On Thursday American Airlines went above and beyond for a group of passengers, requesting a change in runway, swapping gates, and sending a golf cart to make sure that they made their connection in Dallas in order to arrive at a family funeral in time.
It’s hardly the only time this week that American Airlines went to lengths outside of usual procedure for a group of passengers.
On Tuesday there were 74 passengers booked to fly American Airlines from New Orleans to Charlotte and on to Nassau in The Bahamas. The morning New Orleans – Charlotte flight 1266 was delayed and then cancelled, leaving them without any options to get to their destination.
American’s System Customer Support Manager group came up with an idea: that day’s Dallas – Nassau Boeing 737-800 flight 1005 was only booked to about 92 passengers, so there were enough open seats to take all 74 people to where they were going. It wouldn’t be possible to fly them all to Dallas in time to catch that flight. So American decided that Dallas – Nassau would add a stop in New Orleans to pick them up.
New Orleans is literally on the way between Dallas and Nassau. In practice the route wasn’t this direct, since the plane had to fly around a bit of weather, but it certainly didn’t need to go out of its way.
Everyone headed to Nassau got where they were going the same day. Those New Orleans passengers were delayed, but they even got to fly non-stop, cutting their distance flown by 38%. The Dallas – Nassu flight got in at 6:34 p.m., an hour and a half later than scheduled. Strictly speaking the passengers didn’t make it to Paradise (Island), but they did make it to their destination – The Bahamas.
This is amazing for the passengers starting in New Orleans. How would you have felt taking a delay if you were on the Dallas – Nassau flight?
Personally I would have been more than good with this, finding it heartwarming even as a passenger who was scheduled to fly non-stop. Odds on heading to Nassau I wouldn’t be on a tight schedule trying to make a business meeting. Nearly everyone on board would have been starting a holiday, visiting friends and relatives, or returning home. The slight delay would be low cost – and make a huge difference for the 74 passengers being picked up.