Last updated: 09:45 AM ET, Mon January 04 2016

Delta Pilot Turns Plane Around to Pick Up Grieving Family

Airlines & Airports | Delta Air Lines | Donald Wood | January 04, 2016

Delta Pilot Turns Plane Around to Pick Up Grieving Family

The holiday season may be over, but one Delta pilot showed he still has the good-natured spirit when he turned his plane around to pick up a Phoenix family who was going to miss their father’s funeral.

According to, the Short family was traveling from Phoenix to Tennessee to attend the funeral of their father, who had passed away after a battle with cancer. The family had flown from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to Minneapolis and was supposed to board a connecting flight to Tennessee, the last available flight before the funeral.

Unfortunately, a 90 minute delay in Phoenix resulted in only 10 minutes at the Minneapolis airport to catch the Memphis-bound plane, but it was too late. When the family arrived at the gate, the Delta Air Lines plane had already pulled away.

Through the gate window, the family could see the aircraft heading toward the taxiway as they screamed and cried at the news that they had missed their flight and would not be there to see their father’s funeral.

In an amazing act of kindness, the pilot actually saw the grieving family through the window and made the decision to return the plane to the gate, allowing the family to board. Thankfully, the pilot’s decision helped the family arrive in Tennessee in time to lay their father to rest.

Rick Short talked about the incident with, saying, “The lady got on the phone and said there was nothing they could do, that the tower wasn't going to let them pull back in and my sisters and mom...sitting there in tears and I'm screaming through the glass...all of a sudden, another phone call. It's very rare...someone stops and does something so kind and we need more people like that in the world.”

For more information on Delta Air Lines

For more Airlines & Airports News


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Discover Club Med All-Inclusive Vacations

Hotels & Resorts