Woman’s flight to see dying mother canceled then ‘airport angel’ steps in

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CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A story of generosity in an airport is going viral.

The day before Thanksgiving, Laura Genovich who lives in Michigan, got a call saying that her mom in Florida had a stroke.

WOOD reports, Friday morning, the nurse told her that her mom might never wake up, so Laura and her 3-month-old baby headed to the airport and boarded an American Airlines plane to Chicago to make a connection to Orlando.

Laura was then told the aircraft needed maintenance. She tells WOOD said she spent the entire time waiting to take off on the phone with relatives, talking to them about her mom’s health and the fact that she probably was not going to make it to Florida.

After an hour, the passengers were told the plane was grounded for repairs.

“I just broke down and started crying because I need to be there. I needed to get there as soon as possible. My dad was alone down there. We don’t have other family down there and I had to get there as soon as I could,” Laura told WOOD.

It was then an “airport angel stepped in.”

In the seat in front of her, a woman turned around and said, “My name is Mary. I’ve been listening to you for the last hour, and I’ve been praying for you and your family. I am not leaving your side until you are on a plane to Orlando,” Laura said.

Mary and Laura found a Southwest Airlines flight to Orlando, but the gate attendant told her she couldn’t transfer her ticket because American Airlines doesn’t have a contract with Southwest.

Laura’s ticket was going to cost an additonal $400, so Mary stepped in to pay for her ticket.

“She gave me a big hug and she said, ‘I love you and the Lord loves you,’ and it just meant the world to me,” said Laura.

Laura made it to the hospital that night, 15 minutes before visitation hours ended.

“I laid the baby on her and I talked to my mom and I sang to her and I played videos on my phone of the other kids so she could hear their voices and to be able to do that is just priceless,” Laura said.

Her mom passed away a few days later on Dec. 3.

“In the middle of an extremely difficult time for my family, I experienced the most incredible generosity from a complete stranger and the unexpected kindness of a major airline,” Laura wrote in her blog post, which has been shared more than 23,000 times on Facebook.

Southwest Airlines informed Laura that after she boarded the plane, Mary returned to ensure all her luggage had made it on as well. That’s when the company gave Mary a voucher for a future flight for her kindness.



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