Airports can be stressful places full of time-pressing details to mind, but when one passenger was checking in on a flight in March, she looked over to see a heartbreaking conversation happening just to the side of her.
A gentleman had booked a flight along with his young daughter just a few months ago at the beginning of the year. She was a 1-year-old, and that meant normally she would fly for free.
Except now it was March, and she turned 2.
This bystander heard the flight agent ask how old this man’s daughter was, and heard the man answer.
Then the agent asked him whether he had her ticket, and his expression changed to one of confusion. Once the agent explained she needed a ticket because she’d just turned over the age limit, “he was hit with emotion.”
“He mentioned he couldn’t afford to rebook this flight or get her the ticket with such short notice. He stepped aside and tried to make a few calls,” the bystander shared on social media.
He hugged his daughter, held his head, and “you could tell he was heartbroken.”
But the bystander wasn’t the only one who overheard.
Another woman on the other side of him had followed the conversation, and she walked up to him and asked what was wrong. They chatted a bit, then returned to the counter.
Then she pointed at the man’s daughter, and told the agent, “I want to buy her ticket.”
“You know how much this ticket costs, right?” the agent replied. She knew it was over $700.
“$749,” the agent confirmed.
Without batting an eyelid, the woman just said “that’s fine,” and pulled out the credit card.
The bystander couldn’t contain himself, blurting out “God bless you!” as she watched the woman do this. The agent was deeply moved as well.
“The agent kept talking about her goosebumps while the man hugged the woman and asked her name to repay her. The woman just kept saying ‘Don’t worry about it.'”
She knew she wanted to help and she didn’t care about the cost. The bystander shared the story on social media because “people like this need to be recognized,” even if they are anonymous angels.
The woman did not want to share her name and was modest and humble about her kind act of generosity, but others who knew her spoke up on social media to confirm her identity.
“I won’t share who this lady is. But I do know her,” wrote Jennica, speaking to the woman’s good heart. “I asked her once what I could do each day to be successful. Her response surprised me.”
“She said each day, have reflection time, make a list, and don’t leave your desk before the 10 most important things are done, and always give gratitude daily.”
Jennica added that her kids and grandkids get together frequently to discuss their blessings and how to give back to others as well. “She is an inspiration every time I see her, and is constantly giving freely. She is so full of Love for everyone and does what is needed without being asked.”
Another colleague of the woman wrote that they worked together.
“She inspires us every day to impact people and change lives. She is a gift to the world.”
Tens of thousands upon thousands of responses poured in, thanking this anonymous donor for making the world a better place.
“Please tell her that this story touched my heart and I’m so thankful that there are wonderful, generous, caring people like her in the world,” one person wrote.
“Thank you strangers who make me want to be a better person,” wrote another.
This prompted others to share stories of acts of kindness that have helped them become better people as well.
Mieasha Dupree shared another story of something like this that happened to her husband: “[He] came home and told me someone picked up the tab for his ENTIRE reserve unit the other day. EVERYONE! … They have a govt card to pay with and when they went to pay someone had picked up the whole tab and insisted on remaining anonymous. Stop waiting for the world to change and be the change!”
Tera Vickers-Fry said, “In 2007 I was on my way home from Iraq, on my last leg going from Milwaukee to Kansas City. Not thinking much about anything else then getting home, I approached the flight check in desk to start boarding.”
Then the flight agent told her there was something wrong with her ticket. She was so tired, and just wanted to get home.
Then the flight agent told her it was the wrong seat—she took a pen, and scratched out “9C,” replacing it with a “1B.”
Someone had given up their first class ticket so she could ride home in comfort.
“I bawled after I had learned what someone had done. To this day, I pay it forward whenever I can and the opportunity arrives,” Vickers-Fry wrote.
The amazing stories people shared continued into the thousands in just one day, on just one of the 46,000 Facebook pages it was shared to.
“An anonymous woman paid for me to stay at a first class lounge when I got stuck in JFK for a night, was really touched by that and I’m still hoping to find her in the future since I lost her email,” Benji Yoo wrote.
The stories weren’t limited to events that took place in airports either.
“The other day while grocery shopping, I went over my $50 limit by about 3 bucks. I said oh wait, let me put this back, when the gentleman behind me said, ‘No, no, go ahead, I’ve got it.’ I looked him in the eye, and said, ‘sir, I know better than to do anything but say, thank you. And pay it forward,” shared Theresa Serrano.
Anne Gealta saw a similar scene in Target. “This cute little girl and her mom were trying to check out but the mom’s credit card wouldn’t cooperate. They were spending $26. The mom looked embarrassed but it was the daughter that tugged at my heart.”
“Part of the purchase was a doll that I assumed was for her,” Gealta wrote. The line was getting longer as they fretted and now it seemed the mom was going to cry. She had to step in, and pay for their purchase.
“The mom looked at me like ‘huh? seriously?'” she wrote. “I said, ‘have a great day with your daughter and her new doll!'”
“Sometimes you just have to give a little love to those who don’t have a lot and be grateful that you can spread that love around,” Gealta said.
“I went home and just hugged and hugged on my daughter (who is almost 17 now)! It just takes a little bit of compassion and love to make someone else’s day!!!!”