These Random Acts of Kindness at Airports Will Make You Smile
Speaking with an accent out of Deliverance and acting like he was at a backyard wrestling match, a homophobic man at Dallas/Forth Worth Airport attacked a man who was wearing a pink shirt. The attacker shouted gay slurs and was generally being the worst person ever. However, humanity redeemed itself when a group of bystanders immediately came to the victim's defense and subdued the assailant. I guess it sometimes takes some pretty lowly acts to test the good in people, and while the airport is often a breeding ground for short tempers and agitated strangers, it's also seen some pretty inspirational, heartwarming acts of kindness.
On Thursday, an eyewitness uploaded a video of the altercation on YouTube. In the video, a hulking man who appears to be possibly intoxicated starts picking on an older man wearing a pink shirt. When a bystander in a black cowboy hat asks why he's so upset, the man says, "Queers is what I'm upset about. This f****t right here!" The homophobic man then kicks the man in the pink shirt and hits him in the head. That's when a whole group of bystanders and airport security jump on him — one of them yells like a badass vigilante, "You ain't doing that sh*t, you motherf*cker!" — and deliver him swift justice.
While it's ultimately heartbreaking to witness such monstrosity in this day and age, it's comforting to know that for every bigot or bully or just plain idiot, there are strangers who exhibit extraordinary kindness, even at airports.
Southwest Airlines' Hero Pilot
In 2011, a woman named Nancy wrote to Elliott.org, a consumer advocate site, about her and her husband's travel tale that started with tragedy and ended with heroism. "Last night, my husband and I got the tragic news that our three-year-old grandson in Denver had been murdered by our daughter’s live-in boyfriend," she wrote. When her husband got to the airport to make the trip to the boy's funeral, heavy delays at baggage and security threatened to keep him from making the flight. He pleaded with several TSA and Southwest agents, but no one seemed to care. When he finally reached his gate, almost 10 minutes after his flight's departure time, he was greeted by the pilot, who reportedly said:
Are you Mark? We held the plane for you and we’re so sorry about the loss of your grandson. They can’t go anywhere without me and I wasn’t going anywhere without you.
Now that's a real-life hero.
The Pay-It-Forward Note
Sometimes even just picking up the tab for someone can feel like a monumental act of kindness. When a passenger's credit card was declined at baggage check-in, a bystander noticed and paid for them. She then left a note that said:
I know how it feels. Your bag fee's on me. Just pay it forward the next time you get a chance. Have a safe flight. :)
This Man's Response to a Screaming Child
Travelers often dread the prospect of sitting next to a screaming child on the plane, but for one woman named Shanell, it's those passengers she dreads the most. Her daughter, Kate, is autistic and cannot control her screams, so before each flight she prays to be seated next to a fellow parent who can understand. When a businessman in a suit sat down next to her, she feared for the worst. Instead, Shanell wrote in her blog, when Kate reached over and grabbed his arm, the man started chatting with her and asked her about turtles. When Kate started screaming, the man tried to distract and calm her with her toys. The man's kindness brought tears to Shanell's eyes ... and mine, too.
Images: Getty Images (3)