If you’ve never heard of a pilot turning around to pick up the passengers who were late catching their flight, that’s because it rarely ever happens.
However, the stars were aligned for the Short family, who just so happened to be getting on a plane that was being flown by a pilot with the biggest heart.
According to Fox 10, the family was trying to make it home to Tennessee to attend their father’s funeral.
Their flight from Phoenix, Arizona, to Minneapolis was delayed by 90 minutes, meaning they would only have 10 minutes once they landed to connect with the flight that would take them to Tennessee.
Once they got to the terminal in Minneapolis, the family watched as their plane slowly made its way towards the runway. The airline worker told them there was nothing they could do.
“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,” Rick Short explains.
Rick, standing in the window, caught the pilot's attention — he was screaming, crying and waving his hands. But the pilot tells Fox 10 that he didn’t need an explanation, “he saw the tears, the sadness, the desperation on their faces."
When he learned why, he immediately made the decision to turn the plane around.
“It’s very rare,” Rick says. “[That] someone stops and does something so kind, and we need more people like that in the world.”
The family ultimately made it to Memphis in time to lay their father to rest, a regret that would have stayed with them forever if the pilot hadn’t turned around.