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March 14, 2013 / mommy brain

Southwest Airlines is not only family-friendly; they saved Bert from certain death!

As I’m sure you are aware, this is Bert. He lives on Sesame Street with his buddy Earnie.

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Well, this particular Bert lives at our house. He came with a set of figurines, a Sesame Street rock and roll band, given to T as part of his Christmas present from one of our good friends. He’s about 2 inches tall. Here is another photo with a sippy cup for scale.

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T takes Bert and his buddies most everywhere he goes.

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In the bath:

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Out to dinner:

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On trips. Here he is feeding Bert some lunch at the airport on our way to Houston last month.

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On our way back from Houston, as we waited for the A section of our Southwest flight to board, T showed Bert and Earnie (“Yearnie”) to everyone in line. Then when it was family boarding time, we made our way down to the plane, but we had a little “uh oh” moment before we boarded. T decided to drop throw Bert, just as I stepped onto the plane, and Bert, T’s beloved 2-inch companion, fell through the crack between the plane and the walkway down below the plane. Gasp! “Mama, Bert?” Mama shakes her head, “Bert is gone on an adventure, and he’ll be back in a couple weeks.” Ugh.. “Mama, Bert!?” Mama tries to come up with more answers, “Well, Bert decided to get on another plane. Maybe he’s meeting up with Elmo and Cookie for a guys’ weekend in Vegas? You know how crazy those three can get…?” T looks confused, “Mama, Bert?!!”

Right. You can see this going nowhere fast. T didn’t actually cry, but of course, I was worried he might start to cry when I failed to produce Bert out of thin air, and deal lord the last thing I wanted was a crying toddler on a full flight.

I explained our dire situation to the flight attendant and asked if by chance there was any way to retrieve Bert from under the plane, thinking of course this was probably not going to happen but I might as well ask. She said probably not but she will check what she can do. So we walked down the aisle and found a seat, and T told everyone we passed that Bert was missing. He still wasn’t crying but my attempts to make him forget about Bert weren’t working. As I was explaining for the fifth time that Bert was off seeing the sights and we’ll hear all about his travels when he comes back (once Mom locates another Bert at Target next week), the flight attendant announced over the loud speaker asking that the owner of the Bert doll press their call button because the pilot was able to retrieve him. Everyone on the plane started clapping since most everyone had met the little boy who showed them all Bert and Earnie when they boarded the plane, so it was a fun moment for everyone involved. Yay! Bert is saved!!

I honestly couldn’t believe that the pilot got him back for us. How nice is that?? I have always found Southwest Airlines to be extremely accommodating to families and also pregnant travelers. When I was flying on Soutthwest a lot for work while preggo with T, I never once lifted my bag to put it up in the overhead compartment. Usually one of the flight attendants would do it for me before I even had a chance to ask them for help. On this flight with T, both directions, a flight attendant took my backpack from me while I carried T and carried it to my seat for me. And my stroller was fully set up by the baggage guy when I got off the plane. AND the pilot saved Bert from certain death. What more could I possibly ask from an airline! You really can’t beat Southwest Airlines.

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To the pilot and flight attendant who helped us out and to all the great Southwest employees out there, thanks for always being friendly and helpful!

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