This Retired Air Force Pilot Turned Southwest Airlines Captain Had The Best Surprise For His 1 Millionth Passenger

Photo via Southwest Airlines

A retired Air Force pilot who for the last 22 years has flown commercial airlines had a nice surprise for his 1 millionth passenger last week.

Prior to takeoff on a Southwest Airlines flight from Denver to Pittsburgh, Captain John Richie took to the intercom for “one special announcement before we go.”

“About 22 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,” Richie told his passengers. “For the past 22 years, I’ve been flying for Southwest … Ever since I started for Southwest, I’ve kept track of how many passengers I’ve flown, and today I’m flying my 1 millionth passenger.”

The passengers broke out in congratulatory applause, and Richie walked down the aisle to present that 1 millionth passenger, a young woman in a window seat, with the bottle of champagne and an envelope reimbursing her for her ticket with his own money.

A flight attendant filmed him as he spoke, and that video has since gone viral. Watch the clip below:

I was scheduled to fly DEN to PIT this Sat, my Capt arrives and tells me in the past 21 years he's worked here at SWA,...

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