Roadrules – Rule No. 18

Who: Diana Doyle (, Associate Partner, Andersen Consulting

Home Base: Atlanta, Georgia

Mileage: 75,000 miles a year

Favorite Destination: San Francisco

Don’t Leave Home Without It: A journal and photos of her fiancé

“I’ve been traveling at least three or four times a week for the past nine years, and I’ve had plenty of bad experiences on planes — and with flight attendants. We all have bad days, and I’m sure airline passengers can be idiots. But an awful lot of flight attendants seem unhappy with their jobs, and that comes out in their attitudes and actions. So, when I meet one who really cares about passengers — who goes the extra mile — I make sure to say thanks for the extraordinary service.”

“Last fall, I was on a Delta flight from Colorado Springs to Atlanta. A steward in first class really went above and beyond the call of duty. He was polite. He was kind. He was humorous. He even made the boarding process pleasant, and that can be the most stressful part of a flight. At the end of the trip, he thanked every single passenger in first class. So I told him that I hoped he knew what a delight he had been. We talked for almost 20 minutes. It turns out that he had been an executive for 20 years and that he now works as a flight attendant part-time — just because he enjoys it.”

“Then I wrote to Delta, urging the company to recognize and reward people like him and to encourage such employees to lead flight-attendant training programs. After all, people learn by example. I don’t usually remember flight attendants’ names, but I do remember that particular steward’s name — Steve Power — because Steve made a difference.”FCS