Not everyone enjoys flying. The level of non-enjoyment can range from mild discomfort to full blown Aerophobia, which is defined as an extreme fear of flying. While flying is the quickest way to get to far away destinations, for some people being that far off the ground is terrifying and they’d rather take their chances on the ground.
A passenger flying from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina to JFK International Airport in New York confronted that fear while flying with Delta. The woman, who is currently still unidentified expressed that she was nervous to fly according to Molly Simonson Lee, a passenger seated behind the woman who witnessed the encounter. Tight spaces don’t make for much privacy, but in this case, the world is better for knowing this took place.
According to Lee, who posted about the exchange on Facebook, the Delta flight attendant, Floyd Dean-Shannon, took his time to give the nervous traveler his undivided attention. Lee told Upworthy the unidentified passenger, “was very nervous and even before the plane took off, she was visibly shaken by each sound.”
Approximately 25 million people in the United States have Aerophobia according to the Clevland Clinic and most of them probably wish Dean-Shannon was on their flights. “He took notice and began explaining what each [sound] was, with the warmest, calmest tone,” Lee said. That wasn’t even the most amazingly sweet part of the story.
While the explanation of noises helped, Lee said about halfway through the flight the passenger was fighting back tears, which prompted Dean-Shannon to sit on the floor and hold the frightened passenger’s hand. He comforted her for the rest of the flight while sitting on the floor. “His tone was so kind and soothing,” according to Lee.
Dean-Shannon’s kindness didn’t stop there. Lee explained, “the woman next to me was celebrating a birthday and he sang to her and made her a ‘cake’ with all of the goodies he could round up.”
I’m not sure what Delta pays him but he needs a raise immediately and it seems the people of the interwebs agree.
Commenter, Miranda Anderson, tagged Delta Airlines and wrote, “I hope you see this! These are the types of people that deserve raises and make your company worth flying with. This is what pits [sic] you above the others so show these employees this is what you want and what you need.”
“I love this. This is what society is lacking. Empathy and kindness towards people in time[s] of need” wrote Diane Lawrence.
While Mary Beth Acker Ford, said, “I was on a flight with him today. He exudes joy and is intentional about making a connection with each person!”
This level of engagement with passengers is not a common experience but clearly people are happy to see this type of connection between humans. Flying anywhere can be stressful for any amount of reasons. From leaving the house late and having to participate in an involuntary 5k to catch your flight, to making your way through the devil’s backyard, also known as Atlanta International Airport…just for them to change your gate 10 minutes before boarding.
So having a flight attendant like Dean-Shannon is just the breath of fresh air people need. “The way he’s looking at her…letting her know she’s safe!!! This is just one of the many reasons I will always fly Delta Air Lines,” Liz Martin wrote in the comments.
“It was obvious he is just a good, kind soul who shares that generously with everyone he encounters. Such kindness is rare and a true gift when encountered,” Lee remarked. That level of kindness is rare indeed and we sure are happy someone thought to capture it.
This article originally appeared on 01.19.23