Thank You, Judy McClure!

Lately, I’ve done my share of travel, speaking in high schools for’s Making It Count Programs. In a typical month, I may find myself boarding as many as 12-15 planes – each one with it’s own flight crew – Each flight crew, it’s own personality.

Last week, I boarded a flight from Tulsa, OK (TUL) to Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). It was the same old routine. My wheelie bag was gate-checked, backpack stowed below the seat in front of me, flight attendant rattled off the safety instructions as I fiddled with my iPod, and we were off.

Shortly after the pilot leveled out for the trip, the attendant began drink service (oh…and peanuts!) for those of us on this short flight. As the cart parked just beyond Seat 11A, I heard a voice ask, “What would you like to drink today, Mr. Cooksey?”

“Um…wow! Did you say ‘Mr. Cooksey’? Well, I’ll have a Diet Coke, please.”

In all of my traveling, I have NEVER had a flight attendant call me by my name for any reason. Not even traveling in First Class!

A little later in the flight, I stopped the attendant as she headed up the aisle to thank her for actually calling me by name. She replied, “Well, this job isn’t really rocket science so I decided a few years ago to try calling passengers by name. And you know, I’ve learned a lot of interesting names and met some very nice people!”

Well, Judy McClure of Continental Airlines, you made my otherwise routine flight something memorable. In fact, your attention to detail and going the extra mile just to help make your day a little more interesting made such an impression on me I almost forgot about the poorly designed touch-screen kiosk at the check-in counter….almost.

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