A few weeks ago I was invited out to my local airport which in Nashville International (KBNA) by a friend who works in the Ground Maintenence Department for Southwest Airlines. He had me come out and see where he works as well as taking me to see the other airport departments specifically for Southwest and to meet the employees who work in those other departments. Everyone I met was completely open and interested in showing me how their day to day goes. I was even able to get in an airport vehicle and get a tour of the whole airport.
We started with meeting a SWA OPS Agent and helping him close out a flight for an on-time departure to Jacksonville, Fl (KJAX). Once everyone was onboard, we closed the doors up to the 737-800 and pulled away the gate/jetway/jetbridge and watched it pushback. Then we walked back up to the gate area and finished up paperwork and other things.
Afterward, we went down to the Operations Center where the tell inbound SWA planes what gate to taxi into. They even had me talk to an inbound aircraft and tell him where to park.
Later that afternoon, I was invited to the ramp to see some of the underwing operations. I walked all the way around the plane looking at each and every thing. And of course, got a picture sitting in the engine because, well, why not! They tried to get me in the undercarriage of the plane to help load some suitcases up, but, unfortunately, everything was already loaded up and ready to go. To make up for it, they got me on the TUG and I was able to help push the Boeing 737-700 back for an on-time departure to Pittsburg, PA (KPIT).
Overall, It was an amazing day and everone I met said that I was welcome anytime to the Nashville Airport!