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Why Southwest (and we) need stories like this

The shades were down, the overhead lights on, and as the newlyweds walked down the plane’s centre aisle, it looked almost romantic. So what?



A newlywed couple travelling from Austin, Texas to Portland, Oregon aboard Southwest Airlines just got treated to a random act of kindness. 


The airline’s cabin crew not only brought the couple to the front of the plane to present them with crowns and sashes, they also presented them with a paper bag full of wedding advice from the plane’s passengers. 


"Our friends here also helped out with us," a member of cabin crew said over the PA.


"This is wedding advice that all of the passengers wrote to you guys." 


"We didn't read all of them – just a little disclaimer – so whatever's in here, is in here," he jokes.


It’s a nice moment. And Southwest needs nice moments, as the first (of possibly many) lawsuits was filed on Thursday following the engine blowout which resulted in the death of one of its passengers


But you know what? I need these stories too. Not to feel good about a planet that is on the brink of environmental disaster, which has world leaders who seem more concerned with petty one-upmanship, or even when some interestingly informed friends tell me immigration is bad and that abused women are somehow complicit in their abuse. 


No, I need these stories to feel the love of community, to know that no matter what vile is spewed from people’s mouths, when it comes down to making another person happy, complete stranger or not, a couple of newlyweds on a plane or the old couple at the next table, people can be, and often are, nice.


The cynics out there (and within me) might say, shrug the cabin crew’s actions off or look for ulterior motives. Cynics are good, cynicism is a necessity. But so is the very uncool idealism. 


So let’s do this: let’s not roll our eyes when the little old lady claps when the plane lands, or scowl at the soon-to-be-noisy children as they board. Let’s be better and make plane travel great again - no red hats, no fake news, no nasty little tweets, just good old fashioned respect and a little bit of effort. 


Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 3 August 2018

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