There’s real good in air travel. As stressful as packed planes can be, and as much an us-versus-them mentality as many people feel, there’s real humanity too.
It came out in the Etihad pilot who turned around and went back to the gate so two grandparents could be with their dying grandson, and in the Delta Connection pilot who went back to the gate so a family could make it to a funeral.
Earlier this year there was an incredible story about a generous passenger who agreed to hold another woman’s lap infant after she boarded not realizing she couldn’t bring two babies along with her without any extra seats.
And what could be better than the two year old who fist bumps all the passengers when he boards a flight?
A woman battling stage four colon cancer checked her medications in her luggage before a flight to Nashville.
She caught an earlier flight, her checked bags were supposed to travel on flight she originally checked in for when turning in her luggage. Only that flight cancelled.
Let’s leave aside for a moment that you should never put crucial medications in checked luggage. There are only two kinds of bags: carry on and lost. The woman needed her meds, explaining that she had chemotherapy in the morning.
Since the bags finally came in after couriers were all done for the night, a Southwest Airlines employee drove the bags out to the woman at 3 a.m.
When Hurt found her bag, it also had an inspiring handwritten message.
“Sorry for the delay getting your bag to you! Myself and my Southwest family are thinking of you and wishing you all the best. Kick that cancer’s BUTT! With love, Sarah from PIT,” the note read.
The news, and the stories I cover, can seem negative — and they often are. Tales of airline employees can paint them in a bad light, but the truth is that even where interactions go badly most employees are just following the rules given to them and using the limited tools they’re allowed to work with. There are people who lose their cool as well.
To the ones who don’t, who go the extra mile, like the Southwest ramp agent who saved Christmas for a little girl in Detroit, thank you. Those of us who rely on you every day really appreciate the lengths you go, in spite of everything you have to deal with and that it usually isn’t rewarded by your employer if you work for a US airline.