LOS ANGELES - A Southern California-based pilot delivered a moving pre-flight speech honoring his parents who, for the first time in his career, were on a flight that he was operating.
In a now viral video posted to TikTok, United Airlines pilot Jason Schuessler was seen welcoming passengers on the flight from Los Angeles to Denver last month. He then went on to announce, "Today, this will be the most memorable flight of my career."
Schuessler explained that his parents, "the two most important, supportive and loving people" in his life, were on the flight.
"They finally get to see first-hand the product of all their hard work and dedication," Schuessler shared, amid bursts of applause.
United pilot Jason Schuessler with his parents Jeffrey and Johanna Schuessler. (United Airlines )
It was a culminating moment for the 38-year-old who said that he had dreams of becoming a pilot since the age of four, and he shared touching words as he went on to express his love and gratitude toward his parents for their support in making this dream come true.
Pilot Jason Schuessler honored his parents on a flight from Los Angeles to Denver. During his announcement, he said he'd dreamed of being a pilot since he was four and thanked his parents for their support. (Jason Schuessler / United Airlines )
"I want to publicly acknowledge all of the hard work and especially the sacrifices that my mom and dad have made over the years. And thank you," the pilot said as he took an emotional pause, "from the bottom of my heart for being the very best parents a guy could ever hope for."
As Schuessler posted the video, he explained that his parents joining him on flight as his passengers came after almost nine years into his career as an airline pilot.
Many people commented on the video, saying it brought tears to their eyes. Others commended both pilot and parents for a job well done.
"So incredible great parents they did an awesome job & congratulations young man," wrote TikTok user @castlegurl.
"This is so wholesome. Seeing their sacrifices and dedication over the years come to full fruition. Good job pilot!" commented @cynn331.
And from the pilot’s mom, Johanna Schuessler (@josieshue), she herself commented on the video, reminding her son of the awe and love his parents had for him. "Jason, we are so very proud of you!! Never forget that!!" the mother wrote, adding, "This was such a beautiful surprise for me and dad!! We love you!!"
A United spokesperson said the pilot's parents were from Uniontown, Pa. and were on a return flight back home after making their first visit to Los Angeles, where the pilot was based. After realizing that his parents had a connection through Denver, the Schuesslers made adjustments to their flight schedule and stayed in LA an extra day, so they could be on their son's flight.
"I wasn’t nervous about having my parents on the flight. It was more excitement than nerves," the pilot said. "I was thrilled to be able to share that experience with them."
Toward the end of Schuessler's pre-flight announcement, he joked that because his parents were onboard, "I can assure you this will be the safest flight you've ever been on."
He also told his parents, "I think I made you proud," as he added, "Mom and dad, I love you."
United Airlines Jason Schuessler with his parents Jeffrey and Johanna Schuessler. (United Airlines )