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United Airlines flight delayed so man could get to Texas to see dying mother

By Daniel S Levine,

United Airlines proved that it cares for at its customers, particularly one who needed to make it to Lubbock, Texas to see his dying mother. The man had to fly from San Francisco, where he lives, to Houston to get a direct flight. The flight from San Francisco was delayed, but the airlines managed to delay the plane leaving Houston to give him time to get there.

Kerry Drake had just 40 minutes to get from the gate where his flight to Houston landed to where the Lubbock flight would leave. The moment he heard his first flight would be delayed, he began sobbing. According to News.com.au, just hours before, he was told that his mother was dying and if he didn’t get to Lubbock, he might not get a chance to see her before she died.

Drake told CNN that when the flight attendants saw him, they gave him napkins to wipe away the tears. They promised they would do what they could. They gave his connecting information to the captain. He ran to the gate in Houston to get to his Lubbock plane. “I was still like maybe 20 yards away when I heard the gate agent say, 'Mr. Drake, we've been expecting you,’” Drake told CNN.

“I was overcome with emotion,” he said, when he finally got on the plane to Lubbock. The crew in Houston made sure that he wouldn’t have to wait for his luggage and he made it to the hospital in time.

“At one point she opened her eyes, and I think she recognized me,” Drake said about seeing his mother. “Around 4 a.m. she had a real moment of coherence, a last rally, although we didn't know it at the time. It was the last time.”

“Our employees really worked together that day to help this customer,” United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said in a statement. The airline first revealed the story in a newsletter to employees.

 
 

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