Some people go to work just to work. Others love their job and do their best to spread good times to everyone around them. The pilot on my AUS-DFW flight today is in the second category. In the category? Heck, he OWNS that category!

We’ve all heard the boring announcements from the flight deck on every flight, as the Captain welcomes us on board, tells us the flying time to our destination, reminds us not to smoke, etc. Sometimes it sounds like he can hardly wait to finish the speech, but not my pilot today.

As we sat at the AUS terminal, we heard the following. “Good morning everyone, this is your captain speaking.” Five seconds of silence and then, “Oh my gosh, that sounds so cool that I have to say it again! Good morning everyone, this is your captain speaking.”

“Welcome aboard flight 1959, but that sounds so boring that we’ll just call this flight The Scooter. Welcome aboard The Scooter! I am Captain Don.”

“As you look out the right side of the aircraft, you will see a group of burly men jumping up and down on your luggage. Don’t be concerned, this is normal procedure. At American Airlines we believe in the pizza box philosophy of luggage; the flatter we can make it, the easier it will be for us to load.”

Plainly, this was not your average AA pilot.

As we backed away from the terminal, he continued. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have completed the most harrowing part of our flight, backing away from the gate in Austin. We’re now ready for our short 42 minute flight to DFW aboard The Scooter.”

When we got to the end of the runway Captain Don said, “Ladies and gentlemen, The Scooter is now number one for departure. Please sit back with your seatbelts securely fastened as I attempt to get 113,000 pounds of aluminum, nuts and bolts into the air!”

This was great stuff. Sadly, Captain Don was quiet during the flight. This may be because it is such a short flight; not long after leaving Austin it’s time to get in line to land at DFW. It wasn’t long before we arrived at DFW and had one of the smoothest touchdowns I have had in a long time. This guy knows how to fly!

As we taxied to the terminal, Captain Don said, “Ladies and gentlemen, The Scooter has landed! Welcome to Dallas/Fort Worth airport. We hope you had an enjoyable flight and thank you for flying American. Please tell all of your family, everyone you know, your friends and neighbors, and if you run out of them go to the shopping mall and grab strangers and tell them that you flew The Scooter!” Everyone enjoyed that, we all applauded.

As we got off the plane Captain Don did something I rarely see: he stood in the cockpit door and, with a big smile on his face, thanked every single passenger for flying The Scooter. This was not the standard automaton-like “thank you, thank you” that we usually get; it was obvious that Captain Don was speaking from his heart and meant every word of it.

I wish there were more pilots like Captain Don, he truly made my flight, short as it was, enjoyable. Thank you sir!