Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The Denny Flanagan Story
As flight cancellations and delays wreak havoc on weary travelers, and planes are fuller than ever, the Wall Street Journal has managed to find a bright spot - United Airlines Captain Denny Flanagan. On a flight headed your way, there is a pilot who is literally a gift from the heavens. For 21 years now, Flanagan, a former navy pilot, has put the friendly in friendly skies. With his sense of humor and personal touch, he individually welcomes aboard every passenger on his United Airlines plane A father of five, Flanagan has also been known to buy food for planeloads of passengers on delayed flights. He snaps photos of dogs in the cargo hold to show owners their pets are safe and calls the parents of children traveling alone. "I want to treat them like I treat my family and it works. It's like hospitality. You stand at the door and you greet people when they come in and you say goodbye on the porch and wave to them," said Flanagan, who is 56 and lives in Ohio. His unique brand of hospitality includes sending handwritten notes to frequent flyers and raffling off bottles of wine. "How 'bout that? A bottle of chilled chardonnay from a pilot," said a delighted Paul Schroeder, a lucky United passenger. He has developed quite a following in the air and online. One of the many posts on FlyerTalk.com about Flanagan read: "His effort rubbed off on the crew too, they were great." Attitudes are truly contagious, and Captain Flanagan's is certainly worth catching! Denny Flanagan is a wonderful example of customer love. In the book, you can read his, and 24 other great customer service stories. Its goal is to have you read them, have your team read them, and talk about them together. In fact, you may be inspired to write your own customer love stories while making your service culture all it can be. For more information or to look inside the book, just click here.