Southwest Airlines Pilot Hangs out of Cockpit to Retrieve Passenger's Phone

A Southwest Airlines pilot proved he truly cares about his passengers and their belongings. In a viral video tweeted by the Dallas-based airline, a pilot is seen hanging from the plane's cockpit window to retrieve a phone that one of his passengers accidentally left behind, despite the plane already taking off from the gate at Long Beach Airport in California at the time of the incident. "When our employees at @LGBairport noticed a customer's phone left behind in a gate area after a flight that was already boarded and pushed back from the gate, they didn't hesitate," the airline wrote alongside the clip on the social media post. They added the hashtag #WorldKindnessDay.

The video was eight seconds in total. The pilot could be seen dangling his arm and upper body outside the cockpit window while a crew member tries to pass him the phone. He fails once before a different crew member tried and jumps even higher than the pilot to grab the phone. Passengers on the plane cheer in the background. 

The pilot received rave reviews from Twitter users. One user commented: "Teamwork makes the dream work." Another user didn't know the window could be opened in such a capacity. "I had no idea those windows could open. How does the breeze feel at 35,000ft?" the user joked.

The airline has become famous for going above and beyond. In Sept. 2022, the airline surprised passengers aboard a Hawaii-bound flight with free ukuleles and a mid-air lesson on playing the instrument. At the time, Tom Nichols, a journalist at The Atlantic, commented online: "I am a big fan of Southwest, but this might have made me homicidal." Southwest was proud of their deed.


Brandy King, Senior Director of Public Relations at Southwest Airlines, wrote in a press release regarding the ukulele distribution. "Our Customers anticipate warm Southwest Hospitality throughout their journeys with us. Today's celebration of Hawaiian culture and Southwest Hospitality underscore our everyday commitment to serve and celebrate the spirit of Aloha."