The Power of Paying it Forward and LinkedIn…

As I logged in today I realized how long ago – one full month – I posted to this blog. Apologies but I’ve been traveling extensively – Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, San Francisco – and did not have a chance to reach out.

The San Francisco trip – where I spoke at the Bulldog Media Summit on the power of social networking and LinkedIn – is where the Pay it Forward stories occurred significantly.

You would have to be a monk not to know about the American Airlines issues that happened beginning last week. Well, my wife Stephanie and I got caught in the middle.

As we were preparing last Wednesday to leave to go home the following morning, I received an American Airlines “alert.” Five words – Flight cancelled – call this number!

Nice way to end your trip, huh. To top it off, we were scheduled to sign refi papers for our house on that Friday – and if we missed the flight that was in jeopardy.

Now for the power of LinkedIn and Pay it Forward. I reached out to a friend from Southwest Airlines (who will remain nameless, but she knows who she is) and explained our situation. No flight, not about to pay an additional $750 dollars for one way tickets home, and American was not being helpful.

Without hesitation, my Southwest angel came forward, booked us on a flight the following morning and got us home within 15 minutes of the original arrival time into Raleigh! WOW! Plus, she was apologetic for putting us through a 90 minute layover in Chicago.

Southwest has always been my favorite airline – courteous staff, easy to board flights, and no hassle reservations. Now, it’s my ONLY airline whenever possible.

Plus, I will pay this favor forward – and backward. Praise for Southwest and this particular staff member will be heard wherever there is an ear to hear it.

What a cool gesture from a LinkedIn connection that could have easily said “sorry but I can’t help you,” but in turn chose to step up and make a difference.

We closed on the refi, by the way, thanks in no small part to our Southwest angel.

As if that wasn’t enough, I arrived at the airport 20 minutes south of downtown San Francisco only to discover I had left a credit card at the restaurant we had lunch at the day before. Again, using LinkedIn, I contacted a connection who worked near the restaurant downtown and asked him if he’d be willing to pick it up and Fed Ex it to my office.

Not only did Brendan Hickey do that, but he refused to be reimbursed for the expense saying I should pay it forward to someone else.

The power of Paying it Forward and the power of LinkedIn reigned supreme this week.

Thank you again to Brendan Hickey from Success Factors and our Southwest angel. You are both the epitome of what paying it forward is all about!

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One Response to “The Power of Paying it Forward and LinkedIn…”

  1. netknow says:

    Hi Chuck,

    I wandered on to your blog a few days ago (from LinkedIn…or twitter…)and enjoyed the pay it forward stories. I have a few stories of my own including getting a chicken salad sandwich on the house due, in a convoluted way, to a twitter post. But…I read this one in a local paper and while I know your official LinkedIn question is over I wanted to pass it along -

    Retired carpenter offers hot soup, warm smile to homeless on Seattle’s Capitol Hill

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