Sweet Baby James

Publisher’s Note

What a start to the new year!

Right after Christmas, we were ready to fly to San Diego, California, to be there for the birth of our second grandbaby, however Southwest had different plans.

As we arrived at the airport, our flight was canceled in the mayhem of the airline’s end of the year meltdown. Like so many others, we started to scramble for alternatives. Lucky for us, we found a flight the next day to Los Angeles via Delta. The only problem it was $1,300 a ticket and a rental car ride away, but we had a baby coming and needed to get there. My daughter’s due date was December 30.

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So, 24 hours later, we arrive in California. While we were settling in, we hear that Southwest is trying to make good on all the thousands of canceled flights and stranded passengers. After some investigation into the process, I uploaded my Delta and Hertz documents, and 24 hours later I get an email from Southwest informing me they will reimburse our travel expenses and provide miles and vouchers for future travel.

I only tell you this story — before I let you know about our new grandbaby — to make a point of customer service and owning up to your mistakes. Did Southwest cause thousands of headaches? Yes, they did. Were some more severe than Todd just trying to get to California? Yes, they were, but as a company you need to quickly adapt and do damage control to fix your errors, and that is what Southwest did. The company admitted its mistake, took responsibility, and overcompensated passengers for the error.

I think we can all learn a lesson from what everyone hopes never happens again for any airline or business.

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Now, to finish the story, we were blessed four days late, on January 3, 2023, with little James Todd Schmidt — a healthy baby boy weighing 7 pounds and 19.25 inches long. Little sweet baby James, named after his two grandfathers, is our second grandchild (remember Penelope). We hope there are many more to follow. I am so proud of Malayne and Jake as new parents and am excited to get to see their life unfold with their new son.

With little James living so far away, Andrea and I now have decided that vacation time is James time, and with our office a remote workplace, I can even campout in San Diego a few extra days and work while enjoying great times with James and his parents.

Have a great Carnival everyone. We will not be parading this year, heading to see James.

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Todd Signature

Todd Matherne
CEO and Publisher
Renaissance Publishing


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