On Friday, travelers on a commercial airliner spotted Sen. Bernie Sanders on the plane, and took some time to show their appreciation. According to a story posted on Reddit and later confirmed by Bustle, the passengers on the flight gave Sanders a thank-you note, passing it around the plane so anybody who wanted to sign it could. Bustle has reached out to Sanders' office to find out more behind the story.
Images of the thank-you note were posted by Jennifer Turchi, one of the passengers on the plane. Turchi told Bustle that after the commuters realized Sanders was on the plane, a group of young adults at the back of the flight wrote a thank-you note for the senator, and passed it around the plane ("Sign if you want & keep passing forward to Bernie," a Post-It note on the paper read).
"We were stranded on the runway for over an hour headed from Reagan National Airport to Burlington," Turchi told Bustle. "Someone [at the back of the plane] started the hand-made note and passed it forward. People could sign if they wanted to, but were asked to pass it forward. It made it all the way to the front of the plane, and then to Sen. Sanders."
Turchi posted pictures of the note, and it includes an abundance of praise and appreciation for the former Democratic presidential candidate.
- "Much appreciation for your commitment and compassion!"
- "We love you in from New Hampshire! I was the girl in the terminal trying to bother you while eating."
- "Thank you for all that you do for us to protect our rights Bernie!"
One person specifically noted Sanders' actions on health care reform, writing that "your efforts on the health care issue do not go unappreciated."
This isn't the first time Sanders has been spotted on commercial flights — in 2015, the hashtag #SandersOnAPlane surfaced on Twitter, with users posting pictures of the senator flying coach while campaigning for the presidency.
The sightings became so common that, in at least one instance, a sleeping man on a flight was photographed and identified as Sanders when, in fact, he was simply a grey-haired person on a plane. As the Democratic presidential primary continued to drag on, however, Sanders was afforded Secret Service protection, and he eventually began taking more privately chartered flights.
"While [Sanders] has used commercial airlines on almost all occasions, there are circumstances when using charter airplanes is the best way for him to get around the country and communicate with as many people as possible," his campaign spokesman Michael Briggs told ABC News at the time.
Turchi added that before the flight departed, Sanders was chatting with his fellow travelers in the terminal.
"I can only imagine how tired he was," Turchi said, noting Sanders' late-night health care vote the night before, "but he was giving with his time and attention."