Remember when flying on a plane was actually an enjoyable experience?   When we were kids, flying was a big deal.  We’d get all dressed up and sit in our seats with excitement and anticipation.   The flight attendants would whisk us up to the cockpit to meet the pilots  and see all the dials and gadgets they used to fly the plane.  They even gave us a cool pin that we got to KEEP!  Wow.

Fast forward 30 years or so:  you don’t quite get that same feeling when boarding a plane.  Everyone is rushing to get their bag in the overhead bin (especially since airlines started charging for bags), the flight attendants look frazzled, and the general mood of everyone is pretty crappy.

But every now and then, luck is on your side.  You walk onto the plane and you’re greeted by a smiling and sincere person who is actually happy to say “Good Afternoon”.  This warm and wonderful smile makes you and everyone else relax a little bit.  What’s amazing is that one person can make this difference.  On our USAirways flight, it was Charlena Nichols who positively altered the collective mood on the plane.  Now that’s power.

But Charlena didn’t stop at smiling.  I watched her interactions with the passengers.  She was helpful, calming, enthusiastic and caring.  It was wonderful to watch.

We were heading to Atlanta for a wedding and my husband Frank got bumped to first class.  What did he do?  He gave me his seat.   I’m like a kid at Christmas when I get to ride in first class even though I felt a tiny bit guilty about taking his big, comfy reclining chair with FREE cocktails!  I told Charlena what Frank had done and she went back to find him to tell him what a nice gesture that was…and she brought him a cold beer as a reward for his kindness.  Everyone on the plane kept wondering who the goofball was in first class–the one who kept turning around and waving to her husband at back of the plane.  Well, that was me.

How often do you have experiences like this?   When someone makes you feel really special by providing exceptional customer service?

It’s the little things you do that make people feel really important—whether you’re at work or communicating with friends and family.  You only need to remember 2 things:

  • Be present & listen
  • A smile goes a long way

These two things don’t cost a dime but they can lead to more happiness and goodwill than you can imagine.

The next time you fly on USAirways, look for Charlena.  If you’re lucky enough to have her on your flight, I promise you’ll have a great experience.

Please share a time where the little things meant a lot to you.

Share your Smile,