I’ve enjoyed a lot of good service lately, but want to give a special shout out to Diane, who took great care of me and other business class passengers recently on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to London.
Flight Attendant + Sommelier + Barista
I love a flight attendant who cares about service and specifically providing a great product. In the case of United Airlines, this is still difficult as Kirby Kutbacks blamed on COVID-19 “safety” concerns continue to limit the soft product. Still, Diane showed that when you think ahead you can really make the product better.
Last Friday, I traveled from San Francisco to London on UA901. I ordered beef short ribs and was asked what beverage I would like with it. Usually I will not bother with red wine on United, not because it is bad, but because it is kept in the same refrigerated cart as the white wine and Champagne. I don’t know about you, but I do no like consuming cold red wine.
I explained my predicament to the flight attendant taking meal orders and she said, “Don’t worry. One of my colleagues pulled out the red wine last night so it would not be cold today.”
And while drinking wine out of a plastic blue cup is not great (I forgot my glass this time), it was so much better when not served at the same temperature as chilled white wine!
Before landing, I ordered coffee with breakfast. I enjoy the illy coffee on United, though it is often weak. On this flight, however, it was very strong…and very delicious. I asked Diane if she had made the coffee and she nodded furtively, perhaps thinking I was going to complain.
But when I commended her for making it so strong, you could see the smile under the mask. She stated that this was something she had started doing because “most passengers prefer strong coffee.” Indeed we do and I cannot believe what a difference a double batch makes in making the coffee go from acceptable to so tasty I had a second full cup.
After changing out of my pajamas, I saw Diane and her colleague who took meal orders in the galley and thanked her again for the wonderful coffee. Her colleague chimed in:
“Isn’t it great? I’ve been enjoying it the entire flight!”
And then she added:
“Diane is also the one who took the red wine out yesterday. She’s always thinking ahead.”
Thinking ahead indeed. Other than the marginal cost of a bit more coffee, the gestures of pulling the wine out early and brewing a strong pot of coffee cost United nothing…but made for a very happy passenger and I’m sure the other passengers onboard too.
Thank you Diane for the lovely gestures you made to improve the passenger experience. You made the wine and coffee so much more enjoyable and I hope other flight attendants will follow your lead.
Now United, it is time to bring back wine glasses and ceramic coffee cups.