A Man Gave Up His First Class Seat for a Mom and Her Chronically Ill Baby, Reminding Us There's Still Good in Air Travel
It all happened on the man's birthday, one he would later call "a birthday to remember."
A little kindness goes a very long way, especially when you're flying.
On American Airlines Flight 588 from Orlando to Philadelphia on Dec. 6, a generous passenger sitting in first class decided to give up his seat for a mother traveling with her 11-month-old daughter who was wearing an oxygen machine.
According to Yahoo, Kelsey Zwick and her daughter Lucy were traveling to Philadelphia so Lucy, born premature, could be treated for a chronic lung disease at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. When Zwick and her daughter sat in their original seats, Zwick was surprised to see a flight attendant approach and tell her that a man in first class was waiting to switch seats with her.
On Zwick's Facebook post she wrote, "To the man in 2D. Today you were traveling from Orlando to Philly. I don't know you, but I imagine you saw us somewhere. I was pushing a stroller, had a diaper bag on my arm and also lugging an oxygen machine for my daughter."
She added. "You were giving up your comfortable, first class seat to us. Not able to hold back tears, I cried my way up the aisle while my daughter Lucy laughed! She felt it in her bones too... real, pure, goodness."
Zwick told Yahoo that she did not get to see the man who was kind enough to switch seats with her, but the gesture was overwhelming.
"It wasn't just the seat; it was the culmination of everything we've been through the past two years," Zwick told Yahoo. After pregnancy struggles, Lucy's (and her sister Eva's) premature birth led Zwick and her family down a long road of hospital visits and treatments that, up until Lucy started to receive treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, were disappointing.
At the moment, Lucy only uses her oxygen tank at night and when she travels due to low cabin pressure. The first class seat allowed for some extra room for the tank plus a few comforts as the mother and baby flew to their destination.
"We did have extra room. Lucy enjoyed the cheese plate and the little luxuries," Zwick told Yahoo.
Zwick hoped her Facebook post would catch the attention of the kind traveler, especially since she didn't get a chance to thank him personally.
"Sooo... thank you. Not just for the seat itself but for noticing. For seeing us and realizing that maybe things are not always easy. For deciding you wanted to show a random act of kindness to US. It reminded me how much good there is in this world. I can't wait to tell Lucy someday. In the meantime... we will pay it forward," Zwick wrote on Facebook.
And her post did reach him. "I guess it was his birthday, and he did reach out to us," Zwick told Yahoo. "He was thanking me for a birthday to remember. It was the best day. He said it made him and his wife cry, and he said, ‘I am so glad we were on the same flight.'"