With extreme winter weather delaying or grounding flights over huge swathes of the United States and Canada, holiday air travel was far more chaotic than normal this year. Airports were overwhelmed with massive traffic and constant flight changes, with passengers and crew alike being pushed to the brink. In light of these extreme circumstances, some people went above and beyond.
TikTok user Alicia (aka @zaddyali) was stuck on a Southwest flight running late due to baggage backups. Not wanting to fall behind or for passengers to miss their connections, their captain did something extraordinary.
This is really incredible. No doubt the captain is already exhausted from the demanding holiday schedule (as are the baggage crew). However, he's aware that delayed flights can mean missed connections, and so many passengers have had trouble reaching their destinations already this week- plus, he's got his own deadlines to hit too. This captain went above and beyond, both helping their ground crew with their strenuous jobs and giving his passengers the best chance possible to make their connections in time. This dude deserves a raise- and a good long break after this week!
Some of Alicia's followers shared their experiences witnessing airline workers going above and beyond this week. "Pilot came through on my flight, joined the gate attendants in calling to scheduling for hours. Called in other people to help too. Man saved my Xmas," @choneyman recounted. "Spirit Captain called the other plane to open doors to let us in not to miss our flight to Aguadilla!" said @cariocagirl1brasilia.
Despite the integrity shown by the workers here, this is a troubling scene, as these workers- flight crew and baggage handlers alike- were spread worryingly thin. "Blame it on Southwest trying to run more flights than having the staff to do it. Mandatory hours of 16-18 hour days with no days off. Is that safe?" argued @accuracyfps. "He’s helping because Southwest went on state of operational emergency because no rampers showed up," explained @phillyidol1. This was indeed the case at Denver Airport, where an unusually large number of Southwest workers called in sick on Christmas Eve...
We wonder if there may be more to the story than just bad weather and holiday travel woes alone. We'll be following airline news closely for more updates. For this story, however, we applaud this captain and the ground crew alike for their incredible teamwork!
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