A sympathetic pilot told a grieving passenger: “They can’t go anywhere without me and I wasn’t going anywhere without you” as he held back a flight so the man could say goodbye to his dying grandson.
The Southwest Airlines pilot had been made aware of the gentleman’s circumstances and refused to leave without him despite being under pressure to stick to the airlines tight schedule.
The man was in Los Angeles on business when his three year old grandson was murdered by his daughter’s live-in boyfriend in Denver, and the hospital were due to turn off the young child’s life support machine. The unnamed man was desperate to get there in time to say goodbye, however despite arriving at Los Angeles International Airport with two hours to spare, lengthy check-in queues meant it turned into a race against time for him.
Southwest Airlines staff and airport security personnel made no effort to help the desperate passenger, however having heard of his plight, the pilot refused to leave without him. The man arrived at the departure gate 12 minutes late where he was greeted by the pilot and a ticketing agent who asked “Are you Mark? We held the plane for you and we’re so sorry about the loss of your grandson.” The pilot then told the man to relax and promised to get him to Denver in time.
A Southwest Airlines spokesperson said that the company were proud of the pilot’s behaviour and it was confirmed that the man reached his daughter’s in time to say goodbye.