– The Comcast of the clouds
– The Miley Cyrus of Mileage Plus
– The A-Rod of the atmosphere.
They’re that bad.
But, for every rule, there’s always an exception. And, the exception to the horror show that is United Airlines is one of their flight attendants: Brandon L. Cooper.
Allow me to explain. Just last week, two traveling companions and this blogger were seated on United flight #4395 from Newark to Indianapolis. Some 30 minutes into the flight, however, my reading was interrupted by the following announcement from the cockpit: “I’m really sorry, ladies and gentlemen. But, our weather radar detector is broken, and there’s some weather ahead, so Newark ATC has gone ahead and asked we return to Newark, land and have it checked out. Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks again for choosing United. We know you have other options.”
Now, allow me to fast forward (a phrase that is entirely alien to United Airlines, BTW). Some three hours later, we re-boarded United flight 4395 and taxied towards the departure runway.
Suddenly, the captain once again interrupted my reading to declare: “I’m really sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but Newark ATC says we’ve lost our departure slot, and now have to wait to be told when we might be able to take off. Plus, there’s weather due west of the airport AND our right engine is running low on fuel. I’ll keep you updated. Oh, and thanks again for choosing United. We know you have other options.”
And, that, my friends, is when Brandon L. Cooper, the sole flight attendant on United Airlines ill-fated flight 4395 from Newark to Indianapolis, went to work.
Brandon made his own announcement to apologize for the numerous delays. He then told us drinks were on him. And, trust me, when Brandon pours, he pours a full drink.
Brandon plied us with as much wine, beer and liquor as we could inhale. And, he went far beyond merely supplying spirits.
Brandon asked me if I lived in Indianapolis. I admitted I’d only been to ‘Indy’, as everyone calls it, only once before. And, quicker than you can say ‘indefinite delay’ Brandon wrote down a list of his favorite neighborhood bars, pubs, eateries and clubs.
When I told him my friends and I were struggling to decipher his hastily-penned hieroglyphics, Brandon took the time and effort to write down all the names and descriptions again! Wait, this is a United flight attendant? What happened to the rude, crude and otherwise boorish behavior I’d grown so accustomed to?
Throughout our six-hour ordeal, Mr. Cooper kept us up-to-date on holding patterns and unexpected turbulence, as well as playing traffic cop on the plane’s sole rest room.
Brandon L. Cooper made United’s skies friendly again for one, brief (ok, not-so-brief), shining moment.
If his management had any sense (which they clearly don’t), they’d promote Mr. Cooper faster than you can say mechanical glitch. They’d also empower him to train all of the arrogant and indifferent captains, co-captains, flight attendants, baggage handlers and gate agents that, collectively, have made United Airlines a miserable user experience.
You rock, Brandon. Now, if only you possessed the political clout within that godforsaken business to shake some sense into senior management. Until you do, you’ll continue to be a lone exception to the rule at United Airlines.