Most of the time, I am convinced that utilizing public transportation is the easiest way to encounter the most obnoxious behavior humans are capable of! But once in a while, something amazing happens on a train or plane that makes you think, hey, we're not all so bad after all! Take for instance a shockingly awesome incident that occurred on August 7 involving an 11-year-old cancer patient. (Yes, we're still feeling warm and fuzzy about it a month later!)
Inbar Chomsky was on her way to Camp Simcha, Chai Lifeline's summer camp program for pediatric cancer patients, with a group of 40 people. She had gone through medical exams and was ready for the flight, but when she boarded her El Al flight, she realized that her passport was missing. Ugh ...
The camp staff ended up having to notify the flight crew while flight attendants, ground control, and fellow passengers searched for the passport for over a half an hour. And when it didn't turn up, the captain said Inbar had to be escorted off of the plane. What a nightmare.
Elad Maimon, the program coordinator of Chayenu, the Israeli branch of Chai Lifeline, told Haaretz:
Taking a little girl off a flight is unheard of, and especially when that girl is sick and has already endured enough hardship. The airline personnel had tears in their eyes. They approached Inbar in the terminal. They bought her water, cried with her.
So heartbreaking! But then, there was a happy turn of fate ... Just a few minutes after the plane left the gate, one of Inbar's fellow campers found the passport in another girl's backpack. They told the flight attendants, and then, get this ... The pilot actually stopped the plane before taking off, consulted with air traffic control, and returned to the gate to pick Inbar up! Wow!
I've never heard of that happening! Airline staff was equally surprised. Maimon said, "The flight attendants could not believe their eyes." What's more, people aboard the flight weren't annoyed or frustrated. It sounds like overall, everyone was supportive of the spur-of-the-moment decision to go back for Inbar. Aww! Talk about restoring faith in humanity!
El Al released a statement noting that they were "honored and proud to help Inbar's dream to go to the camp in the USA come true. We wish Inbar full recovery and health." So sweet! Goes to show sometimes, travelers can band together for someone in need -- and the greater good.
How sweet was this?!
Image via eisenbahner/Flickr