I didn’t know what to expect entering Orlando International Airport on October 31st. I was filled with such exuberance that it didn’t matter what happened. Nothing could dampen my spirits on this day — I was going home.
Photo: Krzysztof Kowalik on Unsplash
I hadn’t been home in a year. Just the idea of seeing everyone again filled me with joy. I made my way to print out my ticket using the code I had from my email. I asked one of the Southwest team members how to key in everything. I explained that I hadn’t flown in years, that I normally make the drive to Pennsylvania. She was more than happy to help.
Once I got my tickets I went to check in my luggage. I arrived two hours early, because the last time I flew there was a fee for checking in my bags late. I wasn’t bound to make the same mistake again. I was greeted by Wonder Woman and a Vampire. I looked down the row and saw other monsters and heroes helping guest check in their begs. The vampire that helped me also told me where to go to get on the plane.
Flying with Southwest has always been fun for me. It goes beyond their great prices and the fact that you get two carry-ons and one check-in bag for free. I have found that Southwest has the best hospitality. They really cater to the people. When I was there I noticed that they were one of the only airlines dressed up for Halloween. They went a step further when two workers dressed in full costume came around to the areas where people were waiting to board the plan and gave out candy. I thought this was really nice, especially for the kids who would be stuck in a airport instead of trick or treating.
When on the plane, Southwest can be found to throw in some humor into their speeches. I had to do a transfer from Philadelphia to Atlanta, then from Atlanta to Orlando. When I was on my way from Atlanta to Orlando, the hostess began to sing Disney songs, putting her own lyrics in about Southwest. Both the songs were very funny and had many of the sleepy passengers laughing. When she began to explain to us the procedures about the plane such as seat belt safety, oxygen, air vest, and so on, she tossed in little jokes. This made hearing the same boring rules we’ve all heard time and again worth hearing one more time.
The people at the airports were just as interesting and interactive as the Southwest employees. As I waited to board the plane in Orlando, a woman looked at me and asked if I’d watch her things while she went to use the bathroom. I found this to be truly interesting. Watching things so others don’t steal them requires some level of trust, or so I’d assume. I have blue hair, and it just so happened that since that day was Halloween I drew on festive eyebrows. It amazed me that she was so kind and open to someone with an alternative look like mine.
The kindness of the people didn’t stop there. I lost my headphones so I had decided to catch up on some reading. While I sat in my spot at the airport reading my book, a man approached me and inquired what I was reading. I never like to spoil books, so I told him in the best why that I could what the book was about. He thanked me and went over to be with his family.
After boarding the very busy plan I was seated next to this lovely woman and her friends. We talked for some of the flight before I became engrossed with my book again. She offered me food several times to which I politely declined. We talked a bit about living up north. I told her a bit about my work and school, and how I am going to school down south at Rollins College, but plan to move back up north after graduation. I learned that her friend did the same work that I am currently doing. They live in Delaware, but are on the cusp of Philly. I told them about my family. We had a very nice flight and made idle chit chat.
On my way back to Orlando the guy sitting next to me began a conversation. It seemed he noticed me in the airport earlier. We talked about the flight delay and the switch that happened last minute to bored in a different location. He told me how he was trying to get a job in New York in industrial design. He didn’t live too far from me. He invited me out to an event that happens every Tuesday in Milk District. I told him I work those days, but maybe I’d go if I can take off. He said that all the food trucks gather behind this bar. It was supposed to be a big event. We began to talk about music. I told him I write articles on local artists. Our conversation ended when we took flight. I began typing an essay, and he began sleeping. We had a good laugh when we landed, because he noted that he didn’t even realize we had landed.
Back home at Orlando International many of us were gathered around carousel 12. After waiting a while a woman came on the loudspeaker and told us that our luggage would be on carousel 13. We all did a slow shuffle over to the next carousel. We began our wait again. That was when the woman came over the loudspeaker again and told us that our luggage was now going to be back on carousel 12. This happen two more times before many of us just stood between the two carousels and waited until we saw someone from our flight gather things off a carousel. It turned out that it was indeed carousel 12. My bag came quickly, but not fast enough. It was already after 1am. I called my Lyft to pick me up and take me home, having had an enjoyable trip.
Southwest is by far my favorite airline to fly with. They are efficient and diligent. I have never run into any issues with them. They take good care of you when you’re in the air and on the ground. They go above and beyond what is necessary for a flight company to do. Their prices have always been the lowest. I have found lower prices at times with other companies, but then they want to charge me 50 dollars or more for a second carry-on. Southwest is already low, and you already get two carry-on’s and one check-in.
When I go to an airport, I have found that each one has its own quirks. They all have their own food. When I was in Atlanta, they had food from other states. Orlando had fast food, and Philadelphia had classic Philly food, like cheesesteaks and burgers. I found that each airport has wonderful people in it. Everyone wants to know something about you before parting ways. When I fly I find I always come back with a story. Normally it’s never a bad one. You’re not just getting on a plane, you’re going through an experience with 200 people and Southwest.
The world is an open road to explore. Emily Vincent’s goal is to explore the world, and find all the hidden treasures in it. She has traveled through the east coast, being places like Washington DC, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, Delaware, and New Jersey to name a few. Her goal is to travel out west next. Art and music is one of the many treasures Ms. Vincent likes to touch on. She has written articles about local music, family history, and covered concerts. Emily Vincent is attending Rollins College. She has future plans to be a travel writer after she graduates. Right now she is bringing local travel stories from near and far. She will never stop going.