Fly First Class with MAGIC®
By Jean Marie Johnson
During my last visit to Chicago, I was the recipient of a random act of MAGIC.
As I arrived at the O'Hare International Airport for my flight home, I checked my bag at the curbside check-in, received my boarding pass, and made my way through the endless security line. Once at the gate preparing for my two-hour flight, I realized I didn't have my reading material. As it turned out, I had left it in my suitcase.
I glanced down at my boarding pass only to become more discouraged by the fact that I was in row 23, middle seat. No book and stuck in the back of the plane sandwiched between two strangers. This was not looking like it was going to be a very good flight.
Despite knowing the flight was nearly full, I mustered up the nerve and approached the counter attendant asking if there were any available seats closer to the front of the plane. Without hesitation, he looked at his screen, "I can give you row 18, window. Would that be better?" I accepted the five row upgrade and anticipated a view of the skyline.
We boarded, and sure enough, the flight was packed. As I was settling into my window seat, an airline staffer said to me, "Ms. Johnson, I found another seat for you closer to the front." I looked up and to my surprise, the young man from inside the terminal was handing me a new boarding pass.
Before giving me a moment to thank him, he disappeared. I gathered my things and made my way through the crowded cabin until I came to row 5. Row 5 aisle, can it be? I had been upgraded to First Class. In disbelief of my good fortune, I seized the moment, sat down, and began to relax. Maybe this flight wouldn't be so bad after all.
As I lounged in the large leather first class accommodations, I felt a light touch on my shoulder, "Is this better?" All I could say was an enormous, heartfelt thank you. And before I knew it, he was gone.
It has been my experience that most attendants would not have even moved me up the five seats on such a full flight. However, by having the authority and motivation, this young man went the extra distance to deliver a touch of MAGIC. By bumping me up to first class, he made a first class impression on me for his company and for the city of Chicago. For my next flight, I certainly know which airline I will be choosing.
I love Chicago.
Jean Marie Johnson is a Communico facilitator and has helped clients with their MAGIC initiatives. And for 20 years she has specialized in cultivating the customer experience as a key competitive advantage.