If you follow Jefferson Lines on Twitter, you probably saw the social media triumph we experienced earlier this year, all revolving around KFAN Power Trip’s DJ and local celebrity, Chris Hawkey. It’s crazy to say, but the whole city was talking about it – no joke! Even case studies were written about Jefferson’s 2019 splash within the city of Minneapolis, social media, and bus industry.
For those of you who may not have any idea what we’re talking about, here’s a brief recap:
Chris Hawkey and his morning show, KFAN Power Trip, participate in frequent challenges revolving around sports brackets. Losers often face crazy and sometimes insane challenges, which require large cash buyouts if they choose not to proceed with their “punishment.” During their 2018 Fantasy Football Challenge, Chris landed last, losing to his fellow co-hosts. His challenge: a bus ride from Las Vegas to Minneapolis. That’s 1775 miles, 22 stops, and 36+ hours on a bus! Rewind a few months, and it just so happened some of our very own heard about Chris’ future bus adventure and knew that on this crazy trip, Chris would eventually be met by Jefferson Lines.
Fast forward a few weeks, conversations started developing about Chris’ upcoming trip. The biggest question – “How are we going to respond to ensure the last part of Chris’ trip is the best part of his trip?” The answer: Commission one of our nicest and newest Jefferson MCI charter buses to pick up Chris in Omaha, provide him a hot meal, then bring him home to Minneapolis – express service.
Simple, right? Ha – Not quite…
During the two weeks that followed, Jefferson began working through items to gift Chris that could make his trip home even more relaxing and enjoyable: a Kindle Fire to provide entertainment through our Free Wi-Fi, a Jefferson blanket and duffel, various snacks and beverages, even toiletries for freshening up after such a long trip.
“But that’s not that hard.” You’re right! The hard part was tracking down Chris Hawkey’s ticket purchased through another inter-line provider – of which he had two! Different dates, different times, different routes. We spun a wheel, pointed to the one that made the most sense, then crossed our fingers that we were right.
Long story short – after planning out our exact approach, Jefferson operations was pulled into the equation. They had three days to find our driver (shout out to Stephen!), find our bus, translate everything they just learned (basically in a 30-minute conversation), and continue with business as normal.
So there we were, Saturday morning of Chris’ departure from Las Vegas, prepping the bus, staging our swag on-board, and putting rubber to the road as Stephen made his way down to Omaha, NE – all of us hoping this insane idea would actually work out! We tracked Chris’ progress through his Twitter feed and maintained constant communication throughout his journey.
Come Sunday, everything was looking good. Stephen, our driver, was in place, our partners had been informed, and Chris was almost to Omaha… then we saw it, live on his Twitter feed – “I do plan on finishing it out even though I’ve been told by both my bosses that they don’t want me to.”
… … …
Talk about heart stop, huge eyes, and instant sweaty palms. Our whole plan would only work if the bus that went down to pick up Chris Hawkey came back with Chris Hawkey! After tracking his progress, THANKFULLY, Chris continued on without flight plans.
Leading up to his arrival in Omaha, Jefferson ordered a pizza to be delivered for Chris, dotted our I’s and crossed our T’s, then waited (which seemed like light-years!). Finally, at 7:59 we saw Chris’ live Tweet from Omaha, totally surprised and baffled by Jefferson’s rescue mission to bring him home. In fact, he brought a friend – Jarrette, writer for the Compton Harold out of California – and they both couldn’t believe this huge act of kindness by Jefferson Lines.
What started out as a genuine approach to providing Chris the #1 Bus Experience after his long journey home, ended up being a local celebration and story for the books.
You can check out Chris’ amazed response through his online video HERE
Follow Chris’ journey HERE