If you’re like me, you fly a lot. So I have a quick quiz for you. Ready?
What’s the name of the pilot who last flew your plane?
Go ahead, I’ll wait here, while you’re put under hypnosis to try to find the name.
How do I know that? Because Capt. Joe came out of the cockpit to talk to all the passengers. No, there wasn’t anything wrong with the plane — which was my first thought — because how often does the pilot emerge from behind the controls to address the entire cabin before takeoff?
But it was on my way back from the recent Latin Auto Parts Expo in Panama where exactly this scenario played out.
There are one or two airlines where talking to the passengers occurs sometimes. It’s a fantastic airline (yes, Delta) and one I make a point to fly whenever I can.
So, Captain Joe begins to talk to us about our flight that’s about to happen; about a special passenger on board with a great military history; about his own numerous jumps from perfectly good airplanes while he was in the Army. Then, after he returns to the cockpit, he begins ponting out all the special aircraft we could see along the way at the Atlanta airport and explained exactly why we were 11th in line for takeoff (We’ve all been there in Atlanta, am I right?).
In short, we really got a VIP tour. It made the sometimes what-exactly-is-going-on-right-now experience of flying less of a mystery. (By the way, it was a very large plane headed to France that held us up a bit.)
Why is Captain Joe so special? Because he mixed humor, brains, decades of expertise and humility into one great flight that I hope I get to experience all over again. I suppose if every flight was like the one I took, it might not be special. But if one in 20 flights are like this, I’ll be happy.
So, until next time, I’m going to roll the dice and hope I get Captain Joe as a pilot again.
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