The Story behind the Good Deed: United Employees Reunite Man with Dying Mother

As reported earlier this week, several United Airlines employees engaged in a kindly conspiracy to help a San Francisco man get to his mother’s bedside in Lubbock, Texas, before she died – and it worked – he made it, but just barely.

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The Good Deed

Kerry Drake flew from SFO to Houston, knowing he had barely enough time to catch the last flight out of Houston for Lubbock, but he knew he had to try since his mother was very ill. As luck would have it, his flight out of San Francisco was delayed – but thanks to crew members, gates agents and baggage handlers working together, the flight to Lubbock was held for Drake and he got to see his mother. She died the next day.

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What You Didn’t Know

FareCompare asked United about this good deed and spokesperson Rahsaan Johnson confirmed the story, calling it “very touching.” He then added, “One thing you don’t know: the co-workers involved didn’t bring it to the company’s attention; Mr. Drake did. This is one of many instances every single day where United employees go above and beyond the call of duty, often on their own time, to take care of customers with a special need.”

A cynic might suggest that the employees did not share the good deed with the airline since it might have interfered with those all-important on-time statistics, but it appears that the plane was only held for a few moments. In any event, United is pleased, and so is the man who got to see his dying mother one last time.

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Published: March 6, 2013