Monday, October 10, 2005

Back home

Returned home yesterday. Still trying to assimilate what it feels like after having a different atmosphere and being in a different place for what felt like so long yet went by so quickly ...
BWee was on time. We had a lot of turbulence in about the last hour or two of the trip (flying for what felt like an hour through a massive, never-ending grey/white cloud). Somehow the 5 or so hours felt much longer. I was looking forward to touching down on solid ground. The man who sat next to me was returning home for his younger brother's funeral. We spoke (or rather, he spoke) a lot during the trip. We both agreed that even though BWee has a reputation for being late (Better Walk If Able, etc.) we like flying with them better than any other airline. He was saying that he has been living in Canada for the past 15 years and comes home often (this was his 4th trip home for the year) ... so he has a wealth of stories about BWee. He began to tell me a few - and his eyes even filled with tears for one of them - one where he surprised his wife by appearing on the plane, in the seat next to hers, just before take off. He was able to pull this off because the BWee ground staff got in on his 'plan' when he told them and they helped him to orchestrate it at the last minute. In his words: "What other airline would do that for you?" He is the kind of person who goes to the back of the plane and tells the BWee attendants that they are doing a good job then calls the company after the flight to say something appreciative. We began to discuss how people say and write negative things about the national carrier in letters to the editor, etc. and how positive stories like the ones he was telling me are rarely heard. At the end of it all, he said something that struck me. Basically it was this: "I've flown many airlines throughout my lifetime and I know a real smile when I see one" (meaning BWee attendants). I understand what he was saying.


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