by Barbara Nevins Taylor
Employees of American Airlines win our badge for great service and follow-up. And this is personal. During the last week of August, my husband Nick and I headed for a week of biking and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. We flew out of LaGuardia in New York, changed planes in Dallas and quickly boarded another to Eagle, Colorado. The connections were perfect and all was well, we thought.
My sister Hope and brother-in-law Ed picked us up and as we drove toward their home in the hills above Edwards, the blue sky was fading to a silvery blue streaked with red as brilliant as the mountains. That evening Ed cooked a delicious seafood pasta and our vacation was off to a fine start.
But the next morning as we headed to Leadville and a bike ride on a trail called the Mineral Belt, I noticed a missed a call from a Miami number. The voice mail told the story. An American Airlines employee informed me that my wallet had been found and was in Miami. I hadn’t even missed it, but I rummaged around in my handbag and sure enough, there was no wallet. Before my panic had a chance to escalate, the cell phone rang.
It was Daynelis Sanchez, another American Airlines employee. When I explained I wasn’t in Miami, she arranged to send the wallet via FedEx to my sister’s home in Edwards. She said, “Your credit cards are here and so is your driver’s license. There’s also $88.77 in cash. We can’t send that Fed Ex. Is it okay if we put it an American Airlines account and send you a check?” “Of course,” I said gratefully. “I can’t thank you enough.”
But when I hung up, it all seemed too good to be true. And I warn people regularly about scams and things that seem too nice. So I called the number that was in my cell phone and got another woman. “Who is this?” I asked. “This is Sheyla Ubrina, I’m an American Airlines employee and I called you earlier.” It turns out my wallet was probably left on the plane in Dallas. After it returned to New York, it was flown to Miami and a crew member found it. That crew member brought it to Sheyla Urbina who reached out to me and then made sure that the lost-and-found team followed up.
Three American Airlines employees went out of their way to help and make sure that a customer received a lost wallet, credit cards and money. This says a lot to me about people who believe in their company and take pride in their jobs and their commitment to customers. Thank you.
There’s one more thing. The day the wallet was set to arrive, my husband, sister and brother-in-law were biking to Aspen. I was going to drive to meet them. But I didn’t have my driver’s license. I arranged online to pick up the package in Eagle and I worried that I wouldn’t get the license in time for the drive to Aspen. But that morning, the phone rang.
“Barbara? This is Tina from FedEx.” I was so surprised. “You have my wallet!” I shouted into the phone. “Can I come get it now?”“Oh. It’s your wallet. Oh my goodness,” she said. “It’s on the truck. I’ll get on the truck and look for it. Do you know how to get here?”
Tina gave me detailed directions and told me to take my time. I gassed up and diddled around. And a half an hour later, the phone rang again. “Hi. It’s Tina. Did you get lost?” she asked. I was right outside.
Here again was another employee of a big company who restored my faith in the American worker’s ethic for honesty and great service and on this Labor Day weekend, we celebrate them.