The Welcome Mat On The Southwest Airlines Runway

What started as a normal flight for Twitter user, Dustin Moore, (@theamericanrd), ended with the most memorable landing.

Dustin’s experience prints an everlasting impression, reads like a feel good movie, and leaves us with a message worth writing on a napkin as a daily reminder.

It’s been a difficult week. But, rather than publicly air my grievances, I’d like to share w/ you the kindness strangers offered us the day we brought our daughter home.

I hope our story uplifts you, and reminds you there is goodness to be had in this world.

Dustin Mooore

A thread… 

“Not too long ago, my wife and I boarded a @SouthwestAir flight with our recently adopted infant daughter.

W/ clearance to return home to California, my wife carried our precious bundle, while I offered numerous apologies to passengers while maneuvering the aisle with 4 bags.  About mid flight, our daughter awoke and politely informed us she wanted a new new diaper. After inquiring about space for a table change, a thoughtful flight attendant (named Jenny) cleared a space in the back of the plane and gave us privacy.  After a change, Jenny and another passenger complimented my beautiful daughter and politely asked what had prompted a flight with such a young infant. I gave them the shortened adoption story, to which they hastily offered congratulations, and shared a few more kind remarks.  

About 10 minutes later, another attendant (named Bobby) greeted us w/ a warm smile, and inquired about our daughter. We repeated the story w/ a few details, and he congratulated us before walking away. My wife and I exchanged curious looks, but thought nothing more about it.  Then, we heard the intercom. The attendant Bobby came on and announced a special guest on the flight: Our daughter.“She’s just been adopted by her parents Caren and Dustin, and is making her way home.” The entire cabin erupted in cheers and applause. He then shared that the crew would pass out pens and napkins to everyone, and anybody who wanted to share a word of advice or encouragement for our family was welcome to do so.  

We sat in speechless gratitude, as people kept peeking over their chairs to congratulate us. The crew gathered the napkins, then read a few of their favorites over the intercom:

“Rub each other’s feet, and rub the baby’s feet.”
“Make time for date night.”
“Always tell her you love her.”
“Enjoy every minute. It goes by sooo very fast.”
“Drink lots of wine!” 

Note to the new parents aboard the flight.

One more round of cheers came through. Then, Bobby and Jenny approached us with the napkins bundled up (about 60 of them), w/ a set of pilot wings for our daughter. We learned they were married, and that someone had done a similar act for them on their honeymoon flight. When I had spoken w/ Jenny, she thought it was a perfect opportunity to pay forward the kind act they had been shown on their honeymoon. 

Even as we disembarked, people kept approaching us and wishing us well, and complimenting our beautiful daughter. Our hearts were full. 

But there’s more.

What all of those perfect strangers and attendants did not know, was the emotionally tender state of two brand-new parents. Parents who after 9 years of trying had been blessed with their first child. Parents who felt scared, but determined in their new role. The outpouring of love from that flight, brought on by the actions of two thoughtfully observant flight attendants… it exceeds my ability to describe what it meant to us. How much those wings and written notes uplifted two new parents determined to love their new daughter.

This website [Twitter] is used often as a means to share what’s wrong.

I hope you’ll take time to share what is good. In a world of turmoil, don’t forget to showcase the Bobby’s and Jenny’s, the kind strangers out there.

And if they don’t cross your path, be one. Seek good, or create it.

Thank you all for the love you’ve shown us .

We only wish we could sit down with each of you, tell you the rest of the story, and hear yours.

Maybe another time…”