We flew last week. We took all the precautions we could, while also being on an enclosed tube surrounded by strangers for 2 hours, and after we got home I struggled with whether or not to share publicly that we had gone anywhere. The shame and guilt of “not doing our part” is real. But mental health is real too, and we needed to see some relatives in person, while avoiding the holiday rushes of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
So we made a go of it, and I have to say I was pretty pleased with the way it worked out. We were able to get a direct flight from RIC to our destination, and chose less-traveled days. We flew JetBlue, and aside from moving one of our flights to a different day (!), the experience was better than many that I’ve seen from other airlines.
I’ll give a gold star review of JetBlue and their helpful, patient, encouraging, and upbeat staff all day any day because my fears were assuaged during our experience. They didn’t kick us off our flight, or even chide us while our 2 year old struggled to keep his mask on. However, they did thankfully ask adults to replace their masks in a couple of different situations. They didn’t cram everyone together into 4 rows, even though the plane was nowhere near full. They loaded the plane back to front, and then unloaded vice versa. It was clear we all cared about keeping ourselves and each other safe. Also, can I just mention the legroom in coach?? Way better than some other airlines I’ve flown.
JetBlue isn’t a small business, by any stretch. But they benefit from a good review and friendly referral just like my small biz does.
Think about your last interaction with a business, particularly a small business. Think about your hesitations in utilizing that business. You might have been nervous about your investment, about the quality of what you were getting, that your kids were unpredictable and uncontrollable if the interaction was in person. Now think about your experience with that business and how those fears were put to rest. How did the business wow you? How did they make you comfortable, and make you feel like you and your business were wanted?
Have you told a friend about that business? If you want them to stick around for 2021 and beyond, how have you spread the word about them? Have you written a review?
Sometimes it feels like keeping a great secret when you find a great business/band/product that you love. You get to be on the “inside,” part of a club that “knows.” And that’s a great feeling! But small businesses in particular survive by word of mouth. When you write a review, tell a friend, or spill about it on social media, you help connect your friends to something you love, and help ensure that something you love sticks around.
On behalf of the other RVA businesses you love, thank you for your support and for spreading the word! Our families appreciate it.