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Fri, Jan 14, 2011

Southwest Pilot Really Shows The Luv

Held His Plane For The Father Of A Murdered Child

Occasionally you hear a story that reminds you that large corporations are made up of people, and that given the chance, people can go out of their way to do the right thing.

But have a tissue handy.

A travel blog that goes simply by elliot relates the story of one of the blog's readers who suffered a family tragedy. A three-year-old child was murdered by the reader's step-daughter's live-in boyfriend.

The reader quickly made arrangement for her husband, who was traveling on business on Southwest, to change his plans and travel to Denver. Changing the tickets was not the problem, as the husband traveled frequently on the airline for his job with Northrop Grumman and had free tickets available. But even arriving at LAX two hours before departure time, exceptionally long lines at both the counter and security prevented from getting to the gate on time. His wife recounts that both the Southwest employees he encountered early on at LAX and TSA were deaf to his plight.

But after running through the concourse in his stocking feet, dragging his belt and laptop, he was amazed to find the airplane still at the gate, 12 minutes after its scheduled departure time. The pilot and the gate agent greeted him by name, and said how sorry they were for the loss of his grandson. "The can't go anywhere without me," the pilot reportedly said, "and I wasn't going anywhere without you."

Twelve minutes doesn't sound like a lot, but still, many airlines might have punished the pilot for delaying the flight. Southwest reportedly praised the pilot for his independent action.

The family has asked that donations to be made to the Aurora, CO, location of the Ronald McDonald House, which has arranged for her husband and step-daughter to stay in a local hotel at no charge. Donations should be made in the name of Caden Rodgers.

FMI: www.southwest.com, www.ronaldhouse.org/aurora.html

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