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Southwest Pilot Holds Plane For Murdered Child's Family

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by Faerluna, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. Faerluna

    Faerluna I'm Complicated

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    http://consumerist.com/2011/01/southwest-pilot-holds-plane-for-murder-victims-family.html

    Elliott.org has the incredible story of a grandfather who was trying to race through the airport to get to the hospital to say goodbye to his 3-year old grandson who being taken off life support after being body-slammed by his daughter's live-in boyfriend. Despite getting to the airport early, long lines were going to make him late for the plane and all the TSA drones couldn't give a damn. Finally through security, he ran through the airport in his socks, clutching his shoes, before arriving, gasping at the Southwest gate—12 minutes late.

    Would he lose the seats his wife had arranged for him over the phone with the ticketing agent, whom she had told about the tragic reason for his trip?
    According to the letter written to Elliott by the man's wife, the gate agent told the grandfather,

    Reached for comment, a Southwest airlines rep told Elliot that they were "proud" of what the pilot had done. Nice to see that in this age of razor thin margins and pretzel bag fees there's still some human decency left.

    The pilot responded with, "They can't go anywhere without me and I wasn't going anywhere without you. Now relax. We'll get you there. And again, I'm so sorry."
  2. Seven

    Seven Messenger to the football Gods

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    Great story..........I fly Southwest whenever possible. They are by far the easiest on the wallet. Chaotic when boarding begins but if you're patient........'a' seat will be there for you.

    Airlines charge for everything these days. It's beyond stupid and down right insulting. I had a flight attendent ask if I could close an over head bin for her on a United Airlines flight. I said "Yeah, for nine bucks." She Actually laughed.
  3. baj1dallas

    baj1dallas New Member

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    sucks for all the people on that plane who missed their connections and had to pay $200 for a hotel.
  4. Warick

    Warick Member

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    I read about this earlier. Kudos to the pilot for holding the plane for the man so he could say goodbye to his grandson, and Kudos to Southwest Airlines for giving the pilot the discretion to hold the flight, and not reprimand, or fire him for doing so. I don't think many, if any other airline would do this.

    baj1dallas, I'll bet the pilot made up for lost time once in the air, and the flight arrived on time.

    I also hope the scum responsible for the little boys death spends the rest of his life in complete misery!
  5. Dallas

    Dallas Old bulletproof tiger

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    Agreed.

    Let me tell you how my holiday season started on the 23rd of Dec. I got home from work and my mom called. It seemed my uncle (her brother) wasn't going to make the next 24 hrs, so she and my father had to immediately leave Anchorage to get to Arkansas in time to see him before he passed away. She was extremely upset and asked me to handle making the ticket arrangements. I explained it would be pricey if I couldn't get a bereavement discount from Delta.

    I jumped on the phone and got a really nice lady on the line and explained the situation and knew that Delta still did these discounts w/ some questions asked to the family for verification purposes. I went through the rigamaroo of verifying my uncles hospital and planned funeral home and his doctor. She then started checking. This took about 30 minutes. After holding for what seemed like forever she came back on the line to inform me that there were no seats leaving Anchorage for the next 4 days, because everything was full and had been sold. She then explained the reasoning was that all of the military bases in Alaska were on leave and soldiers were on leave from Afganistan and flying home to fly out w/ families.

    This really threw me for a loop because now I had to go call my mom and explain that she couldnt go and see her brother before he died because there were no seats.

    I hung up and called my mom and started to explain what had happened. She then said not to worry about it because she just got off the phone w/ Delta and got the last 2 tickets they had available. I thought this odd because the lady just told me there hadn't been seats available for the past 2 days. Hrmm..Then my mom dropped the bomb. She had to purchase 1st class seats to MN and then regular coach from MN to Arkansas. I was like wow..how much did that cost you and dad?

    $6000.00

    I hit the floor. I couldn't believe Delta would charge anyone in this situation that crazy price even after verifying the impending death of my uncle. I hung up the phone and contacted Delta explaining what my mom was stuck with. After hours of going round and round I was pretty much told to go pound sand.

    I was floored and furious.

    Long story short my folks were able to leave and spent the next week in Arkansas clearing up the memorial and funeral of my uncle and his estate and returned to Alaska. My father was still griping about the airline and complaining about the money, as anyone would. So I started making MORE calls to Delta. (I now had the death certificate as well). After about 2 days of phone calls and waiting, I finally got a person who totally understood mine and my families frustration and the situation. She was shocked nobody had tried to help me get that discount because they do it all the time.

    After all was said and done my folks are getting $3000.00 returned and just charged the 14 day advance ticket price. Im glad she was so helpful but this situation just reinforced my ongoing issue w/ airlines and how they treat customers w/ charging these outrageous prices and fees for everything.

    It really makes a person not want to travel at all if this is all your going to be given is hidden fees and bag fees and water fees and taxes. Why do folks stand by for this?

    I love Southwest btw. I fly them often when Im back in Texas. They are by far the best (tho chaotic when boarding) airlines out there doing their job but not taking advantage of the customer.
  6. Faerluna

    Faerluna I'm Complicated

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    Not to mention, that when flights are scheduled, they add time on to the flight to allow for minor delays. If there is a minor delay, like on the runway for take off or the destination terminal, the flight will still arrive on time. Otherwise, your flight may arrive a few minutes early, which nobody is ever unhappy about.
  7. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Nice job by the pilot.

    It's nice to hear a good story instead of a bad one. Does not happen all that often any more.
  8. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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  9. tupperware

    tupperware A Plastic Container

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    It's a good story until you realize what on earth happened, senseless.

    I mean it's one thing if he was trying to make a flight to see someone who was very old and passing. But a 3 year old who is being taken off life support because someone body slammed them? Wow..
  10. Dallas

    Dallas Old bulletproof tiger

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    Agreed. That is messed up. It's really to bad we cannot expedite trials and death penalties a lot faster than 25 years for scumbags like this idiot who killed this poor child.

    :cool:
  11. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    Which would be nobody.
  12. Duane

    Duane Active Member

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    Good for the pilot. Anyone who flys even a small amount knows he can make the time difference up in the air easily if the flight is longer than 1 1/2 hours.
  13. Seven

    Seven Messenger to the football Gods

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    They can make up 20 minutes standing on their head. jeez..........
  14. 63echo

    63echo Member

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    Even if it did happen, Southwest is pretty good about giving meal and hotel vouchers for anything not weather related. I doubt many would have complained anyway, but of course after reading your post, I'm thinking I might have to reevaluate my opinion about the general temperament of human beings.
  15. Sam I Am

    Sam I Am Unfriendly and Aloof!

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    Actually, they usually add around 20 minutes to a flights arrival time anyhow. Thats why they tell you the "flight time" once you are in the air. It is different than the time listed as your arrival time.
  16. Joshmvii

    Joshmvii Cowboys baby!

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    If anybody had a connection where 12 minutes was going to make a difference they deserve to miss that connection. Planes routinely take off 10 to 15 minutes after the scheduled time anyway. It was just for a good reason this time.
  17. hipfake08

    hipfake08 Well-Known Member

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    They can make up time in the air to cover the 12 minutes. :rolleyes:
  18. Rynie

    Rynie Benched

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    Man, this is horrible! I'm glad that you were able to get half the money back, buy I'd put Delta on the boycott after that! Not cool at all.
  19. Bigdog

    Bigdog Well-Known Member

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    American airlines actually did this for my wife when her grandmother was not going to make it through the night. It was a cross country trip and I explained to the ticket person what was going on. She told me not to worry and how fast can we get to the airport. I told her we could be there in an hour. They rushed her through TSA and the stewardess met her at the gate. Some nice man let her have his seat in the front row -1st class and told her that you will be the first one of the plane. The man told her that he has been there also and his thoughts and prayers are with her. My wife was beside herself because she did not think she would be able to see her dying grandmother who her last wish was to see her. My wife told me everyone on the plane was extremely nice to her. She did make it in time as her grandmother passed away about an hour after she arrived at the hospital.
  20. notherbob

    notherbob Active Member

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    I used to want to travel but not anymore, not only because of all the hassle at the airports just so you can pay the high ticket prices but also because of the toxic air in airliners. To me it's just not worth it.

    If I have to go somewhere I prefer to drive. If I can not drive to and from my destination then it would take some kind of dire circumstance to motivate me to go.

    One of the benefits of growing older is that you learn how to control your wants so you can be quite content with what you have rather than allowing yourself be unhappy over what you don't have.

    Life is good.

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