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:


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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,…

Posted by Jennifer Todd on Wednesday, May 3, 2017