Is this okay?

By now, many of you have seen the video going around with the Southwest agent going a bit “off script” in her pre-flight spiel.  If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

Personally, I love it.  The reaction of the crowd is self explanatory, and something we should all be striving for in our business.  But don’t you know it… someone out there is probably more than a little peeved that this crew member made such a mockery of the important safety instructions.

Was it a little irreverent?  Yes.

Was it out of the ordinary?  Yes.

Did it enhance the traveling experience?  Yes.

Was it memorable?  Yes.

Could it have gone horribly wrong?  Yes.

And it’s that last one that makes a lot of people nervous.  Not everyone is a comedian, not everyone knows the boundaries of humor and good taste, and not everyone has the quick wit and timing to make this funny.

So, instead of giving the people who DO have those skills the chance to shine and have a memorable impact on our business, we cookie-cutter spiels and pre-record announcements, all so they will be the same every time.

And we all know how fun and entertaining “the same every time” can be.  Isn’t that the definition of boring?

Recently, Theme Park University did a post about the service and attitudes at Hard Rock Park. While it may not be for everyone, it certainly was different.  And memorable.

Do I think we should let any employee loose with a microphone?  No.  But we also shouldn’t hold back those who have the talent, can cultivate the skill, and possess the willingness to do things a little differently.

As we see from the Southwest example, the outcome can be truly spectacular.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading!


About the author: During Matt’s career in the amusement industry, he’s been known to ad lib a spiel or two.  His favorite?  Telling guests who have just entered a round room not to stand in the corner. If he had a nickel for every person who looked for the corner…