Southwest Airlines Rescues Hundreds Of Houston Travelers For Free

Planes left the Houston Hobby Airport before sunset on Sunday because the runway lights weren't functional, helping hundreds of stranded travelers for free.

Air boat nears a small boat filled with people stranded in Houston, Texas.

Hurricane Harvey has proven to be one of the most devastating natural disasters to hit the country in quite some time. So it's no wonder our hearts are filled with hope whenever we learn of companies like Southwest making a difference in the lives of those affected.

After the catastrophic flooding impacted thousands of people in Houston, forcing emergency crews to work overtime to help the stranded, hundreds of travelers stuck at the Houston Hobby Airport were left wondering what they were going to do.

Seeing so many travelers kept from reaching their destinations after all flights were grounded, Southwest Airlines started loading customers into its Boeing 737s, flying 500 passengers out of flood-stricken Houston. Since the airport's runway lights weren't functional, the planes flew out Sunday evening just before sunset.

With 10 other planes still grounded at Houston Hobby, the company announced that conducting other emergency flights is out of the question through Tuesday.

Both Hobby and George Bush Intercontinental airports were closed after Hurricane Harvey hit the state, causing floods to make it impossible for the facilities to operate. With more than 20 inches of rain, roads surrounding both airports have also been shut down. It's unclear when officials believe that airports will be open for business again.

Still, it is great to see a company like Southwest doing so much to help those who are stranded. Hopefully, more good Samaritans will continue to step up when needed.

Banner and thumbnail image credit:  Reuters, Joshua Roberts

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