Southwest Airlines passengers stranded at the airport in Orlando, Florida, by an hourslong flight delay had some fun with some unusual contests hosted by a creative gate agent.
Passenger Kristen Dundas wrote on Twitter that she “was getting HEATED” after waiting almost 2 1/2 hours on Thursday for the Southwest Airlines flight to Washington, D.C., until an airline employee launched some live improvised entertainment, including a contest to pick “who has the worst driver’s license picture.”
“Now I’m like I’ll wait all damn night if you keep this up,” Dundas wrote, adding the hashtag #amazing.
The gate agent followed the driver’s license bit with a paper airplane contest.
Southwest responded to Dundas directly on Twitter after she posted the footage:
Storms in the Northeast were blamed for delays and cancellations that affected thousands of air travelers ahead of last weekend.
Southwest spokesperson Dan Landson said in a statement to USA Today that the agent in the video is known for antics with passengers.
“This video is another example of how we encouraging our employees to have fun with our customers,” Landson said. “The customer service agent in the video is known for putting a smile on our customers’ faces by playing games in the gate area while making travel fun and enjoyable for everyone.”
Dundas told CNN that despite the three-hour delay, passengers cheered and clapped for the gate agents when they finally readied for takeoff.
“Once he started playing games, I was laughing and having a great time and didn’t even mind that the flight was delayed,” Dundas said.
Southwest prides itself on a “fun” approach to air travel. Employees once asked a whole plane to sing for a passenger’s birthday (and provided her with a makeshift cake using toilet rolls and cocktail stirrers). Last year, workers reunited a baby with a stuffed dog she lost on a flight, and a flight attendant once rapped the flight information on a journey from Denver to Cincinnati.
The airline’s on-time performance lags behind top carriers. U.S. Transportation Department data for March, the latest available, ranked Southwest seventh among 10 U.S. airlines, with 80% of its flights arriving on time.