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Meet British Airways' Secret Weapon: Captain Dominic Howard-Jones

November 5, 2012 at 11:04 AM | by | ()

Dominic Howard-Jones. The embodiment of BA’s "To Fly, To Serve" slogan

Zany cabin crew might be par for the course these days (if you fly Southwest or Jetblue at least), but it’s not often you get a pilot who gets the whole plane laughing, especially if you’re flying fusty British Airways, right?

A huge exception would be the man, Captain Dominic Howard-Jones, who flew us from Pisa this last week. Or, as he would say, “drove the beast” down to Pisa. From boarding to disembarkation, he kept us entertained (though never irritated), doing the usual piloty announcements with his own personal twist, as if he was actually happy to be leading this flight, rather than going through the motions.

For example, the cabin crew were “gallant staff,” the plane became “the beast,” the co-pilot was “driving us” and, at Pisa, we may as well sit down again because the jetbridge was making “excruciatingly slow progress” towards us.

For a plane full of (mostly) Brits, the passenger reaction was astonishing—people chuckling, grinning at each other, not minding that we took off late and landed a little later. Our neighbor was a nervous flyer, but told us she felt totally safe during a bit of turbulence because “someone like that knows what he’s doing.” His confidence filtered down to every person on the flight. You felt like you could fly through anything with this guy.

As we disembarked and members of his newly formed fanclub stopped to say goodbye, we cornered him for a picture, and here he is. Dominic Howard-Jones has been flying with BA for 12 years, works out of Gatwick, and, according to our subsequent stalking, already has quite a following. Crew like DHS are something you absolutely least expect from an airline these days; he may as well be BA's secret weapon for imparting that little extra bit of customer service that sees a planeload disembarking with smiles on their faces.

DHS: you made our flight; and judging by the reactions as people said goodbye, we weren’t the only ones. You must have been the highlight for about two thirds of the plane. We salute you.

[Photo: Jaunted]

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