The CEO of Virgin Australia has rewarded one of the airline’s baggage handlers with a very generous – and much deserved - gift, after viral footage showed the employee taking extra special care with a four-legged passenger.
The original footage was filmed by 7News reporter Jacqui Felgate, who shared it on her own TikTok page, writing: “Virgin Australia baggage handler making sure this brave doggo is safely on the plane.”
The clip showed the baggage handler – a bloke called Chad based in Perth – comforting a dog as it sat in its crate, ready to be loaded into the cargo hold.
After talking to the animal, Chad could be seen holding the crate as it moved up the conveyor belt to the plane, ensuring the pooch made it to the aircraft safely.
Needless to say, the heartwarming moment soon went viral, racking up 3.2 million views and more than 443,000 likes.
Eventually, it made its way to the top dogs at Virgin Australia, who decided Chad deserved something special for his ‘wonderful’ work after Felgate managed to track him down.
The airline said on Instagram: "@jacquifelgate7 knows how to take good news to the masses, and that’s exactly what she did when she shared a video from a wonderful guest featuring a team member comforting a travelling pup last weekend. Introducing Chad, from our Perth Pit Crew team, turned dog whisperer. Want to know more about this animal lover with a heart of gold? We’ve got just the thing coming."
A new video then showed CEO Jayne Hrdlicka meeting Chad to personally thank him – also giving him a not-too-shabby gift of two round-trip Business Class tickets.
Virgin Australia captioned the post: “Ladies, form an orderly queue. Our Perth dog whisperer, Chad has just scored himself Business Class tickets from our CEO to acknowledge his wonderful work.”
In the clip, Hrdlicka said: “That obviously gives you the ability to bring along a friend. I know you’ve been getting lots of offers from amazing women around the world.
“So you have the option, if you want.”
7News’ Jacqui Felgate, meanwhile, had also been able to track Chad down to speak to him about how kind he’d been to the dog, who is called Cooper.
She asked him: “What did you actually say to beautiful little Cooper in that moment?”
Chad replied: “I was just reassuring him and asking him if he was ready to board, just like the passengers get asked up at the gate.
“I said ‘Coopy mate, you’ll be fine, hope you have a safe flight, we’ll see you on the other side’.”
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@virginaustralia
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