A Delta Air Lines pilot is being hailed after he turned a plane around and picked up a family to ensure they made it to their father’s funeral.
The pilot made the decision after he spotted distraught family members, who were gathered at the gate after they arrived late due to an earlier delay, from his seat in the cockpit at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport.
If not for the act of kindness, the Short family would have missed their connecting flight to Memphis – the last flight of the day – and likely would have missed the funeral the following morning.
Rick Short’s father Jay died of lung cancer aged 56 on December 16. His wish was to be buried with his family in Bolivar, Tennessee.
Jay’s body had been put on a plane on the morning of December 19 – a day before the funeral – and his family were scheduled to fly from home in Phoenix, Arizona, to Memphis, later that day.
‘After a long ordeal to get everything taken care of, he Jay was finally on a flight Saturday morning and the funeral was scheduled Sunday,’ Jay’s wife of 32 years, Marcia said, in a post on Facebook.
‘We booked our flight on Delta also to leave Saturday afternoon. Our three children and I sat on the tarmac at Sky Harbor in Phoenix, Arizona for an hour waiting for the okay to fly due to some damage to the cargo doors.’
The 90-minute delay on the first leg of their journey from Phoenix meant they were unable to board the connecting flight on time.
When they arrived at the gate in Minneapolis, distraught family members were told by airline staff they were too late and wouldn’t be able to get on the plane.
Marcia added: The delay gave us seven minutes to get to the gate. With only two minutes to spare we got to the gate and the attendant was not at the podium.
Read more: Daily Mail