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Family That Almost Missed Flight To Father's Funeral Praises Pilot Who Turned Around

A pilot for Delta Airlines is being praised after turning a plane in Arizona around to retrieve a family that missed the flight.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the Short family were traveling to Tennessee to attend their father's funeral. After their first flight directly to Tennessee was delayed by 90 minutes, the Shorts were put on a connecting flight to Minneapolis, which was slated to leave in 10 minutes.

By the time the Shorts arrived at the gate, the plane had already left and was starting to make its way to the runway.

It was the last flight of the day to Tennessee, and the funeral was the next morning.

Rick Short asked an airline worker if there was anything she could do to get the flight back.

“[She said] the tower wasn't going to let them pull back in and my sisters and mom were sitting there in tears and I'm sitting there screaming through the glass. All of a sudden [there was] another phone call.”

The pilot apparently saw the tears on the faces of the family from the window of the plane, and reportedly told KSAZ-TV he did not need words to know he should turn the plane around.

"I was just crying ... I couldn't believe we were going to miss that flight and we are very, very thankful for those pilots," said Short's sister, Nicole Wibel.

While Delta confirmed it was the pilot's decision alone to go back to retrieve the family, the pilot has been praised for the act of compassion.

"It's very rare ... someone stops and does something so kind and we need more people like that in the world," Short said.

The Shorts made it to Tennessee in time to attend their father's funeral.

Sources: Atlanta Journa-Constitution, KSAZ-TV / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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