-- Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight And When She Realizes Why, She Starts Crying

 When last have you heard a positive story about airlines in the news? Most airlines make the news for something negative - whether it’s forcibly removing passengers from planes for no reason, permanently losing luggage or even worse.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

However, this is an airline story that you will never expect. When a flight attendant asked a mom to get off the plane, she was confused and thought she was on the wrong flight. When she found out the real reason, she was completely shocked and her world turned upside down.


Just an Ordinary Woman

Peggy Uhle is just an ordinary American woman. A proud mother and devoted wife, Peggy embraces life and believes in making the most of every moment. She lives with her family in Colombus, Ohio.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

Peggy’s number one priority is her family and she can not imagine what she would do if something terrible had to happen to one of them. However, Peggy’s philosophy is that you can not live with fear - nor can you pass it on to your kids. This is a great motto to have, especially as she is the mother to three active sons - all of which were pole vaulters.


Just an Ordinary Day

The day started off exactly the same as any other day. Peggy had just completed a holiday excursion and was ready at the airport for an Easter Sunday trip back home. She was traveling alone, and her husband and sons would not be joining her on the flight.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

She had successfully boarded her super early morning flight from Raleigh-Durham, NC on Southwest airlines. The flight went smoothly without any hiccups. Upon arriving in Chicago, she had a short hour to change planes so that she could arrive at her final destination of Columbus, Ohio.


Lost in Transit

So far, all was going smoothly and according to plan. As Peggy had less than an hour between her two flights, she didn’t switch on her phone to check messages when running to catch her second plane. She definitely didn’t want to miss her flight home.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

Besides, it was early in the morning and the chances of any messages coming through were seemingly low, so Peggy didn’t think that she was missing out on anything. She could not have been more wrong.


En-Route to Ohio

Despite the grogginess of the early morning and the need to rush from one plane to another, Peggy made her connecting flight.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

Once on board, she settled into her seat and got ready for the trip home. Once all passengers were on board, the doors were shut, the plane went through the usual safety protocol and the plane began taxiing down the runway as per usual. Peggy would be home in no time. Or at least, that is what she thought.


Sudden Change of Plan

Peggy and her fellow passengers didn’t get very far before there was a sudden change of plan. Without warning, the Southwest plane stopped and turned around on the Midway Airport tarmac.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

The plane began to make its way back towards the gate. It wasn’t long before confusion set in and everyone on the plane realized that something was wrong. After all, it doesn’t take a pilot to know which way is up. What could possibly have happened?


Confusion Sets In

It wasn’t long before a clue was given as to why the plane was turning back, but neither Peggy nor the other passengers would ever guess the full reason.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

As the plane began to reapproach the gate, a flight attendant came over to Peggy. The flight attendant calmly told her that she needed to get off of the plane and follow her. Peggy was incredibly confused. What had happened and why did she alone need to get off of the plane? 


The Sky Turned Black

At first, Peggy thought that she had accidentally gotten on the wrong flight. After all, it was early and the connection was a quick one. As she followed the flight attendant, she started retracing everything that she did, trying to figure out where she went wrong.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

Once she got back to the gate, the flight attendant told her that Peggy had been on the right flight, but she needed to call her husband right away. Peggy’s heart dropped and the sky turned black for her.


Feeling Trapped

Seconds seemed like hours as Peggy anxiously waited for her husband to answer the call. He had contacted the airline company when he couldn’t get hold of Peggy when her phone was off. What could possibly be so urgent?

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

When her husband answered, she found out the tragic news. Her 24-year old son, who lived in Denver, Colorado, had sustained a head injury and was in a coma. Peggy began to panic. She felt trapped in Chicago and had no idea what to do.


Mental Checklist

Peggy’s top priority was to get to Denver and be with her son, but she had no idea how she was going to get there. Her son was one of the most important things in her world, and he was in a coma in a city over one thousand miles away.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

Her mind was frantically trying to plan the arrangements that she needed to make in order to be by her son, but her worry for his safety made it seem impossible. Feeling helpless, Peggy started to cry. That’s when the gate agent approached her with an amazing surprise.


Flooded with Relief

The attendant told Peggy that all of the arrangements had been made for her. Peggy had been put on the very next direct flight to Denver which was leaving in two short hours. Relieved, Peggy realized that she would be next to her son’s bedside in no time.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

The airline’s refund and exchange policy for the case of emergency requires documentation and notice, but here she was, being put on the very next direct flight to see her son. Peggy’s relief was indescribable.


Luggage Included?

Not only had the airline managed to get her onto the next Denver flight, but they also rerouted her luggage so that she didn’t need to worry about her belongings upon arrival.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

With her flight to Denver and her luggage sorted out, Peggy could direct all of her focus on her son and his health. She was so incredibly grateful that the airline had taken care of all of the admin and logistics for her. What more could she possibly ask for?


A Moment of Peace

The agent then escorted Peggy to a private waiting room where she could relax and be alone, away from the crowds, while waiting for her flight. The airline noticed that Peggy was distraught and stressed. They made every effort to make her feel comfortable and calm so that she could arrive in Denver feeling strong.

 

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

The airline’s attention to detail and concern for Peggy was amazing. They gave her peace and quiet, which was exactly what she needed so that she could absorb the news and prepare for arrival. But that’s not all that they did.


Unbelievable Kindness

From not knowing where to begin, to have all of the logistics organized for her, Peggy felt more relieved than ever. As she was waiting for the flight, the agent came over to her again.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

The agent told Peggy that they had booked Peggy a hotel room in Denver, nearby the hospital where her son was located. In addition, her luggage would be delivered to the hotel so that she didn’t have to worry about it when arriving - she could go straight to the hospital.


Preferential Treatment in a Time of Need

Peggy was blown away by how kind the airline was to her during her time of need. They had gone above and beyond to help her. When it came time to board the flight to Colorado, Peggy was given priority boarding so that she could settle in her seat and get ready for the flight.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

The trip to Denver wasn't an easy one for her as her thoughts were consumed by the safety of her son. The airline had already impressed her so much by how well they treated her, that she couldn’t believe what happened next.


Surprise Upon Landing

When the flight finally landed in Denver, Peggy was allowed to disembark first. As she got off of the plane, the attendant handed her a packed lunch so that she could go directly to the hospital. With her luggage on the way to the hotel, all she needed to do was find her way to her son.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

Again, the airline had Peggy covered. They had a car waiting for her to take her to the hospital. She couldn’t believe the effort that the airline had gone to help her in the tragic situation, and she hadn’t been charged a cent.


Reunited with Family

Peggy went to the hospital directly from the airport and arrived in no time. When she arrived, her husband was already there waiting for her. Finally, they were together for the first time since she heard the news that morning.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

Thanks to the airline, Peggy was able to get to Denver as soon as possible without having to worry about her luggage, where she was going to stay, how she was going to get to the hospital or even about her lunch.


The Anticipated Call

A few hours after Peggy arrived at the hospital, her phone rang. It was the airline. At first, she thought that they were going to ask her for her credit card details to cover the expenses of getting her to Denver. After all, they did have a change fee policy.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

Instead, they were calling to find out how her son was doing. She couldn’t believe it. Not only did the airline make all the arrangements to get her to Denver as speedily as possible, but they also took the time to check up on her family. So, what happened to her son?


Slow Recovery

Fortunately, Peggy’s son Michael survived the injury, came out of the coma and recovered from his brain injury. Peggy was able to be right at her son’s side thanks to Southwest Airlines. She believes that she would never have been able to make the necessary arrangements in her state of mind, but the airline thought of everything for her.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

Peggy is beyond grateful that she was able to support her son in his recovery. A few years later, Michael continues to recover, but he still has a long way to go.


Life Will Never Be The Same

Peggy and her family continue to support Michael on his journey to recovery after his traumatic brain injury. He is at one of the best rehabs in the country and continues to improve. Since waking from the coma, Michael has learned to walk, talk and go about his daily business. He has even managed to keep his sense of humor.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

At college, Michael was an athlete, particularly fond of cycling and snowboarding. While life is not the same anymore, the family is eternally grateful for Michael’s recovery as they realize that not everyone has such a happy ending. But that’s not all that Peggy is grateful for.


Verbal Praise

After her experience, Peggy says that she will only fly Southwest Airlines. During one of the most traumatic and confusing times in her life, Peggy felt fully supported by the agents at the airline. She proudly praises them for their care and attention to detail.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

She says that the airline “saved the day” with a sense of care that was second-to-none, and they never asked for payment. The positive impact that was left on Peggy’s life was huge, so it makes complete sense considering what she did next.


A Notice To The Media

Peggy was so impressed and touched by the kindness of the airline that she shared her heart-warming story with the media. The retelling of Peggy’s story has done its rounds on various media platforms, all of which sing the praises of Southwest Airlines for reflecting a company culture that prioritizes the customer.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

Thanks to Peggy’s story, Southwest Airlines are looked up to as an airline that has set the bar incredibly high for their standard of customer service. The most amazing part of Peggy’s story is that this care was not just a once off act.


Continued Support

Today, Peggy and her family continue to support Michael on his road to recovery, but they are not alone. In addition to one of the best rehab facilities in the country, Peggy also continues to feel support from Southwest Airlines.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

Peggy still hears from the stewardess that was on the original flight when she first found out about her son’s injury. In fact, the stewardess recently arranged a gift to be delivered to Michael at the Tampa airport terminal.


A Loyal Customer

The treatment that Peggy received from the airline touched her heart so deeply, that she refuses to fly any other airline, commenting that she thinks the world of Southwest Airlines.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

Two years later, the airline still goes out of their way to be courteous and considerate to Peggy and her family whenever they travel.  Michael travels in a wheelchair and even TSA at one airport that they frequent makes the effort to enthusiastically greet Michael whenever he sees him.


A Little Goes a Long Way

Peggy’s story is an inspiration to all large companies around the world. Southwest Airlines made a small gesture that had a huge impact by putting their customer first and responding to their needs by going above and beyond.

Mom is Asked to Get off the Flight, When She Realizes Why She Starts Crying

When big companies demonstrate the willingness to make a personal connection with intention and sincerity, it reminds everyone of the value of true customer service and highlights how working with the heart can have such a positive impact on both business and customer.

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