Jessie Frank was trying to find her way home through a series of connecting flights after hers had be rerouted. She had contacted Delta Airlines several times trying to locate an open seat anywhere, but while all of the employees were kind and understanding, she was still placed on a waiting list, number eight in line for the next open seat.
In a stroke of luck, her name was called and she rushed to her assigned plane only to be greeted with more shaking heads and sorry looking faces. Defeated, the mom felt hopeless in her pursuit to get home in time to pick up her 12-year-old daughter from camp.
“It was important for me to get home,” Jessie wrote an open letter to Delta Airlines on her Facebook. “Friday I was to pick up my Type 1 Diabetic 12 year old from her diabetes summer camp. I’m sure she would have been fine if someone else had shown up in my place, but it’s a special moment for me. Camp Kudzu gives my daughter 5 days a year when she feels ‘normal.’ Pick-up day gives me a glimpse into that special world where she’s just like everyone else, and she’s a little bit of a different person for the rest of the day. By the next day, it’s back to the harsh realities of managing a difficult, deadly, incurable disease that kills 1 in 20 before the age of 18.”
Suddenly, Jessie’s luck changed when a strangely familiar face offered his seat on the plane for her. She was able to fly home at last, and as soon as they were about to land at her destination, Jessie found out what a special circumstance she had been in.
Her letter continues: “Suddenly I realized that ‘familiar face’ was not an off-duty pilot. It was you, the CEO of Delta, vaguely familiar from the safety video. It was you, Richard Anderson, who gave up your seat for me. It was you, the Delta CEO, who helped me with my bag. It was you, acting just like an ordinary Mr. Anderson, who showed me to my seat.”
“You, Richard Anderson, the CEO of Delta, did all that for me, just an average, middle-aged, woman with, as far as anyone at Delta knew, no special reason to get home.”
Since she wrote this open letter on her Facebook page, it has been shared more than 1,800 times and published to Delta’s Facebook page, receiving several thank you’s in return for her kind words.
While the world is still engulfed in war and terrorism, hate and bullying, there are still normal people with big hearts like Richard Anderson who spread the love. Here’s hoping someone will pay this forward and respect what big waves can come from such little gestures of kindness.