Here’s an update on yesterday’s Southwest story — and how you can help

The response to yesterday’s story about how a Southwest Airlines pilot held the plane for the grandfather of a murder victim has been overwhelming. Here’s an update.

A lot of readers have asked how they can help. Nancy, the toddler’s step-grandmother, has asked that donations to be made to the Aurora, Colo., location of the Ronald McDonald House, which has arranged for her husband and step-daughter to stay in a local hotel at no charge. Donations should be made in the name of Caden Rodgers.

Here are a few details about the case. The boy, Caden Rodgers, was reportedly body-slammed by his mother’s live-in boyfriend, last week. He died of his injuries on Thursday, according to reports. Here are a few more specifics on this horrific case. I can’t bring myself to write more.

Nancy also had a few comments after reading some of the feedback on the original post.

Yes, Mark works for Northrop Grumman. However, as all his flying is done under a government contract he is required to purchase the lowest fare possible per a DOD directive. That is usually SWA when it’s factored in there’s no checked baggage fee.

2. While Mark DOES work for Northrop Grumman, all travel purchases are made via American Express Travel. There’s nothing on his account or ticket that says, “Hey, this guy works for Northrop Grumman!”

3. Mark is a minion at NGC. His bosses might fly business class, but he doesn’t, much to his chagrin.

I’m grateful to the readers of this site for their compassionate response to this case, and to Southwest Airlines and its principled pilot for holding the plane.

Related story:   Just ask and you shall receive! But remember to ask.

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at Read more of Christopher's articles here.

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