Generosity: Anonymous or not

Sometimes we all want to hear a story about humanity that reminds us that there are good people out there. I have two for you today. Hopefully it helps to make the world feel kinder, especially with all the crap on social media today between the Presidential candidates, Syria, and oh I could go on.

This story is about a woman who quickly got on an American Airlines flight (with her 3 month old baby) to see her mom, who had a stroke and was told by nurses she might not wake up. After sitting on the plane, they were told that due to maintenance, the flight was cancelled. The woman on the plane next to her heard her talking and crying to her husband, and told her she was not going to leave her until she was on a plane to Orlando to see her mom.

After finally figuring out that Southwest had a $400 flight to Orlando, the woman who would not leave her was adamant that she was going to pay for the flight — that it was her Thanksgiving and Christmas gift to her. Wow. A perfect stranger. The woman was able to get on the flight and see her mom that night. The Southwest agent also sent her an email checking in on her and giving her the contact information of the woman who purchased the ticket. So amazing — it warms my heart to know that there are people in this world that are so kind and so generous. Read the full story here.

My next “wow” moment this week was reading about an anonymous donor paying $106,000 in layaways at 2 Ohio Walmart stores. The article states: “Items on layaway included toys, 70-inch televisions and even a pair of socks.” I did not know that stores still offered layaway, but it makes it so that someone can dote on others in a big or small way, much like someone might pay for the car behind them in a drive thru Starbucks.

People really are kind. They really do care. Whether you end up meeting the person that is generous or whether it remains anonymous, it brings all the goodness front and center to the muck that sometimes permeates the news and social media. Pay it forward.

Airlines shrinking carry-on size, what’s next?

Just when we thought flying on a plane could not get ANY worse. Yes, they are trying to put in more seats, so that you basically are required to sit upright the entire time, a bag of peanuts is going to cost $3, and drinks will BYOB (all my jokes). All joking aside there does not seem to be much more they can take from us while on a flight, and instead it tends to go the other direction that everything is costing passengers more money.

So, when I saw this Fast Company article, “Good for Luggage Manufacturers, Bad for Travelers: Carry-on Bag Size to Shrink by 21%” I about lost it. What else are they going to do? The interesting part is that it looks like the current carry-on size is 22 inches tall, 14 inches wide, and 9 inches deep. The new guidelines would mean 21.5 inches tall, 13.5 inches wide, and 7.5 inches deep. They are only shaving a half-inch off two sides and 1.5 inches off another, yet, every inch counts! I am not one to check my luggage. I have to be going far enough and long enough that I need to take enough to warrant a larger suitcase. Even then, I do all I can to see how I can make do with a smaller carry-on. Less hassle and the wonder of if I will see my bag again, and it means I travel light. Oh, and did I mention that it saves me money because I do not have to pay to check my luggage (knock on wood, as that too could change).

The article states that the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) has put forth these guidelines and it is voluntary if airlines want to comply. Something tells me that Samsonite, Tumi, Victorinox, and others are in on this deal? It means more business for luggage companies if the guidelines go into effect than those flying the friendly skies are going to have to pay up (in more ways than one) to travel comfortably. What is next, seat sharing to save money? How about seat belt sharing?

What is confusing is that if some airlines comply with guidelines and others do not, it makes for an interesting trip. These are guidelines that should be standard across all airplanes of similar types. So that when you get to China, your bag will fit just the same in Brazil. This is not customer service, it is just another way to steal from customers. Can we stop, and go back to the days when traveling was supposed to feel like a luxury?

We Deserve More On Airplanes

I am always in awe that an airplane can fly. I do not take that for granted. We get into a metal contraption, and fly through the friendly skies. It is a mostly natural event in many of our lives, and it used to be one that was a luxury. Today it seems to feel like herding cattle. It is no longer much fun, and no longer feels luxurious. Sure, we have the ability to have wi-fi Internet, while flying at 30,000 feet. Pretty amazing if you really think about it. In recent years, I have heard folks get pissed off on an airplane when the wi-fi or TVs do not work. Annoying right? I mean annoying that someone would complain about it. I mean you are flying 30,000 feet in the air. Yes, I will say it again, you are flying, quit complaining!

Having said all that my bone to pick (here is where that saying came from) is that they charge you for everything. We recently flew across the country on Delta. They are usually the airline we fly. I do not have any problems with Delta. In the last few months though they have put more fees on things. It is starting to get annoying. I fear that soon I will have to use my credit card to pay to use the bathroom whenever I fly. Trust me that could get expensive. Whatever happened to customer service and caring for your customers? Think back to when flying was a luxury and way less expensive. It was about service. The TV screen in the seat in front of me had movies and TV shows. They used to be free. Now it is $6 for a movie, and $6 for any amount of TV (or $1 a show). On our flight the TVs were not working. I was not annoyed that they were not working, I understand that happens. I was frustrated that we have yet another fee. Seriously. We pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to fly around the world and we have to pay more for a few hours of entertainment in a seat that we can barely move around in, while eating pretzels and horrible coffee. (It was. I even heard the flight attendant tell the other flight attendant the coffee they made was bad).

flight #1 TV broken

What has it come to? We now pay to check bags, we may eventually have to pay for our carry on bags. We have to pay for real food, and now we cannot even get free entertainment. Ugh. It is annoying. Yes, I am still grateful for the amazing feat that we can even fly the friendly skies, but airlines, if you are listening, save something to brag about – give us a little customer service. Please. A little can go a long way.

#2 flight – this plane needs to go into retirement

Happy Monday!