Last night I received an email from my friend Erin Sims, who is a Customer Service Agent here in Denver. (I should go ahead and say she is the GREATEST csa in the system).
Basically it read: For those of you who are attending the event tomorrow, we are meeting for breakfast...
See I didn't know there was an event, and since I've been wanting to get more involved with the station here, I was feeling a little left out.
Well I emailed her back and got the scoop. Apparently Gary Kelly, who is our CEO, was coming to town to make a big announcement, and we were volunteering. We were going to go to the press conference, then "hit the streets." I'll be honest, this last part scared me, because I didn't want to spend the afternoon handing out flyers. And Erin didn't know what this meant either, so we were all clueless.
The next morning at breakfast rumors abounded. We KNEW that we were announcing more flights, but we thought there was something else involved that would make Gary fly all the way out here for a new conference....purchasing Frontier, maybe?
So we arrive at the conference and we are greeted by a SEA of red. Apparently 300...yes, 300!! marketing folks from around the system had flown in. We go to the conference room, I run into 2 of my friends, Brooke and Katie, and we get briefed on what is going to happen.
The plan on the streets is to give away free stuff...and some good stuff I might add. SWA ice scrapers, beanies, (tooks??) coupons good for $52 dollars off a flight (we had tons of these) and 200 free roundtrips. FREE!!
After the briefing we head to the conference room and pack in behind the podium. We pass the time with chants and cheers. As nbc news put it, "The Southwest Airlines marketing team was out in full force on Wednesday, with all the rowdiness of a rock concert."
So the conference begins, Gary makes the expected announcement that we were adding flights...AAAANDD??? nothing. The "other" news was that we were hitting the streets to give away free stuff. bummer.
But the good news was that I ended up with a free ticket to give away. But to whom??
So the sea of red stormed the streets. We had no problem giving stuff away (at one point the driver of the free 16th street mall shuttle drove by, opened the window and yelled 'thanks for the hat!!'). People were pretty receptive. All the street performers had on our hats. But still I couldn't find someone to give my pass to. I didn't want some stuck up business man to get it, and I wanted someone to actually deserve it.
At this point we were out of EVERYTHING. Except me. I still had my pass. As we headed back to the hotel, I spotted a girl, about my age (not really attractive so that was not my intention;) ) and she was working hard unloading boxes. She just looked like she needed a vacation.
So I walked up, and asked if they were making her work too hard.
"yeah." (with a smile)
"well you wanna go somewhere? take a break?"
"what do you mean?"
"If you could go anywhere, anywhere in the country, where would you go?"
"Ummm..I dunno, California?"
"Well here ya go, have fun!"
And I handed her the free ticket. Her face was priceless.
"are you kidding??"
"no I'm not. It's all legit. All the instructions are in there. Have a good time."
At this point Erin had run over to confirm that it was all true. She couldn't have been happier!
Here are a slideshow done by nbc news9 here in denver. (You'll see Erin on slide 15)