Heart Left on Board Plane

Heart Left on Board Plane

Max Boland

Southwest Airlines is at it again, folks.

After the controversy in 2017 of a woman being forcibly dragged off the plane due to an animal allergy, we all thought Southwest couldn’t really top that level of incompetence. Well, they just proved us wrong.

A human heart for transplant of its valves was left onboard a Southwest flight, and was forced to turn around when the pilot realized the heart was still in the cargo hold. The flight to Dallas turned around and delivered the heart to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport where it was originally supposed to be unloaded. The heart and its valves were unharmed and delivered in perfect condition, although the passengers had yet another layover due to a mechanical error in the plane.

“We made the decision to return to Seattle to ensure the shipment was delivered to its destination within the window of time allotted by our cargo customer,” Southwest stated to CNN.

Although this decision to return to Seattle was extremely reasonable, forgetting that a human heart was in the cargo hold is not reasonable at all. The heart donor’s family was informed and are relieved that their heart is still able to be used by someone who needs it.

So, why was a human heart on a commercial flight? Well, the heart for donation will be used for its valves, not a total heart replacement itself. If a whole heart were to be donated and used for its complete parts, a private plane would be used to transport it.