An American Airlines pilot is winning praise after taking matters into his own hands when an airport was short-staffed.

Footage posted online by passenger Robert Idell shows the pilot helping load the bags onto the flight at Florida’s Key West International Airport.

“This pilot needs a raise & recognition! He was helping load bags to help everyone with their connections .. he stepped up and delivered like a true leader!” Idell wrote on X/Twitter.

He said the airport seemed short-staffed and earlier posted a video of a packed terminal building calling it “absolutely insane”.

Idell’s post caught the attention of American Airlines.

“We love to hear when our #AATeam is going above and beyond to assist our customers. We’ll make sure to recognise this fine performance.”

The plane reportedly took off only 30 minutes late.

A similar situation happened a couple of years ago when another pilot was labelled a “legend” for helping with bags on a heavily delayed service from Manchester to Crete.

In that case, the Tui flight had been delayed for 32 hours.

Only identified as “Simon”, the pilot helped load the luggage.

Jenny Cook, who was onboard, said the captain told passengers that there was only a small window of 40 minutes to get the plane in the air.

“He said ‘even my co-pilot is loading bags’ so we looked out of the window and there he was,” she told the BBC. “The next thing we knew we were taxing to the runway. We were all cheering.

“Simon had gone above and beyond.”