If you think the only thing airlines care about is fees, take a look. OK, so airlines aren't saving the planet or finding a cure for horrible diseases but they are staffed by human beings who sometimes go out of their way for the people they serve - you.
1. Hop in, I'll drive.
A woman posted a heartwarming story on JetBlue's Facebook page earlier this month, about the carrier's above-and-beyond customer service. Seems she was stuck in Baltimore because of a delay and she'd missed the last flight home to San Francisco. Then a JetBlue manager (identified only as Adrian) went to work and found one more flight - out of a D.C. airport. Unfortunately, that's 60 miles away but no problem for this guy. According to the Facebook post, "The manager himself literally drove me an hour-and-a-half from Baltimore to the Dulles airport so I'd make the flight on time." She said she was "seriously amazed with JetBlue." So are we.
2. Missing doll.
Southwest pilot John Miller and a helpful flight attendant named Gretchen are now a Florida family's favorite people and it all began when their little girl left a beloved doll in the airport. The two crew members were moved by 5 year old Catie's tears so when they returned to the airport, they made it their mission to find the toy, tearing up the gate area, lost & found and even the plane but - no luck. That wasn't good enough for pilot Miller who promptly emailed the family to say a new doll identical to the one that was lost was on its way to Catie, "on behalf of himself and Southwest Airlines."
3. Sweet good-bye.
Credit KLM with this extra-special farewell and Yahoo Travel has the details: "After scouring the departures terminal for teary goodbyes, KLM staff took friends and relatives aside and invited them to write a final surprise message that would be attached to flyers' seatbacks.
In a race against time, airline and airport staff at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport hurried to the aircraft and affixed the greeting to the right seats." The messages included everything from notes to hand-made drawings and reportedly moved the recipients to tears all over again. Note: KLM videotaped the whole thing so this nice gesture does include a bit of image enhancement.
4. North Pole flights.
It happens every year: Current and retired airline employees board United jets for a special trip to the North Pole. The passengers are children; some are homeless or victims of abuse or battling cancer but all share the incredible adventure of a Christmas fantasy flight. There is an actual flight before arriving at the North Pole (a decorated airline hangar) where Santa hands out gifts. The little passengers are in heaven but so are the big folks like veteran pilot Paul Purkey who piloted this year's trip from Denver; he'll do the same next year, he says, because it's such "a wonderful adventure.”
5. Best video ever.
Last year's WestJet Christmas video was fun: Just before boarding, passengers in Canada asked Santa for gifts ranging from big TVs to Android tablets and received them on landing. This year's video, set in a small town in the Dominican Republic, is a little different: A young man asks for a new motorbike engine so he can support his family, another woman needs a washing machine, a young couple shyly requests a crib. Then there's the older fellow who hesitantly asks for a horse; he has a broken down carriage, he says, but he's fixing it and just needs something to pull it. All the wishes come true, but the look of stunned delight on the older man's face as Santa arrives leading a horse is something you may never ever forget.