Taking kids anywhere is often a recipe for disaster. Public places are full of scorn for hyper children, loud children, crying children, and much of that scorn and judgment gets directed at their parents. As if Mom and Dad don’t have enough to deal with, now they have to worry about inconveniencing strangers?
Nowhere is more fraught than an airplane, an enclosed space where people spent a solid chunk of change and are probably already in a pretty bad mood. When they see an overactive kid, or a loud baby stroll down their aisle? Many passengers can’t help but be jerks about it. Which is what makes this story so refreshing. Someone wasn’t a jerk about it!
Last week, Kelsey Zwick was flying from Orlando to Philadelphia with her 11-month-old baby. The pair was flying to Philly to visit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, so baby Lucy could receive the special treatment she needs for her chronic lung disease.
“Not everybody gets the opportunity to get the best care for your children. I was just grateful to be on that flight,” Zwick told Today.
She was about to become even more grateful.
Kelsey got on the flight early, thanks to traveling with an infant, and after she’d sat down and positioned her daughter, her diaper bag, and the oxygen tank Lucy needed to fly with, she received a pleasant surprise. A flight attendant approached her and told her a passenger had done something special. He had surrendered his first class seat to the mother and daughter.
“At first, I didn’t really understand what she was saying,” said Zwick. “When I realized that it was someone showing kindness to us, I just started crying.”
Kelsey went to Facebook and posted a grateful response to the anonymous man in 2D, where she explained that while she walked up the aisle into the first class section, her eyes filled with tears, Lucy was apparently having a blast.
“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. I smiled and thanked you as we switched but didn’t get to thank you properly.”
So she thanked him online instead.
“Thank you,” she wrote. “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. AA 588 passenger in seat 2D, we truly feel inspired by your generosity.
Other people are surely inspired as well, after Kelsey’s post received nearly 500,000 shares and over 765,000 likes on FB.
Shortly after she posted on Facebook the good Samaritan was identified as Jason Kunselman of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He later revealed it was his birthday the day after the flight, “It was the perfect birthday gift, seeing that I could help someone else out and make someone happy,” he said.
Jason, we salute you.