MOUNT GILEAD — Heather Brooke-Ryan and her three-year-old daughter Avery found themselves stranded in a rain storm on a Newark, New Jersey, airport tarmac last month.
They had already boarded the Republic Airlines plane when a 20-minute delay was extended indefinitely.
Heather said the plane was “packed” and Avery was the only child on the evening flight to Columbus. They were headed home to Mount Gilead to help Heather’s mom, Penny Brooke, who had broken both her ankles in a fall and required surgery.
The initial delay turned into a two-hour wait on the tarmac as the storm intensified. Flight attendant April Wood tapped Heather on the shoulder and asked if Avery would like to “help the flight crew pass out snacks and pick up the trash.”
Avery was delighted to be a helper and “honorary stewardess” as she went up and down the aisle asking passengers, “Would you like some pretzels or do you have any trash?”
Heather said they made her feel comfortable and all the passengers were entertained as well. Some probably took some pretzels even when they didn’t want any, just to please Avery.
“Both stewardesses went above and beyond their duties and responsibility,” Heather said.
“Because of how they engaged her, Avery will always see flying as a positive experience.”
When people left the plane everyone had a smile on their face and several stopped to say, “You must be Avery’s mom.”
The crew made a potentially stressful situation into a positive experience for the passengers. Heather commended both Wood and Stewardess Dejuana Lockhart for their hospitality and positive response that lifted everyone’s spirits.
After the recent news of all the miserable flights and negative reports about airline staff and passenger fights, Heather was gave a positive review of their airline experience.
Avery’s grandma, Penny, is glad to report that her injuries are healing. She gave special thanks to Heather for coming home to help after her fall.
She also praised the Morrow County EMS out of Johnsville who responded to the 911 call and thanked the Morrow County Hospital Emergency team for their good care after her injuries.