Disobedience on flights has become an all-too-common story.
From flight attendant meltdowns to Alec Baldwin’s words with a flight attendant over a game of “Words With Friends,” we have grown accustomed to a lack of politesse while on board an aircraft.
That’s why this rare example of public civility so stands out:
“My fellow travelers, today I come to you with great remorse,” 17-year-old lacrosse player Mac Breedlove said over the Southwest Airlines’ flight intercom.
Breedlove was traveling to a tournament with his teammates and believed he could beat the airline’s first come, first seat system by boarding before his group was called.
Little did he know he was about to get busted.
“We said we have a young man, and we’d like him to apologize to the plane for cutting in line,” said Breedlove’s coach, Evan Whelchel.
When a voice over the flight’s PA system asked Breedlove to come to the front of the plane, he had no idea what was in store for him.
“At first, I felt a little awkward,” he said.
But at the urging of his coach, he mustered up the courage to admit what he’d done to the passengers: “During the boarding process I took advantage of this airline’s kindness. While some of my teammates were called to the front of the line, I was not. And yet I cut in line,” Breedlove said. ”I hope you will all find it in your hearts to forgive me, for I am just a young man that thinks I am smarter than I am.”
As the plane’s passengers began to laugh, Breedlove concluded his apology: ”Enjoy your flight. And remember to fly Southwest because they let my coach do this for me.”
The apology was met by immediate laughter and clapping by all those on board.
“He had a bad moment, and we called him out on it,” said another coach Kenny Pailes.
Breedlove said his coaches taught him a valuable life lesson (“Just be patient”) in a very creative way.