Have any of you ever flown with Captain Raul Boerner?
He piloted my Denver to San Francisco United Airlines flight on Friday and was a class act. Prior to departure, he walked out of the flight deck and into the first class cabin with his jacket and hat on. With a booming voice, he welcomed everyone onboard, gave us a little information on the flight, and told a few jokes.
Next, he proceeded back to the economy class cabin and gave three encore performances, stopping every eight rows or so to recite his spiel.
It was a small touch, but it showed he loved his job and made me and others seated around me proud to be flying on United. These cost-free "gimmicks’ do more to win support, in my mind, than almost any other aspect of the soft-product. The fact is the UA overall product is mediocre, but service has been excellent lately and that makes all the difference.
The kettle flyers will continue to buy the cheapest fares available, but oftentimes carriers will match pricing and we’ll see the same rate between city pairs on American, Delta, and United. I submit that a positive experience on United Airlines, like Captain Boerner, would make even the kettles more likely to book on UA in the future (all else equal).
Prior to landing, Captain Boerner invited everyone to tune into Channel 9 for a "special message." It turned out to be a little trivia about hang gliding, a bit random, but still interesting and another little touch that made the flight special.
When we reached the gate at SFO I had a brief chat with the Captain and his First Officer in the flight deck. They both were the epitome of kindness and I was showered with thanks for my loyalty to United. I couldn’t help but to leave the aircraft with a smile on my face.
Here’s to hoping more Captain Flanagans and Boerners spring up.
Nice Matthew. I don’t think I have flown with him, I’d certainly have remembered that experience.
I’m curious, which aircraft type does he fly?
I’ve definitely flown with him from San Diego to Chicago. It was definitely a great experience.
Me too last Wed ORD-SFO. I saw him at the counter while waiting in line for the agent, I perket up when he introduced himself to the agent, since we share the same name. When I got on the 757, I said hello and said, “hi we share the same name”. After that we talked for a few minutes, and he thanked me for flying today. Unfortunatly, he didn’t do his spiel, but he came off as a really nice person. It was the late 8:50 PM flight so maybe he was trying to keep it quiet??
I too flew recently with Captain Boerner – what a class act! I wrote him up on the post trip email I received from UA. Hope to fly another route under his leadership.
I know Raul personnally, he was my main flight instructor as I was learning to fly gliders with the Black Forest Soaring Society at Kelly Airpark, Elbert CO. That’s right, even though he flies for a living, his main hobby is flying, aircraft without engines (think Capt Sullenberger). He lives and breathes aviation and is constantly teaching what he knows. Another interest fact, his father was an ‘ace’ in the Luftwaffe in WWII, and would tell him “every airplane is potentially a glider…” You’d be hard pressed to find a better aviator.
I knew Walter & Antoinette when he owned a Thorp t-18. I am a retired USAF pilot & retired delta pilot. I’d like to contact Walter’s son.
I met Capt. Boerner many years ago, he is a true professional a true gentleman .
Raul’s father, Walter Boerner, was more than a Luftwaffe ace in WWII. Read his autobiography. “In Defiance” It is an exciting thriller. Walter hated Hitler and the Nazis almost as much as did the Allies of WWII.