Memo to Southwest Airlines Customer Service re. Parkies (a.k.a. People With Parkinson’s)

We Parkies can be a challenge, an opportunity, or both (duh?) for frontline customer service reps, such as airline flight attendants.

PD dealt me a new one Monday on Southwest flight 374, Houston to Portland, Ore. My body thermostat suddenly was set at what seemed 110°. Another first from PD’s sly hand.

The Missus and I had a “prime” second row seat. One problem. Front of the plane is hottest. I fled to the far back of the 90% full flight.

Flight attendant Erica pulled a Fat Tire beer for me after just three paragraphs of my “I’m being boiled alive lament.”

Erica earned a big one for Southwest with a sympathetic ear and, actually, two Fat Tires.

Not so for her crewmate Christina, who also knew I was a Parkie.

Bad Christina first gave me the fish eye, then refused me a temporary place next to her on one of those made-for-children’s-butts-jump-seats that attendants use. (“FAA regs”, you know.)

While tending to her Facebook, she looked up and said with great authority: “Next time sit in the middle of the plane.

My irritated, back-at-her: ”No shit, Christina.”

THAT I had already figured out while standing up for most of the 4-hour flight.

Good on Erica. Bad on Christina.

But both should have tried to move a few people around to find me a new seat.

For my part, I should have thought to ask for that move.

At the end of the stand-up flight was the World Parkinson Congress. One of its goals is to raise awareness about the special needs of Parkies, such as body thermostat disruptions while aboard airplanes.



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