Our flight from SFO to DCA was slated to depart at 1:44 PM. We were fully seated at 1:47 PM yet still at the gate. Disgruntled sighs resounded. People checked their watches. Frustration filled the air.

The Captain piped up.

“Folks, this is Captain Travis speaking. One of our crew members had a family emergency, so we decided to get her on a Newark-bound non-stop. We’re waiting for another crew member to arrive before we can get up in the air. Should be about 10-15 minutes. We apologize for the delay.”

I felt sad for the crew member, and happy that United seemed to be doing the right thing by getting her home ASAP. I felt grateful to Captain Travis for being a transparent human. 

The sighs stopped. Naps begun in earnest. Watches went unchecked. 

We sat another 35 minutes, completely peaceful, before Captain Travis pushed back.

License: All rights reserved