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A heartfelt farewell address from a pilot of American Airlines to travelers and colleagues, following 32 years of service, has become widely popular.
The emotional video shared on TikTok by @realjharrison, titled “honored to have witnessed this,” shows pilot Jeff Fell informing the passengers on flight 2561 from Charlotte, North Carolina to Chicago that it would be his final flight after thirty years of flying.
The message during the flight shows Captain Fell, dressed in uniform at the front of the aircraft, tearfully stating “If I become emotional, please forgive me.”
Fell expressed gratitude to his family, who joined him on his retirement flight, for accompanying him and commemorating this significant moment in his life.
The pilot expressed to his wife Julie, “You have been the steady foundation in our lives and marriage. Your faith in the Lord, wisdom, strength, and love have guided us through the years.”
“I adore you and am excited for the next phase of our journey together.”
He tearfully said, “Welcome aboard everyone.”
The passengers and cabin crew responded to Captain Fell’s speech with cheers and applause.
The video has received 3.3 million views since it was posted on November 10th, and TikTok users were swift to express their admiration for the retired pilot in the comment section.
One user expressed gratitude, stating, “I am amazed by the number of families, individuals, and cultures that he has personally connected around the world.”
Another person left a comment saying, “He has had thirty-two years of successful landings. God bless him and all pilots.”
Some viewers also shared that the video had made them emotional and brought them to tears.
In a subsequent video, @realjharrison verified that the veteran captain was given a dignified water cannon salute, a traditional acknowledgment in aviation for experienced pilots when a plane passes through streams of water from fire trucks, as the plane made its way to the runway.
The Independent has reached out to American Airlines for a statement.