Everything is fine – until it’s not


I wrote this letter some time ago but thought you might find it interesting.


Dear Captain Philip Corder,

Southwest Airlines Flight 2911 on November 15, 2023, was a remarkable experience. I wanted to share with you my perspective on what could have been a dire situation. Shortly after takeoff, a male passenger located mid-ship began having a seizure. Immediately, one of the flight attendants responded to the call button, assessed the man’s condition, and began administering first aid.

What began at takeoff with two flight attendants chatting happily in the front jump seats turned into a well-choreographed division of labor for the entire crew. Sitting at the bulkhead, I got a front-row seat to witness the calm professionalism of the three Southwest employees on your aircraft. They say that more favorable outcomes are possible in an emergency with proper preparedness. As you diverted to the nearest airport, the crew’s training kicked in; they stabilized their patient, monitored his blood pressure, administered oxygen, and began CPR.

With the young man relocated to the front of the plane, the crew continued to care for him like a skilled medical team in a hospital emergency room. Each crewmember assumed different roles and acted almost instinctively. As one member calmed the plane’s passengers, another relayed a change in the man’s status to his wife. I’m sure she’s thankful for your crew’s thoughtfulness towards her.

With your plane at 100 percent capacity, your crew worked to reassure all the passengers of our change in destination. As soon as the crew knew something, we all knew it. This simple act went a long way to calm everyone onboard. You can be proud to have the professional staff of Flight 2911 as part of the Southwest team. I know I’m proud to have observed them, and I only wish I could have done more.

Please pass on my gratitude to your crew. I hope to travel with them again.

Gary B. Zelinski

USAF (retired)

4 thoughts on “Everything is fine – until it’s not”

  1. Gary,

    Truly a memorable experience! It was good of you to compliment the Captain and the crew, especially from a former military perspective.



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