Friday, January 14, 2011

Human Compassion Still Exists

I heard this story on the news on my way to work, and yes, I did get a bit choked up.
An Arizona family is praising a Southwest Airlines pilot who held a Tucson-bound plane in Los Angeles for 12 minutes to wait for a passenger trying to get to a hospital to say his goodbyes to his 2½ -year-old grandson, who was about to be taken off life support.
Mark, an engineer with Northrop Grumman, had been on a business trip in Los Angeles when he got word his grandson was to be removed from life support that night. He already had a flight booked back to Tuscon and booked a connecting flight to Denver.

He arrived at LAX two hours early, but had to check in his suitcase, which took an hour, and then encountered a security line that was "out the door and down the sidewalk," Nancy says.

She says he advised Southwest and TSA workers of his urgent need to make the Tuscon flight and why, but could not convince them to help.

"God bless TSA. They are really there for us," Nancy says.

Mark, on the verge of tears, ended up just grabbing his computer, belt and shoes as they came through security screening and running shoeless to the plane, knowing the minutes were ticking by.

At the gate, the pilot of the Southwest plane and ticketing agent were both waiting for him.

"Are you Mark? We held the plane for you and we're so sorry about the loss of your grandson," they said.

Nancy says she and Mark are not sure when or how Southwest got the word, but she is grateful they did. The plane was originally supposed to take off at 11:50; Mark arrived at 12:02 p.m.

"It was the pilot's call to make. We are grateful that he felt comfortable in making that call," Nancy says.

Mark was able to get to Denver to say goodbye to his grandson and be with his daughter.
Kudos to that pilot. Although this was a tragedy, because of human compassion that we see all too rarely, a family was able to be together in their time of need. Well done, sir

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