Nice things happen on planes, too

I spend a lot of time talking about etiquette. The goal, of course, is that people will think more about their actions, and hopefully react more politely next time a situation comes up. However, I was reminded on my last trip to Nashville that rude people are not the only ones who travel these days. Kind people also travel! On this particular trip, I actually saw two examples of people going out of their way to make things easier for a fellow traveler.

I managed to snag a seat in the bulkhead, and I was super grateful for the extra room. On the other side of the aisle, a young lady was sitting in the middle and an older woman, who walked with a cane and therefore pre-boarded, was sitting in the window. I noticed they were chit-chatting, but it didn’t seem like they were discussing anything important—until the young lady broke down in tears. It turns out that she was a very nervous flier, and therefore incredibly anxious about our flight. The older lady tried to console her, and discovered the young lady was on her honeymoon. But because the plane was so full, her new husband was sitting several rows back. Without delay, the older lady got up and switched seats with the husband so that the new bride would have some comfort during her fear. I know I’m hormonal right now, but it makes me tear up a little just thinking about how nice it was.

A bit later, the door was shut and we were ready to push back from the gate. As the flight attendants began their announcements, there was a knock at the airplane door. The flight attendant looked through the window, and then opened the door. Turned out a passenger had gotten stuck in security and thought she was going to miss the flight. The gate agent thought there was still time, so brought her down the jetbridge. There were no seats available on the plane, so one of the captains who was hitching a ride to Nashville moved to sit in the cockpit. I have flight attendants open the door to tell a passenger it was too late to board, but never actually let anyone in. And because we made up time in the air, we still arrived in Nashville early.

I have to say, after that flight home from Cancun I had basically decided the world was full of rude people. But this flight to Nashville restored a lot of my faith in humanity!!

Rearders, have you seen any acts of travel kindness lately?

Also, last week I got a TAFTA award (which stands for The Award For Travel Awesomeness—hah!)  from! They did an incredible write-up of the blog, so if you get a minute check it out and give them some love. Thanks for the honor, friends!

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  1. Once I was on a really friendly and chatty supershuttle. We were talking about where we were going + what time our flight was (cause we were stuck in traffic). There was a grandmother who was flying alone on CO (before the merger) and (through her broken English) figured the flight was about to depart in 45 minutes (we were still in Manhattan). A nice CO Pres Plat called up the line and asked to rebook her (which they did). She was already a wreck (and we weren’t sure if she understood completely what was going on). Since everyone was so nice and friendly, I donated my SWU as well so she actually rode BusinessFirst back (upgraded from a middle seat near the last row). 🙂

    I forget her name but hopefully she had a wonderful flight back. 🙂

  2. i’ve seen many older women welcome troops back from afghanistan and iraq. and then as other passengers overhear the conversation, they stop to thank these soldiers for their service before leaving the plane.

  3. Great stories, love the one about the newlyweds. One thing though: my understanding it is illegal for the airline to reopen the plane door once it is shut and the airline can face some MAJOR fines for doing so unless it is by order of the FAA. While the sentiment was great, that flight attendant potentially exposed her airline to huge fines because she was not familiar enough with the rules of her job.

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