These days, customers don’t expect much from airlines, especially in the realm of customer service. But one Southwest Airlines worker is being hailed as a guardian angel after she went the extra mile for a passenger in need.
When cancer patient Stacy Hurt learned that her luggage was missing after a recent flight, she “sort of panicked,” since it contained several items that she needed for a chemotherapy session.
On July 23, Hurt had just flown from Nashville to Pittsburgh on Southwest Airlines, ABC News reported. She had changed her reservation to a direct flight so she could make it home in time for her monthly chemotherapy session, but her check-in bag remained on her previously booked connecting flight.
Hurt was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2014 and remains on maintenance chemotherapy indefinitely.
The bag contained medications Rowan takes for chemotherapy side effects as well as personal items such as a rosary and a favorite T-shirt that she planned to take with her to her 9 a.m. doctor’s appointment.
Southwest customer service agent Sarah Rowan, 27, received Hurt’s panicked call when she realized her bag may not make it in time.
“I said, ‘I need that luggage. It has a lot of items I need for chemotherapy tomorrow,” the mother of two said.
Despite her worried state, Rowan said Hurt was “just as sweet as can be” when they spoke on the phone.
“Things that are out of their control can be frustrating for people, but for someone who is going through so much to be so patient and kind towards us, I appreciated it so much,” Rowan said.
Rowan told Hurt that she would track her luggage and keep her posted. But, if the luggage did not arrive by 1:30 a.m., she knew it would miss the last courier and likely not reach Hurt in time for the appointment.
Hurt’s bag arrived in Pittsburgh at about 2 a.m., just as Rowan was finishing her shift. So, she decided to deliver it to Hurt herself.
“I looked up her address to see how far away she lived and she lived about 20 minutes away,” Rowan said. “So in my head, me getting home a little bit later was less important than her getting the bag she needed for her chemotherapy treatment.”
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The next morning, Hurt found the luggage on her front porch with a note from Rowan wishing her luck.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God. Are you kidding me?” Hurt said. She then posted the note to Facebook, and Rowan’s boss, as well as the Southwest Airlines social media team, took notice.
“We are very proud of Sarah’s kind, empathetic actions that represent the best of Southwest hospitality and the legendary customer service that our wonderful employees aim to deliver every day,” the airline said in a statement to ABC News.
Hurt said Southwest had already earned her loyalty because of the accommodations they make for her disabled son. But, Rowan’s actions made her appreciate the airline’s customer service even more.
“She just epitomizes everything good,” Hurt said of Rowan, who she’s since communicated with on social media. “When you have cancer and you have chemo, this is the toughest thing ever.”
(H/T: ABC News)