Monday, March 15, 2010

The Flight to Vegas (Or: How Robyn Scored a Free Beer)

I love Southwest Airlines - they are friendly, accommodating, timely and best of all, cheap.

I left San Jose on one of the most beautiful days we've had in a while -- warm, sunny, perfect. I packed, I cleaned my apartment (seriously - spotless perfection! was so nice to come home to that!), I met my mom downstairs and she drove me to the airport.

Given the warm weather in San Jose, I chose not to pack my heavy wool coat. I figured my Fresno State Alumni sweatshirt would be A-okay in case of cooler temperatures in Vegas. Walking through the airport security, of course it meant I got a quick pat down from the security officer, but whatever -- I was comfy, warm and good to go.

Southwest has open boarding, meaning I got to sit wherever I wanted. Naturally, I chose the front row, aisle -- all the leg room in the world. (Well, as far as planes go that is.) As I'm settling in, I buckled my seat belt and opened my book.

"Hey! Fresno State!"

I look up and the captain of the plane is staring and pointing at me.

"Yeah?" I said.

"I went to Fresno State! Do you live in Fresno?"

"No," I said, "Not anymore. Just when I was in college. But that's so awesome that you are a Bulldog too!"

"Wow. Small world. Yeah, I went to Fresno State a long time ago. I liked it there."

I smiled and chatted with the captain politely, but he soon ducked into the cockpit to fly the plane -- as all good plane captains should. I saluted him with a friendly, "Go Bulldogs!" a wave and a smile.

About twenty minutes into the air, the flight attendants begin taking soda orders. One approaches me, leans down and says, "The captain would like to buy you a drink. What would you like?"

Oh yes.

"Um, I'll have a beer, thanks," I said.

The beer tasted awesome at 30,000 feet and I was grinning the whole ride. How cool was that??? As I got up to grab my notebook and pen from my purse in the overhead bin, I heard, "Hey! Fresno State!"

I looked back a few rows and a young guy in slacks and a shirt with a neatly trimmed goatee is pointing at me and smiling at my sweatshirt.


"I went to Fresno State!!" he said enthusiastically.

Wow. Small . . . freaking . . . world. I guess it's not too shocking -- Fresno and San Jose are three hours apart, but still . . . two Bulldog alumni in one night??? That was a "Whoa!" moment.

I told my fellow Bulldog about our good captain and sat back down to write him a thank you note. I didn't see Captain Jeff (the flight attendant wasn't sure of his last name) after we landed, but that was okay. Leaving the note with the flight attendant, I stepped off the plane and into the Vegas airport.

A good start to the trip . . .

My note:

Captain Jeff, Thank you so much for my drink and more importantly, for flying me safely from San Jose to Las Vegas. :o) As it turns out, a gentleman a few seats behind me is also a Fresno State alum! I guess the Bulldogs were in good company this evening. Thanks again! Take care, safe travels and best of luck to you. Go Dogs!!! :o) Sincerely, Robyn Horn, Class of 2008.

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