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United Airlines passengers en route to DIA receive note from pilot after delayed departure

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Posted at 2:48 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 16:48:31-04

DENVER — Anxious passengers aren't always easy to calm down, especially when there is no end in slight on a delayed flight. One United Airlines pilot is receiving recognition for finding a simple way to calm his passengers.

According to Brian Heikes, who travels with United frequently, a pilot took the time to write to most passengers on his United flight as they were trapped during a delay.

"He, the pilot, made a point to keep the passengers on the plane up to date on the departure and comfortable," Heikes said. "With all the bad press about the airlines there is actually good stuff that happens, too." 

The pilot, identified as John McFadden, wrote a personalized note to Heikes which read, "Thank you for your understanding and flying on United." 

That made all the difference to Heikes. 

"This pilot ... understood that his passengers are real people and wanted to make sure we knew what was going on," Heikes said. "Big shout out for John!" 

United Airlines has frequently been in the headlines in 2017, especially after police removed a passenger from an overbooked flight in Chicago. 

Airline officials have repeatedly said the company has moved past the incident.