Southwest Airlines Captain Surprises One Millionth Passenger With Champagne, Pays for Her Ticket

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A Southwest Airlines captain rewarded his one millionth passenger this month on a flight from Denver to Pittsburgh.

Captain John Ritchie, who has been working for the airline for 21 years, told that he has been counting the number of passengers on his aircrafts since he first started working for the airline.

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“We have a load sheet that tells us how many passengers are on the airplane so I kept count from day one. A few weeks ago my one millionth passenger walked on the airplane,” Ritchie said.

The captain had tracked down the woman in advance to see who she was so he could prepare a treat for her.

In a video captured of the special moment, Ritchie announced to the woman onboard that she was the one.

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Ritchie found out the price of the woman’s ticket beforehand and handed her an envelope with that amount of cash inside, along with a bottle of champagne to commemorate the moment.

“I really didn’t think I’d reached that [many passengers]. You just never know how long your career is going to be. I have been very fortunate to be alive for 21-plus years. It was something I was looking forward to doing for a long time," Ritchie said.

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