Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

The newest planes are parked in the desert, while regulators decide whether they're safe to fly.

Management is busily hoping that mechanics will accept a 20 percent raise, after suing them for allegedly keeping planes from flying in order to get a 20 percent raise.

Passengers are fed up with the hundreds of cancellations. 

In the middle of all this, Southwest Airlines employees must have been wondering whether their airline will ever be the same again.

Yet still, it appears, they have time to think about their fellow human beings.

A video posted to Facebook by passenger Sean Warren shows a Southwest employee -- operations agent Scott Wirt -- singing.

It's all fine, clean entertainment. 

This, however, was something different.

As Warren explained: 

So today I got on my flight to Louisville, wearing my headphones, taking up as much space as possible so that no one would sit by me. Sitting comfortably in my personal universe listing [sic] to one of my favorite jams, the public address crackled and one of your flight attendants interrupted me.

Warren wasn't in the mood for an interruption, I suspect. Still, he continued:

He stated that we had a mother on the flight who's son had been killed in the line of duty as a state trooper. He then proceeded to sing her a beautiful song.

It's unclear how Southwest knew. The state trooper who was shot and killed in the line of duty on July 25th. last year was Tyler Edenhofer. His mom Debbie was flying to the dedication of a bench in his name.

What is clear is that, as the employee sang, everyone on the plane appreciated the sentiment. Said Warren to Southwest: 

I just want you to know I think we should have more interruptions like this. In fact, it is no interruption at all. It actually makes things quite clear. And it shares, in a public way, a private burden this family carries.

We never know why someone is traveling but when we do we want to be there for them. Southwest gives me the freedom to be myself and celebrate with our customers or be a shoulder to cry on in times of need.

Some airlines believe their sole job is to fly customers from A to B, guaranteeing what they call D0 -- making sure the plane departs on time.

Yet customer service and brand equity involve so many little things, human elements that bring people closer to your brand or alienate them. And when they bring them closer, they create loyalty.

It's an attitude Southwest has embraced, while some others have either disdained or merely claimed without delivering.

One of the real benefits of Southwest's attitude is that when the airline is in a mess, its customers are more likely to forgive it more quickly.

Because all airlines mess up, don't they?

Published on: Apr 1, 2019
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