Phillies welcome phans at the airport

PHILADELPHIA - July 27, 2011

The Phillies provided some assistance to the team's official airline by volunteering as Southwest Airline employees for the day.

And as a result, there was more excitement at gate E-15 than anyone ever imagined.

The Flying Hawaiian showed off his airline skills at Southwest Airlines gate E-15 Wednesday and so did outfielder, John Mayberry.

"This is definitely a new experience for me," said John Mayberry. "To see things from this vantage point, but we're having fun our here just mingling with people traveling today."

It was a feel good kind of day, and having more fun than anyone out on the tarmac, was the Phillie Phanatic who decided he would be a member of the groundcrew for a day.

"I've never seen a guy who is so at home, especially being a flightless bird, who looks like he might fly the airplane," said Scott Palmer, Phillies Director of Public Affairs.

"We just show him love, because it's philadelphia and Southwest Airlines. It's doesn't get any better than this," said ramp agent, Foday Sheriff, who expressed concern that the Phanatic might take his job.

"He was perfect," said Sheriff. "I took a couple of notes from him."

As the Phanatic made his way upstairs, the kids were all ready for high fives and lots of hugs.

Allison York and her 3-month-old son Luke, doning a tiny team t-shirt, were among the first to get a photo with the Phanatic, and then with Victorino.

"His uncles and grandfather are all Phillies' fans, so they are going to make sure he roots for the right team," said Allison. "He's got more Phillies gear than any team."

Everyone agreed, the Phanatic, the players and the ball girls did a great job, but were anxious for them to get back in uniform and ready to meet the Giants Wednesday night.

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