A New York mother wanted to make sure her appreciation reached the flight attendant who had helped calm her baby boy. So, she took to Facebook to share the story, and the outcome was beyond what anyone could have imagined.
Heather Gooch of Islip, New York, was returning from Fort Lauderdale after Christmas with her husband and her 9-month old son. She said she was feeling a little worried about how the trip would go, because it was her son’s second trip on a plane.
“I have NEVER had a flight attendant as kind and as helpful as she was,” Gooch wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, December 29. “My son adored her and kept looking for her as she passed by. At one point, she saw that he was looking for her and getting ancy so she came and picked him up, and walked up and down the aisle with him while my husband and I ate our lunch.
“Although this may not be a story that stands out from the rest, I wanted to thank her, and let her know how appreciated she is. We so often hear about the negative things going on so I wanted to share this story of someone who made my trip a little brighter,” Ms. Gooch wrote.
Ms. Gooch told ABC News that she tried to call the airline to thank the flight attendant for going above and beyond, but the line was busy. So she posted a thank you note on Southwest’s Facebook page, with a photo of the attendant holding her young son, asking the company to pass her appreciation on to the flight attendant that she knew only as Anisse.
The post now has nearly 300,000 likes, over 36,000 shares, and more than 5,600 comments. Many of the people who commented on the post relayed similar experiences while traveling with the airline, and some people shared stories where the flight attendants did things that were even more altruistic and humbling.
“Dear Southwest, I’m hoping you can share this post so that I can be sure that it finds its way to a very special Southwest flight attendant. All I know about her is that her name is Anisse. My husband and 9 month old son were flying from Fort Lauderdale back home to Islip, NY on 12/28. This was my son’s first trip so we weren’t sure how things would go.
Anisse went above and beyond to make sure that the trip went as smoothly as possible. I have NEVER had a flight attendant as kind and as helpful as she was. My son adored her, and kept looking for her as she passed by. At one point, she saw that he was looking for her and getting ancy so she came and picked him up, and walked up and down the aisle with him while my husband and I ate our lunch.
Although this may not be a story that stands out from the rest, I wanted to thank her, and let her know how appreciated she is. We so often hear about the negative things going on so I wanted to share this story of someone who made my trip a little brighter. Please help this get to her!”
Kelley Long DuBach wrote this comment on Ms. Gooch’s post:
“Anissa, I highly doubt you would remember us, but you were a passenger on your way home on our flight from St. Louis to Orlando, and were the nicest flight attendant I have ever encountered (which is a lot, and I only fly Southwest Airlines). We had our 14 month old son who was flying for the first time, and 7 year old daughter with us, and my parents on our way to Disney.
You could have just sat in your seat and kept to yourself, but instead oodled over our son, and made it the best flight! You even handed out some extra snacks. Gabriel was a little squirmy, but when he looked back at you he had more fun playing peek-a-boo and flirting. I wish all attendants were as naturally nice and caring as you, and pray you are on our next flight. God bless.”
Vanessa Jones wrote:
“I had a very similar experience! My girl was 16 months old and throwing a fit. I ended up in tears because I literally didn’t know what else to do to make her calm down. I tried everything. She was also a lap child (never did it again after that, lol) and she banged her head over and over on my collarbone that it ended up being bruised.
The flight attendant was so sweet. She offered to give me a break!! Other parents were very understanding on the flight, too. I even tried walking her up and down the aisle, but she preferred someone new. I LOVE YOU, Southwest!!”
Kirche Leigh Zeile wrote:
“Same thing happened to me on a Southwest flight. After an unbearably long day of traveling, due to cancellations and delays, my sixth month old son and I finally boarded a flight from Houston to LGA, twelve hours after our day of travel had begun. I was exhausted. My son was such a trooper, but he’d too finally had it.
I was in my seat, the doors were closed, and we were leaving the gate, and my little boy started to scream. I too was fighting back tears at that point, and a lovely attendant swooped him into her arms, and began walking him up and down the aisle. In minutes, to the relief of everyone on board, he quieted down. I was so grateful, I started sobbing. What a lovely thing to do. Southwest flight attendants are the BEST!”
Jody VanAtta wrote:
“Southwest is not only excellent with children, but adults too. A little over 5 years ago I was on a SW flight from Orlando to Columbus Ohio. My husband had passed away, and I was taking him home for the funeral. We had only been in the air a short time when I had a major panic attack. I had always enjoyed flying, but not this day. My son was trying everything he could think of to help, but it was a lost cause.
I know other passengers had to be wondering what was wrong with this woman. Pretty soon a male flight attendant came up to me, knelt down, took my hand, and asked what he could do to help me. I remember telling him that I just wanted off this plane. He spoke with my son while still kneeling and holding my hand. I didn’t know what was said, I just knew I couldn’t do this.
He then excused himself, saying he would be right back. I know he wasn’t gone long, but to me it seemed like forever. When he came back he had 2 drinks. He gave one to my son then put down my tray, and put the drink on it. Then he knelt again and took my hand, and for the rest of the flight he stayed right there, kneeling and holding my hand, and quietly telling me that it was okay and I would be fine.
After almost 2 hours he told me we were getting ready to land and asked if I was okay, he needed to help get ready for the landing, but wasn’t going to leave me unless I was okay. I told him I was better, not at all good, but better. We landed, and he had my son and I wait until everyone else had left the plane.
I remember apologizing, many times. He gave me a huge hug and told me that he was glad that he was able to help me make it through this very difficult flight. To this day I think of him often, and thank God and SW for him. You see it’s not always a child who needs comfort on a flight.
Maureen Dennison wrote:
“Southwest is the best, when my son was deploying for a year Southwest let our family walk back to the gate with him. When he was boarding the gate, the attendant saw his children crying for Daddy, and let them and his wife on the plane while they finished up paper work to say one last goodbye. This meant so much to our family. I only fly Southwest, the best.”
Sue Haines wrote:
“I will always be thankful to the southwest employees. They saved my uncles life while he was waiting to board his flight in Tampa a few years back. He had a heart attack, and the paramedics told us that had it not been for their quick response the outcome might not have been what it was.”
Ms. Hooch’s post eventually made its way back to the flight attendant, Anissa Charles. “Y’all are going to make me cry!!!” she wrote on Ms. Gooch’s post. “Lol it was Truly my pleasure, and he made MY day!! I needed him more than he wanted me to hang out with.”
Ms. Charles added: “I tell adults all the time on my flights, children are doing exactly what they are supposed to do… make noise! Lol Think about it, the aircraft is completely boring to them (after takeoff) and there’s nowhere to run! I would honestly rather hear them make noise and even cry than to hear an adult whine! Lolol They have soooooo much to talk about, and mom and dad deserve a break!”