The Best In-Flight Acts of Kindness of 2015
Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Monday and I hope you had a beary safe and great weekend. Dab the AIDS Bear and I are still on the road doing our holiday events for children living with HIV called Teddy Bear Touchdowns. Stay tuned for more pictures and slide shows soon.
Christmas is around the corner and it is a great time to look back at acts of kindness in 2015...
These passengers, flight attendants, and their good deeds went viral in 2015–we honor them as the year's all-star travelers.
When you book a flight, you can customize just about everything: seat location (window or aisle?), legroom (a little or a lot?), in-flight entertainment (Netflix or Amazon Video?!). But there's one major factor that can make or break or flight, and you have no say in the matter: your seatmates. Having to share space with a loud talker or perfume sprayer can turn a pleasant trip sour, while a friendly face can soothe even the most jittery flier. We'd like to honor a few of the people this year who were lauded for their (gasp!) kindness in the air. Can we request the seat next to them the next time we're on a packed red-eye? Thanks.
THE BABY WHISPERER
Even the most patient person cringes a little when a baby screams through a flight. But instead of simply popping in earplugs and calling it a day, a woman named Nyfesha Miller cradled and comforted her seatmate's baby until the little one fell asleep, giving both mom and baby (and, really, all the passengers) a peaceful flight.
A woman named Laura Genovich wrote an essay about her harrowing experience being with her baby en route to Florida, trying could get to her dying father's bedside. Genovich says she was in tears when her flight's cancellation was announced, but a fellow passenger named Mary not only stayed with her until alternate arrangements could be made, but paid $400 to get her a new ticket out. Grateful, Genovich sent Mary a photo of her father in his hospital bed hugging his baby granddaughter.
AS SWEET AS BAKLAVA
Meanwhile, one airline kindness story is particularly notable for starting out on a down note. Two men, Maher Khalil and Anas Ayyad, were kept from boarding a Southwest Airlines flight after a fellow flier complained she was "nervous" hearing them speaking Arabic. Ultimately, the two men were able to get on the plane, but Khalil was asked to open a small box he had with him. Khalil complied, revealing a bunch of baklava. Rather than get angry, he shared his pastries with the very same passengers who had expressed concern about him. Now, that's sweet.
THE MELT-YOUR-HEART HELPER
Flight attendants may not be kicking back with you, but they have a hard job (constant time changes, lack of sleep, people who mistake "flight attendant" for "personal servant") and often go the extra mile to make a trip comfortable and happy. Recently, a flight attendant for China's Hainan Airlines was photographed feeding a man who had suffered from a stroke and had some difficulty doing it himself. The man's wife, who normally cares for him, had not been given a seat next to him, so Fan Xuesong stepped in to make sure the passenger was able to have his dinner. The photos will melt your heart.
THE LIFE SAVER
Sometimes, going "above and beyond" even extends to saving lives. On a JetBlue flight from New York to Orlando this fall, a quick-thinking flight attendant rushed into action when a panicked couple said that their baby was choking on its medicine. The attendant immediately grabbed the infant, hitting him or her on the back until the little one started breathing normally again. The entire flight burst into applause, and everyone landed in Florida as scheduled.
Meanwhile, a Delta flight attendant named Michael Huerta wrote a viral Facebook post about his best day on the job ever—helping a man from Nigeria navigate his very first airplane experience. The man had saved for years to achieve his dream of going to the United States on vacation, and his story touched Huerta so deeply that he wrote, "I'm moved to tears that I could be so lucky to meet this man. Of the thousands of passengers I've ever served, of the rich and famous, successful and powerful, frequent travelers and million milers, serving this one man—in coach—was the greatest honor I've had as a flight attendant." It's a nice reminder that while some of us yawn our way through the security briefing or take the complimentary drinks for granted, flying really still is a magical experience.
Hope you have a beary safe and great Monday!
Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.
big bear hug,