Have any of you ever flown with Captain Raul Boerner?
He piloted my Denver to San Francisco United Airlines flight on Friday and was a class act. Prior to departure, he walked out of the flight deck and into the first class cabin with his jacket and hat on. With a booming voice, he welcomed everyone onboard, gave us a little information on the flight, and told a few jokes.
Next, he proceeded back to the economy class cabin and gave three encore performances, stopping every eight rows or so to recite his spiel.
It was a small touch, but it showed he loved his job and made me and others seated around me proud to be flying on United. These cost-free "gimmicks’ do more to win support, in my mind, than almost any other aspect of the soft-product. The fact is the UA overall product is mediocre, but service has been excellent lately and that makes all the difference.
The kettle flyers will continue to buy the cheapest fares available, but oftentimes carriers will match pricing and we’ll see the same rate between city pairs on American, Delta, and United. I submit that a positive experience on United Airlines, like Captain Boerner, would make even the kettles more likely to book on UA in the future (all else equal).
Prior to landing, Captain Boerner invited everyone to tune into Channel 9 for a "special message." It turned out to be a little trivia about hang gliding, a bit random, but still interesting and another little touch that made the flight special.
When we reached the gate at SFO I had a brief chat with the Captain and his First Officer in the flight deck. They both were the epitome of kindness and I was showered with thanks for my loyalty to United. I couldn’t help but to leave the aircraft with a smile on my face.
Here’s to hoping more Captain Flanagans and Boerners spring up.