A New York mom took to Facebook to thank a flight attendant for calming her infant son during a flight on their way home from Christmas.
Heather Gooch, of Levittown, N.Y.says she was flying on a Southwest Airlines flight from Florida to New York with her 9-month-old son, Aiden, on Dec. 28, when a flight attendant took Aiden under her wing.
The flight was only the second plane Aiden had ever been on, and the first time he had been awake during a flight.
“I was so nervous,” Gooch told ABC News. “This flight attendant was so helpful, she carried our bags for us and brought us to a seat where she knew there would be an empty seat next to it.”
“After we took off he started getting fussy and people were looking at us and I thought, ‘Oh great,’” Gooch recalled. “She caught my eye and she said, ‘Do you mind?,’ and picked him up and walked with him up and down the aisle.”
“He was waving to everyone,” Gooch said of her son.
Gooch says she called Southwest Airlines after the flight to make sure the flight attendant, who she knew only as Anisse, got recognized for her thoughtful deeds, but gave up when she got a busy signal.
Gooch turned instead to Facebook, where she posted on Wednesday a description of the incident and a photo of the flight attendant holding her son in the aisle.
“Dear Southwest, I'm hoping you can share this post so that I can be sure that it finds its way to a very special Southwest flight attendant. All I know about her is that her name is Anisse. My husband and 9 month old son were flying from Fort Lauderdale back home to Islip, NY on 12/28. This was my son's first trip so we weren't sure how things would go. Anisse went above and beyond to make sure that the trip went as smoothly as possible. I have NEVER had a flight attendant as kind and as helpful as she was,” Gooch wrote on Facebook. “My son adored her and kept looking for her as she passed by. At one point, she saw that he was looking for her and getting antsy, so she came and picked him up and walked up and down the aisle with him while my husband and I ate our lunch. Although this may not be a story that stands out from the rest, I wanted to thank her and let her know how appreciated she is. We so often hear about the negative things going on so I wanted to share this story of a someone who made my trip a little brighter. Please help this get to her!”
The post has since been liked more than 220,000 times and shared more than 25,000 times, including by Southwest Airlines.
The post also found its way to the flight attendant, later identified as Anissa Charles, who Gooch says received emails from friends and family who saw the post and tagged Charles in the comments.
“Y'all are going to make me cry!!! Lol it was Truly my pleasure and he made MY day!! I needed him more than he wanted me to hang out with,” Charles wrote in her own comment on Gooch’s post. “I tell adults all the time on my flights, children are doing exactly what they are supposed to do....make noise! Lol Think about it, the aircraft is completely boring to them(after takeoff) and there's nowhere to run! I would honestly rather hear them make noise and even cry than to hear an adult whine! Lolol They have soooooo much to talk about and mom and dad deserve a break!”
Gooch says she and Charles are now in touch via email.
“She was so overwhelmed and emotional and excited,” Gooch said of Charles. “She didn’t know what to do and that everyone was emailing her and saying that she’s famous.”
Southwest Airlines called Charles “extraordinary” in a statement to ABC News.
“What Anissa did happens at Southwest every day because our people make it a point to be extraordinary. Anissa is extraordinary,” the statement read. “What we love about a story like this is that Anissa was able to see and hear from people on Facebook who were affected by her actions. What a wonderful gift for the holidays for Anissa and Heather to share with thousands of others the joy of such a simple, loving act.”