For most people, flying might seem as natural as riding a car, but for others, it’s a real fear that takes a lot to overcome.
If you often fly, you eventually get used to the feeling of being up in the air. But if you haven’t been on a plane for a while, even getting on board can feel pretty terrifying.
That was the case for an elderly lady named Virginia who was on a Southwest Airlines flight from San Diego to Nashville in July 2019.
Her co-passenger, Megan Ashley, shared the story of what happened to the nervous grandma and how she got through the journey with the help of her “flight angel.”
In a Facebook post, Megan explained that she overheard Virginia saying she was nervous because she hadn’t flown in 15 years.
She was flying to Kansas City to be with her family during her birthday, but as excited as she was to see them, she’s not exactly loving the journey going there.
During takeoff, Virginia asked the man seated beside her if he wouldn’t mind holding her hand. Luckily, the stranger was more than happy to assist.
“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.”
Megan said that the man named Ben went above and beyond and looked out for the 96-year-old throughout the entire flight and after.
Ben helped Virginia stand up when she had to go to the restroom and watched her as she walked down the aisle. He also held her bag, helped her get off the plane and into the wheelchair. And when she got confused, wondering where her daughter went, the Good Samaritan stayed with her until she caught up with her daughter, who got separated from her.
Virginia was so grateful that she wanted Ben to have her flight pretzels.
Megan said she “walked away sobbing happy tears” after witnessing the stranger’s kind act towards the woman.
“Hats off to you sir, for your kind heart and your compassion toward someone whom you’ve never met. I have never been so touched on a flight before. This truly made my week,” Megan ended her post.
Many people took to the comments to say how touched they were by this man’s selfless act.
“Oh my gosh! That was the sweetest story Megan. We have to remember how there are way kinder people in this world than is portrayed in the news! God Bless them both!” one said.
“What a true humanitarian simple kind loving gestures from the heart,” another wrote.
Others shared their encounter with their own “flight angel.”
“I remember flying and a 14 year old girl reached across the aisle, took my hand and held it during takeoff. She said everything was going to be okay. I was 28 at the time,” one shared.
“My last flight they saw I was so nervous they brought me in the cockpit and introduced me to the pilots, to see the control, and the stewardess checked on me often. That was only a 2 hour flight. I was 36 at the time.”
In a comment from a year ago, Megan said that one of Ben’s family members saw her post a few days after she shared it. That person reached out to her, and they have been in touch multiple times since.
“His family was so touched. He deserved knowing how much this gesture meant to everyone who saw this,” Megan wrote in the comments.
Stories like this make us believe in the inherent good in every one person. Please share this to inspire others to be kind!