A Southwest Airlines employee became a passenger’s ‘light in the darkness’ when she personally delivered delayed luggage to the customer's home in the middle of the night.
Passenger Stacy Hurt, who had just flown into Pennsylvania from Nashville, was worried when her luggage hadn’t arrived, as it contained medicine to help her deal with the side effects of chemotherapy.
She called Southwest Airlines’ customer service line and spoke to Sarah Rowan, an agent at Pittsburgh International Airport, who explained that the bags were loaded on a previous flight that was rerouted and cancelled, meaning that the items could arrive later that night, or the next day.
Hurt who was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer, was concerned as not only did the bag contain medication, but also items emotionally close to Hurt, such as a rosary and a lucky t-shirt which she used to keep comfortable during treatment.
Hurt’s luggage arrived on the last flight of the night and Rowan, moved by Hurt's plight, drove from the airport to Hurt’s home in Bridgeville, arriving at 3:30 am. She searched around her car, found a piece of tissue and wrote Hurt a message before dropping off her belongings.
“I just wanted to give her a final message to let her know that I’m thinking of her,” Rowan told PEOPLE. “That entire night, I was thinking of her, and I wanted her to know that we were behind her.”
The next morning Hurt found the luggage on her porch and discovered Rowan's note. “I was bawling, it was so overwhelming,” Hurt recalls. “This young lady brought this luggage herself in the middle of the night. I couldn’t believe it. Who does this type of thing?”
She posted a picture of the kind gesture on Facebook after contacting Southwest Airlines to thank them for their employee’s exceptional customer service.
Soon after the post, Hurt and Rowan found each other on Facebook, and the two met in person.
“To meet the woman who helped me during that hurried and panicked night - she’s my guardian angel, she’s my light in the darkness,” Hurt recalled. “I mean it, from the bottom of my heart.”
“I had to tell the story because it’s a miracle that I’m alive, and the fact that such an extraordinary act of kindness happened to me, I had to share it, we need to hear about the good in this world,” she added.
Rowan, an asset to Southwest Airlines, illuminates the importance of benevolence - a trait HR should also encourage through example within an organisation. The story goes to show that it's all about your people; if you treat your workforce right, they will reflect your values in how they treat your customers.