I was flying from New York to Michigan, and the flight was running on time.
Then arrived a family of a mother, 3 kids and the grandmother. One was an infant, one a toddler and the third a slightly older girl. Unfortunately, this family had seats all over the plane – one seat all the way in front, two together in one location, and two in another.
It all started with a young, handsome flight attendant asking the grandmother and the toddler to be seated in seats which did not belong to them – and mentioned that he would “take care of the consequences”. When the couple who had those seats finally arrived, he took them aside, and very politely explained the situation to them, and even though they were together, he convinced them to sit at two different ends of the plane!
This kind gesture suddenly started snowballing, and within minutes, 7 different people had given up their seats and had been scattered all over the plane just so that the whole family could sit together. And all this while, the pilot kept repeatedly announcing that the flight was ready for take off, a few from the front of the plane were glaring back in impatience at all this activity at the back, while the flight attendant kept smiling and thanking each displace passenger for their “kindness”.
What topped it all was our young steward making a small speech, saying that he had never seen such a thing in his life, and he thanked everyone so genuinely, that I could hear scattered applause (including my own).
Due to this extraordinary display of humanity and love, the plane departed 15 minutes late. And when we arrived at the destination, I had missed the connecting flight by 5 minutes.
It took me three hours more and an extra hop to get to my final destination. But that is not what I will remember when I think of my journey.
What I will remember many years from now, and hope to mention as an example to my grandchildren, is the story of the insanely kind people all over that plane. and of most importantly, the resourcefulness of a kind and patient young man who never frowned or sighed or shook his head once, while the flight was being delayed, and children and adults alike were being shuffled around over and over again.