Today I took a US Airways flight from Phoenix (PHX) to San Jose (SJC). At 10,000 feet, I fired up the computer and connected to GoGo Wireless. Fifteen minutes later the pilot let us know over the intercom that the plane had a malfunction and that we would be turning around and heading back to Phoenix. As we started our descent we were informed that the brakes had problems and that we should not be alarmed when we saw emergency crews out on the tarmac.
I was impressed that there was transparency to the problem and soothing to what may occur. The plane had a smooth landing and all the passengers cheered. By the time we pulled up to the gate we were given a new gate number and told a plane was waiting for us. It was too good to be true. Sure enough about 20 minutes later we were boarding another plane and in line to take off. Kudos US Airways for making a bad situation good. Once on the plane anyone ordering a paid drink wasn’t charged.
I fired up the computer again and was bummed that I couldn’t get online as I had bought the $4.95 single flight service. At $4.95 who can really bitch about getting internet in plane going 400 miles an hour. I gladly paid again. Then I realized there was a chat with us button. I clicked it and stated, “Emergency Landing. Credit?” as my problem in the form. I was connected to Alex. Here is the interaction.
Alex: Welcome to Gogo. My name is Alex.
Derek Neighbors: hi alex. i was just on a flight from PHX to SJC
Alex: Hi Derek, I see you had an emergency landing. What I can do for you tonight is get you a code good for 100% off for future use.
Derek Neighbors: perfect
Alex: Would you prefer that via email or in this chat/
Derek Neighbors: if you cna just send it to my email that would be fantastic firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex: Sure thing. I will send that out shortly after our chat ends.
Alex: I am just curious if you dont mind me asking why did your plane have to land?
Derek Neighbors: brake system failure
Derek Neighbors: i guess they felt returning was a better runway option.. immediately got us on a new flight within minutes
Derek Neighbors: i guess im having customer service heaven today 🙂
Alex: Wow that doesn’t sound good at all! That’s good you were able to get on a new flight so soon.
Alex: Are you going to be using Gogo on your flight now?
Derek Neighbors: already on it 🙂
Derek Neighbors: i repaid but im fine with a code.. frequent traveler so i will use on return flight
Alex: Excellent! Is there anything else I can do for you tonight?
Derek Neighbors: nope. have an excellent day. thanks for the awesome service.
Alex: Thank you! You have a great day as well! Not a problem at all! Thank you for choosing Gogo. Fly classy.
What a fucking rockstar. Problem fixed before I could even explain and then genuine dialog about the event and the kicker the fun spirit of Fly classy. While I had Alex on chat I sent out the following tweet and got the reply before my conversation with Alex was even complete:
@dneighbors We are so happy to get you connected!! GO ALEX!!!
— Gogo (@Gogo) July 11, 2013
So why am so impressed?
- Alex. A human. Acting like a human! Crazy I know.
- This transaction happened at 10,000 feet.