A man is being called a “flight angel” for comforting and helping out a 96-year-old woman who was traveling alone for the first time in 15 years.
Megan Ashley, a passenger on the Southwest Airlines flight from San Diego to Nashville on 29 July, shared the kind act on Facebook. In her post, she explained that the elderly woman was flying to Kansas City to see her family for her birthday, but was afraid of flying. Luckily, the man seated beside her was happy to assist.
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“She asked for this man’s hand during takeoff and then hugged him again when experiencing turbulence,” Ashley’s post reads. “This gentleman I should say, gladly took her hand, let her hold onto him, calmed her by talking to her and explaining everything that was happening, and simply was that stranger there for her.”
Ashely’s post explains that the man — whose name is unknown — didn’t just stop there. Instead, he looked out for the 96-year-old the entire duration of the flight, and even after.
“He helped her stand up to go to the restroom and watched her carefully walk down the aisle,” she wrote. “This man was her flight angel. He held her bag, helped her get off the plane and into the wheelchair, and when she got confused wondering where her daughter went, he stayed with her until she caught up with her daughter who got separated from her.”
While Ashley did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment, she wrote in her post that she “walked away sobbing happy tears” because she was so thankful for the man’s “heart and compassion.”
She wasn’t the only one touched by the stranger’s selfless act, and many people took to the comments section to thank the man.
“Oh my heart. This is as precious as it gets. Thank you for taking these pictures and sharing this story,” one person wrote. “This moved me to be a better person each day. I may share this with others so they can pay it forward. The gentleman was probably just being a GENTLE-man, where others may not have been so sweet.”
Another commented “Such a heartwarming story. Thank God you witnessed this to share and warm the hearts of sooo many, especially mine! May all that goodness return to that fine man doubly and more and the people responsible for making this fine guy a true gentleman.”
Others shared their own encounters with “kind neighbors” on flights.
“We’ve had the most amazing luck with passengers being willing to help with our girls. Whether we need to use the restroom or just need help entertaining we’ve always had a kind neighbor nearby,” a person said. “We even had a passenger say she was going to file a complaint about the way the flight attendant treated us and our girls. Can’t ask for better than someone willing to speak up for us!”
“I remember flying and a 14-year-old girl reached across the aisle, took my hand and held it during takeoff,” someone else wrote. “She said everything was going to be okay. I was 28 at the time.”
Southwest Airlines did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
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