At any given moment, there are about 14,000 commercial jetliners zooming around in the sky. Although the number of planes that take off and land around the world increase every single year, the number of runways that are built don’t keep up with the demand. It’s no wonder that flight delays have become so commonplace!
However, it’s not always airport rush hour traffic or bad weather that can make a plane lose its designated takeoff time slot. Sometimes an unruly passenger is at the center of all the tarmac drama!
Thanks to smartphones, we can now see real-time action of all the crazy shenanigans that happen in the aircraft’s main cabin. But, after Kristen Wiley snapped a pic of what went down on her recent flight, people were paying attention for a very different reason.
After Kristen found herself stuck inside a jumbo jet at the Seattle-Tacoma airport recently, she decided to post a photo with an accompanying message on her Facebook page. There was an interesting reason why her Alaska Airlines Flight 748 hadn’t budged an inch.
“We are currently sitting on a plane, with a 45 minute delay. Why? Because there is an elderly woman suffering from dementia, who is very upset and confused.”
Kristen knew that it must have been a very scary situation for the woman when a security guard in a yellow vest boarded the plane and approached her seat. Only the passengers nearby were able to witness the scene when the guard crouched down in the aisle and prepared to make his next move.
The elderly woman was bewildered and cuddled her emotional support dog in an attempt to understand the chaos of her surroundings. It can’t be easy for a dementia patient to live from moment to moment, and suddenly find themselves squished like a sardine in a flying tin can.
“The incredible staff of #alaskaairlines is being extremely patient and compassionate, in what can only be a very scary situation for her. Explaining every step, cuddling her dog, working with her husband/caregiver to find the best solution.”
Thankfully, that solution didn’t include dragging her off the flight in a cruel fashion. Once she saw what the crew members were actually up to, Kristen wasn’t mad that she wasn’t going to reach her destination on time. In fact, she was overcome with joy! It’s not every day you get to witness a heartwarming scene unfold.
The flight attendants were incredible compassionate, and they didn’t leave the passengers out of the loop as to why the elderly woman and her husband were being escorted off the plane. She just needed some extra time quiet time with her husband and puppy to feel less stressed about the trip.
“Alaska Airlines calmly assisted the woman, her husband/caregiver and sweet pup off the plane, providing hotel and transportation with plans to rest up and try again the following day. Again, incredible compassion given to the both of them while quietly explaining the situation to other passengers.”
Airlines are always getting a bad rap on social media when there’s drama on board, but rarely do we get to see the good side. Every story is now only one smartphone snapshot away, and Kristen did her part by choosing to spread the uplifting news that we so desperately crave.
“This is how I would want my mother, my sister, my aunt, my daughter, my niece, my friend cared for. ”
Every passenger deserves first class treatment in this journey we call life, and it’s not any one airline or brand that actually makes that happen. It’s everyday people like you and me who have the power to make others feel like a well-loved human being.
Since Kristen posted her story on Facebook, it has been shared more than 15,000 times.