In the January 9 issue of Travel Agent Magazine there is a very nice article by Peter Greenberg, Travel Editor for NBC's "Today Show" regarding this pilot as an amabassador of goodwill on UA and his "Stop In and Say Hi" program for unaccompanied minors.
I flew with him last year and vividly remember it as a great experience on what otherwise could have been a cruddy flight. We had a 2-hour ATC ground hold so we taxied out to a holding pad, shut down, and he had the F/As play movies (which were not normally shown on this 2 hour flight) and serve the F cabin dinner (very appropriate given the time of night we ultimately took off and landed). Capt. Flanagan was very thorough about keeping everyone advised of the status of the delay and making the best of the situation. At least twice during the ground stop he walked through the cabin, stopping to shake hands and talk with anyone who had questions about the flight, the a/c, UA in general, etc. Overall a great ambassador for UA.
Location: Chapel Hill, NC - UA Nobody (sigh)/0.918MM, HHonors Diamond
Capt. Denny's Wine Drawing
He flew a 757 ORD-SJC that I was on last week.
He came out to the gate before boarding and made a couple of humorous remarks ("The plane is in great shape. I'm in pretty good shape."). On boarding, he was standing at the door handing out small collector cards with specs on the 757.
He sent cards to everyone in F with a short note about how valued our business was and "Please let me know how we can exceed your expectations."
About an hour before landing, he came on the PA and told folks to look at the back of the 757 spec cards. If your card had his signature, you won a free bottle of wine. One person in F won, don't know about Y.
Captain Denny flew our 757 to Hawaii last month. Same deal with the trading cards, the wine prize, and the first class notes about "letting them know how they could exceed our expectations." Incredibly, Captain Denny included his cell phone # and e-mail address on the card, too! I was very, very impressed.
The pilot was greeting passengers while boarding and giving to them B757 cards.
Two cards were signed by him and those who had them won a bottle of wine! Well, done!!!! And the flight was almost on time in this weather - that is even better!
I had Captain Denny Flanagan this past Tuesday (July 3rd, 07) from DEN-->OMA. What a great pilot to have had. He did a gate announcement before the flight, greeted all boarding pax at the doorway, gave out 757 cards to all pax. I was in F and received the handwritten thank-you on his business card that included an email address and cell telephone number.
Major props. His effort rubbed off on the crew too, they were great. I handed out two GTEMS to the captain and the FA in F. She said she must be doing something right because it was her third one in two days.
To a United Pilot, The Friendly Skies Are a Point of Pride Capt. Flanagan Goes to Bat For His Harried Passengers; Still, Some Online Skeptics
Capt. Denny Flanagan is a rare bird in today's frustration-filled air-travel world -- a pilot who goes out of his way to make flying fun for passengers. When pets travel in cargo compartments, the United Airlines veteran snaps pictures of them with his cellphone camera, then shows owners that their animals are on board. In the air, he has flight attendants raffle off 10% discount coupons and unopened bottles of wine. He writes notes to first-class passengers and elite-level frequent fliers on the back of his business cards, addressing them by name and thanking them for their business. If flights are delayed or diverted to other cities because of storms, Capt. Flanagan tries to find a McDonald's where he can order 200 hamburgers, or a snack shop that has apples or bananas he can hand out...
Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 28, 07 at 1:37 pm..
Reason: To comply with FT's copyright compliance policy
Programs: UA 2P (yay!), US, AA, WN; HH, *W, MR, GP+, PC (non-elite on all)
Originally Posted by jujube
If flights are delayed or diverted to other cities because of storms, Capt. Flanagan tries to find a McDonald's where he can order 200 hamburgers, or a snack shop that has apples or bananas he can hand out. (...) the company reimburses him for the food he buys during prolonged delays.
So if UA reimburses Capt. Flanagan, presumably they might reimburse other captains and/or pursers who take such initiative... perhaps this might address the criticisms raised in this thread (see post #21 and replies thereto). I'm sure Capt. Flanagan has proven his good judgement and discretion in perfoming such actions and therefore has earned the trust of management, but perhaps other captains and pursers could be entrusted to do the same in such circumstances.