A friend forwarded me a Father’s Day greeting sent from United CEO Oscar Munoz to all employees today–
“Please, you need to do this! This guy is about to have a baby and needs to get back home.”
With those words, IAD Customer Service Representative Vonda Snow-Gregory set our United team in rapid motion to make sure customer Miguel Montero could change flights and make it home in time for the birth of his first child. Miguel was en route to Zurich for a business trip when his wife suddenly went into labor. In that moment of panic, he turned to our colleague Vonda. He would soon find out that being a new dad means always getting home when needed. That’s where Vonda and her United teammates sprang into action.
She quickly rebooked him on the soonest flight back home, then made the urgent call to get Mr. Montero’s bag off the plane and on to his next flight, which was tricky considering the Zurich flight was about to depart. To make sure he made the tight connection at a different terminal, Vonda even walked Miguel to the transit bus. Mr. Montero arrived at the hospital at 7 p.m., and, around 3 a.m., a healthy Santiago Montero was born with no complications.
“I just believe there are some monumental moments in life that you can’t get back,” reflected Vonda. “Whether it’s a graduation or a birth of a baby, that’s why I did what I did. If that’s what caring looks like, then I’m glad to be among the people who care.”
No matter where you are in the world, a dad is always on call. As we celebrate Father’s Day, we can all be proud that so many families trust United and our colleagues like Vonda to go above and beyond to connect them to the people and moments that matter most.
On that note, I want to wish all of you a very special Father’s Day.
While not as personal as his note two years ago, which I found absolutely touching (“Today, as proud as I am to serve as CEO of this incredible company, the most important title I will ever have — and the one I treasure the most — will always be: Dad.”), I do love the story, which reminds me of a similar incident.
It was 2009 and an unexpected death in the family occurred; my uncle, a dear father to my two cousins. I was attending law school and already confirmed home that evening, but had to get home in the morning. My story is almost identical to the one above. This was before the more generous confirmed same-day change policy was implemented, but an after hearing my story an agent quickly confirmed me home via Chicago and also provided great emotional support. I’ll never forget the agent or that somber day of travel. It is small but meaningful gestures like this that build long-term loyalty.
Happy Father’s Day to all my readers who are fathers…I hope it’s a great one for you.