Tulsa Kidney Donor Impacted By Southwest Flight Delays

Thursday, July 21st 2016, 7:19 am
By: News On 6

One passenger impacted by Southwest Airlines nationwide flight delays and cancellations is a corporal with the Rogers County Sheriff's Office who's trying to save a life.

Paul Tucker is flying to Nashville to donate a kidney and his Tulsa flight was canceled.  Tucker, his wife Jennifer and their two-year-old daughter, found out Thursday morning they have now have been rescheduled to fly out of Oklahoma City to Dallas and then on to Nashville.

Paul is donating a kidney to a co-worker's friend. The man is on dialysis right now and his pre-operation meetings for that surgery in Nashville are Friday.

The Tulsa International Airport online departure board shows two out of  four flights so far Thursday morning have been canceled.

Spokesman Brad Hawkins said Southwest began having intermittent problems with several systems after an outage on Wednesday.

"We are now managing flight delays across our system, with a temporary ground stop in place for those flights that have not left the gate," Hawkins said in an emailed statement.

7/20/2016 Related Story: Southwest Airlines Computer Outage Grounds Fleet Nationwide

Southwest Airlines urges passengers to check their flight status and get to the airport early.

Last October, an outage caused about 800 Southwest flights to be delayed and forced employees to issue tickets and boarding passes by hand. The airline blamed a software application, and it recovered in about a day. United Airlines and American Airlines both had computer problems last summer but fixed the problems within a day.

Rogers County Sheriff Major Coy Jenkins found out his college buddy needed a kidney transplant. He went through all the testing and found out he could not donate.

A co-worker, Cpl. Paul Tucker, discovered he was a match and is now donating a kidney to a man he's only met once.

If worse comes to worst, and their Oklahoma City flight falls through when they get there, Paul is prepared to drive his family to Nashville.

After the surgery, Tucker says he will be there for more than two weeks of recovery.