Prior to departure on a recent redeye to Washington Dulles, an LAX gate agent came onboard toward the end of boarding to check on overhead bin space. As usual, the bins were full.
A late-boarding Ethiopian family of four, each with a large carry-on item, attempted to find overhead bin space, but it appeared everything was full and the gate agent told them they would need to part with their bags. The mother began to cry and her husband begged the gate agent to let them keep the bags under their seat, but they were too big and the gate agent was understandably impatient. The passengers claimed they had valuable, fragile items in the bag that would be lost, stolen, or destroyed if placed in the cargo hold.
Seated from my bulkhead seat, I noticed a FA who had overhead the situation gently request that the gate agent allow him to find space, nothing that the passengers had a connection to Addis Ababa the following morning. He smiled at the crying woman and told her that he would try to help. His soothing, caring, empathetic tone already diffused what could have been a messy situation had the passengers refused to comply.
By carefully re-arranging bags, he was able to find room for everyone’s bag and he did it with a smile on his face. I thought, wow – this guy is great.
We took off and he came by to take drink orders. Serving the drinks, he said if there was anything he could do to make the flight more comfortable, do not hesitate to call upon him.
It all seemed too familiar. Then it hit me – it was Terrence, the incredible FA I last flew with on my way home from Argentina in 2010. Five years of merger and CO-UA infighting did not sour him!
I have to assume that Terrence is just naturally warm and friendly, but he continues to epitomize good service and is a valuable asset to United. Have you ever flown with Terrance?
This is NOT Terrence, but the smile personifies him.