By Stacey Leasca
August 13, 2019
Passneger on an airplane
Credit: Rafael Belincanta/EyeEm/Getty Images

When Meghan Ashley boarded her Southwest Airlines flight from San Diego to Nashville in July she had no idea she’d be seated next to a flight “angel.”

In a Facebook post, Ashley shared the truly heartwarming story of watching an unidentified man react when a scared 96-year-old woman sat down next to him.

“On my flight from San Diego to Nashville today, sitting in the row next to me was a 96-year-old woman who hasn’t flown in 15 years,” Ashley wrote in a now viral Facebook post.

According to Ashley, all the woman wanted to do for her birthday was fly to Kansas City to see her family. However, she was extremely nervous about flying. During the flight, the elderly woman reached over and asked the man seated next to her if he would hold her hand during takeoff. She then hugged him again during turbulence.

“This gentleman I should say, gladly took her hand, let her hold onto him, calmed her by talking to her and explaining everything that was happening, and simply was that stranger there for her,” she wrote. “He knew just what to do the entire flight to help.”

Ashley said, the man assisted the woman to and from the bathroom during the flight, and comforted her throughout any bumps along the way. “It made me smile the whole flight as he comforted her,” she wrote.

At the end of their journey, the man helped her with her baggage, and walked her off the plane to an awaiting wheelchair. He stayed with her until she was reunited with her daughter following the flight.

“This man was her flight angel,” Ashley wrote. “I walked away sobbing happy tears being so thankful for people like this wonderful human. She was so grateful that she wanted him to have her flight pretzels.” Ashley further said, “Hats off to you sir, for your kind heart and your compassion toward someone whom you’ve never met. I have never been so touched on a flight before. This truly made my week.”

Clearly, the kindness struck a nerve with strangers. As of Monday, Ashley’s Facebook post has more than 320,000 likes and nearly 300 comments all in loving praise of this man’s kindness.

In a statement to Fox News, Southwest praised the customer’s willingness to help an older passenger as well.

“Civility is important to us at Southwest Airlines, and we are thrilled our Customers put it into practice onboard each day,” the statement read. “We have the best Customers in the world and are constantly amazed by how they treat our people and each other.”