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Alaska Airlines captain Tara Wright (L) and her co-pilot, first officer Mallory Cave. (Facebook)

Flight 361

Why this airline pilot’s pre-flight announcement caused the passengers to erupt in applause

By WITW Staff on May 17, 2018

No, it wasn’t an Oprah-like “everyone with a key in your box wins a new car” moment. Nor were passengers informed their flight would arrive remarkably early. It actually was something much nicer than all of that.

Little did the passengers on Alaska Airlines flight 361 Sunday morning realize, but they had boarded a plane that was about to set out on an historic voyage from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon.

Captain Tara Wright filled passengers in during her pre-flight announcement in which she introduced herself and her co-pilot, first officer Mallory Cave.

“Today is a fun day,” Wright declared, acknowledging that it was Mother’s Day and her father’s 80th birthday. But there was more to the story. “You’re sharing a pretty interesting piece of Alaska Airlines history this morning,” Wright continued. “You’ll be piloted by two African American female pilots, for the first time in Alaska Airlines history. You’re making it this morning, whether you’re awake or not,” she added as the passengers broke into a round of applause. After the announcement concluded, one impressed flier asked the co-pilots to pose for a photo, which he promptly snapped using his smartphone.

Wright posted video of the momentous occasion on her Facebook page. The post has gone viral, having been shared thousands of times and racking up more than 20,000 likes as of this writing. It’s also been flooded with congratulations from people who saluted her on the achievement. Watch the video of the announcement below.

Making Alaska Airlines history this morning! First Officer Mallory Cave and I serve as the very first all African-American female crew on Alaska Flt #361, San Francisco to Portland, OR. ????????‍✈️????????‍✈️

Posted by Tara Dillon Wright on Sunday, May 13, 2018

 

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