Beth Bornstein Dunnington was flying from Los Angeles to Portland on Friday. Waiting for her flight at LAX, a toddler was melting down at a nearby gate.
A toddler who looked to be eighteen or so months old was having a total meltdown, running between the seats, kicking and screaming, then lying on the ground, refusing to board the plane
The boy’s pregnant mother melted down, too. She “couldn’t pick him up because he was so upset” as the boy ran away from her, laid down on the floor of the terminal, kicked and screamed. She “put her head in her hands” as she sat down on the floor too. She cried.
Then six or seven women from other gates knelt down in a circle around them. And they all combined to help the woman and her son.
I sang “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” to the little boy… one woman had an orange that she peeled, one woman had a little toy in her bag that she let the toddler play with, another woman gave the mom a bottle of water. Someone else helped the mom get the kid’s sippy cup out of her bag and give it to him.
American Airlines Terminal 4 LAX
These were women who didn’t know each other, they didn’t speak to each other, but they all helped and the mother and her son went off and boarded the plane without further difficulty. The women then all dissipated, returning to their gates, never talking about what just happened and instead going their separate ways. We don’t know what airline they were flying, Alaska, Delta, American and Southwest all operate Los Angeles – Portland.
Ms. Dunnington observed on Facebook that “we were strangers, gathering to solve something. …I will never forget that moment.” And we all need feel good stories about travel, sometimes, I think.