some health problems lately, a knee replacement, some weight issues.  But overall, I think he was doing okay for being around 80 years old.  But last week, in a matter of days, he went from being “okay” to being gone.

I think most all of his immediate children live in the San Diego area.  So they were all at his bedside, supporting their mother for the week before he passed.  All but one son, who lived out of state.  He got the call that he needed to go to the hospital, and he needed to go NOW.

Tom was on the way to his airport when there was a giant accident that had him stuck on the freeway.  He was going to miss his flight!  He called the airport and Southwest Airlines actually HELD HIS FLIGHT.  They waited for him.  He made it.  I’m not sure how long they held it, but they did.  Once landed in San Diego, the pilot and crew let him off first.  He made it to his father’s bedside.

My cousin told us this weekend that Tom walked into the hospital ICU and Mr. Taylor got a big grin and said, “TOM!  You made it!”  Tom replied, “yes dad, I did.”

Only two short hours later, Mr. Taylor was gone, with his large family hovered around his bedside.

Frankly, I was shocked when my mom told me that Southwest had held Tom’s flight.  Bad press on Southwest dominates the news, from fat people being kicked off to terrible customer service stories.  I just thought, “WOW, that’s amazing!”  But then just today, by complete accident, I came across another story where Southwest held the plane.  So maybe this is a new trend?  GOOD customer service?  Amazing customer service?  I for one, like it.  It gives me renewed hope that corporate America isn’t completely full of jerks.

Thank you Southwest Airlines.