An Etihad flight from UK to Australia was aborted, and the reason why has us all praising the pilot for his decision.

When an elderly couple received a text message about their critically ill grandson, the Etihad pilot turned the flight around to allow the couple to race to the hospital.

International Business Times reports, Travel Counsellor Becky Stephenson posted the story on the closed Facebook group Travel Gossip (via Travel Mole) to commend Etihad Airways for the superb customer service its staff provided to her clients.

According to her post, the couple were on their way to Australia via Abu Dhabi. They were about to switch off their mobile phones when they received a text message that their grandson was in intensive care and that they had to get to the hospital as soon as possible.

They told the cabin crew immediately and the crew told the pilot. The pilot then turned the plane back to the gate, allowing the couple to get off the flight and have their luggage unloaded. The crew also asked for assistance for the couple back to the airport and had their car collected from the car park.

“Every little detail thought about and taken care of, so impressed and wanted to say let others know the service that they have provided,” Stephenson wrote.

Sadly the couple’s grandson passed away the next day. Had the pilot not allowed them to get off the flight and fly back to Abu Dhabi, they might not have had a chance to see their grandson for the final time.

Such a heart breaking story. So glad that pilot made the right decision.

Share your comments below.

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  • That is so very awesome. When my Mum was dying I found that sadly Air NZ, Qantas and Virgin were very unhelpful and actually delayed me getting there by making out that they would help and then pulling the pin at the last minute. I was very disappointed as they had always been my favorite 3.


  • Now that is an amazing person!


  • Wow, so lucky! Lucky to get the text message in time and lucky the pilot turned around for them. I hope their little grandson is fully recovered now


  • Well done to the pilot. I imagine that he was Employee of the Month for Etihad for all the positive publicity that he garnered for his employees.


  • What a wonderful thing for the pilot to do for them. It broke my heart to hear about the loss of their grandson but at least they were able to see him and say goodbye. I’m sure the parents would have been so grateful that they were able to be there as well


  • Wow, what an amazing thing that pilot did for this family. A fantastic example of care and empathy and understanding over business. I’ve no doubt this family will use Etihad again and I’m sure others will consider them also. That’s going above and beyond.


  • That is what I call personal service, that needs to be published in the papers to let everyone know
    that big business is not all about making money.


  • A wonderful story & extremely sad story all in one. Good one Etihad.


  • What a beautiful decision the pilot made ! With what a sad reason this decision was made ! Glad these grandparents were able to say their good byes !!


  • So unusual that the schedule was overridden by compassion – lovely that the couple were able to say goodbye to their grandson. I feel for them – you don’t ever expect that you will outlive those who come after you.


  • It’s fortunate the couple had not switched off their mobile phone even though probably should have already done so. Due to that and the assistance of Ethiad they were able to visit and say goodbye to their grandson who tragically passed away.


  • There are STILL good hearted people in the world. Good to see!!


  • How sad. So good to know there are so many good people in the world though, who are willing to go out of their way to help others.


  • It’s amazing what they did.


  • Wow what an amazing pilot and crew. So terribly sad but fortunate that the grandparents got to say goodbye.


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