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Pilot Turns Plane Around To Help Family Get To Father’s Funeral

Dorathy Gass

We tend to hear horror stories when it comes to flights, pilots, and in-flight service; but a recent headline may put all those others to shame. In the true spirit of the holidays, a Delta Airlines pilot turned a plane around that was en route, to help ensure a family got to their father’s funeral on time.

Experiencing a 90-minute delay from Phoenix, the Short family were rushing to grab a second flight to Tennessee, from Minneapolis. The family was desperately to make it back to their dad’s hometown in time for his funeral. Sadly, Ray Short, patriarch of the family, who was 56 years of age, had passed away from lung cancer in December.
When the group had reached the gate, staff at the airport informed the family they were too late; the plane had already taken off, and was not allowed to turn around.

Rick Short stated to Fox 10, that the airport employee told them there was nothing they could do, and that the control tower was not allowing the plane to pull back in. At that point, his sisters and mother were in tears, screaming through the glass.

MSN reported the pilot of the flight claimed he saw the distraught family and Rick waving, from the plane. Seeing the pain and sorrow of the family, the pilot called back to the gate, and made a judgement call: he decided to turn the plane around. The pilot knew that if he didn’t, the family would surely miss the funeral, as that flight was the final Delta Air Lines service flight of the day, heading to Tennessee.

Nicole Wibel told Fox 10, that she just crying at the time, and couldn’t believe they were going to potentially miss the funeral. She is very thankful the pilots decided to return.