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Southwest Airlines Pilot Pulls Generous Surprise to His Millionth Passenger

Southwest Airlines should be thanking the High Heavens for having a pilot like Captain John Richie who made the airline go viral, not because of disastrous dealings with passengers but for pulling an awesome surprise for one of his passengers – champagne and cash (from his own pocket!) equivalent to the amount of her plane ticket.

Southwest Airlines

Jennifer Todd/Facebook

In a video posted by Southwest flight attendant, Jennifer Todd, the Captain Richie is seen light-heartedly talking to his passengers via the plane’s intercom. He told them that he’s been working for Southwest Airlines for the past 22 years after he retired from the United States Airforce.

The pilot added that during the entire time he’s worked with the airline, he has kept track of all the passengers he has flown and aboard that same flight was his “one millionth passenger”.

“About twenty-two years ago I retired from the United States Air Force. I had the privilege of flying F-16s, both as a combat pilot and as a test pilot. And for the past 22 years, I have been flying the Southwest and today is a special day” quipped Captain Richie.

Southwest Airlines

“Ever since I started with Southwest, I’ve kept track of the passengers I’ve flown and today I’m flying my one millionth passenger,” he added.

Everyone cheered and applauded the announcement but the pilot is just getting started: “In honor of that, I have a bottle of champagne. I have an autographed copy of your boarding card, from me. And in addition to that, I did a little bit of snooping and I found out how much you paid for your ticket. So, in an envelope, I have in cash the amount of money you paid for your ticket.”

After the announcement, Captain Richie personally handed the champagne, boarding pass, and cash to the lucky passenger named Marian. The lady smiled broadly and thanked the pilot’s sweet gesture.

Southwest Airlines

Jennifer Todd

The flight attendant who documented the event, pretty much summed up what every Southwest employee is feeling that day in her FB post – “Captain John Charles Ritchie, you, sir, are the epitome of everything Southwest stands for.”

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