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This Southwest pilot just turned the airline media narrative on its head, and it’s gone viral

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Leave it to Southwest Airlines, a company well-known for its fantastic customer service, to “go viral” for something entirely different from its competitors lately.

Indeed, the media has been rife with examples of rude and even abusive behavior on the part of airlines towards passengers these days, so when a positive story does make its way onto the public consciousness, it’s always refreshing.

On a Saturday Southwest Airlines flight from Denver to Pittsburgh, one passenger was singled out in a way that shouldn’t result in an impending lawsuit. Before takeoff, the flight’s captain made an unusual announcement on the intercom:

“Today is a special day,” said Captain John Richie, “Ever since I started with Southwest, I’ve kept track of the passengers I’ve flown, and today I’m flying my one millionth passenger.”

Richie told the passengers his Southwest story. “Twenty two years ago I retired from the United States Air Force. I had the privileged of flying F-16s, both as a combat pilot and as a test pilot. For the past 22 years I’ve been flying for Southwest.”

The cabin cheered as the pilot carried an autographed copy of the passenger’s boarding card and a bottle of Champagne to his millionth passenger. He also personally gifted her an envelope filled with money. “I did a little snooping and found out how much you paid for your ticket,” Richie told the passenger.

In a video that’s been viewed almost 2 million times on Facebook, Southwest flight attendant Jennifer Todd recorded the exchange:

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.

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Scott Morefield


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