Our flight from SFO to DCA was slated to depart at 1:44 PM. We were fully seated at 1:47 PM yet still at the gate. Disgruntled sighs resounded. People checked their watches. Frustration filled the air.The Captain piped up.“Folks, this is Captain Travis speaking. One of our crew members had a family emergency, so we decided to get her on a Newark-bound non-stop. We’re waiting for another crew member to arrive before we can get up in the air. Should be about 10-15 minutes. We apologize for the delay.”I felt sad for the crew member, and happy that United seemed to be doing the right thing by getting her home ASAP. I felt grateful to Captain Travis for being a transparent human. The sighs stopped. Naps begun in earnest. Watches went unchecked.
We sat another 35 minutes, completely peaceful, before Captain Travis pushed back.