One flight attendant’s small act of kindness is touching the hearts of thousands.
When deaf Maryland teen Ashley Ober flew by herself for the first time this summer, she was a little nervous about navigating a large, international airport alone — she had a connection at New York’s JFK airport on her route from Baltimore, Maryland to Rochester, New York.
But the 16-year-old’s Delta flight attendant went out of her way to make her feel comfortable, and now the note that she gave Ashley has gone viral online.
“My daughter who is Deaf took a flight by herself ! The attendant handed her this note on the plane ! Delta makes it amazing!” Ashley’s mom Loretta shared on Twitter in July, tagging Delta and sharing a picture of the note.
“Hi good morning Ashley, my name is Janna and I will be your flight attendant on today’s flight to JFK,” the note read. “There are two buttons above your head a yellow one that controls the reading light and a big gray one with a person on it that you can use to call me if you need anything.”
The note continued to explain where the nearest emergency exit on the plane was, before concluding, “Please don’t hesitate to ask if you need any assistance. Again my name is Janna and welcome aboard our CRJ200 aircraft.”
Ashley recently told CNN about her experience, saying the note gave her the confidence boost she needed to feel comfortable on her journey.
“Well, I feel nervous because, you know, really, what if I miss my flight, or you know, I don’t know where to go when I transfer. I mean JFK International is such a huge airport, so I didn’t know where to go,” she told the outlet.
“I want to be independent. I know I can do it on my own,” she said. Loretta told the outlet that she wanted Ashley to exercise her independence, but waited near the airport until she heard that Ashley made it onto the plane.
“I really felt relieved,” Ashley told CNN of receiving Janna’s note. “And I felt more comfortable on the flight.”
“I put it in my bag. I kept it. I still have it. It’s with me all the time,” she said. “I’m going to cherish that.”
“I’ve never experienced that kind of politeness before. It just inspired me,” she added.
“We are extremely proud of the thoughtful approach this Endeavor Air flight attendant took to make the customer feel welcome. Our goal is to make the world a more inclusive place, ensuring travel is easy for all people,” Delta said in a statement to WJLA responding to Ashley’s positive experience.
The airline also told the outlet that it will soon be providing flight attendants and gate agents who know sign language a pin to add to their uniform that will alert customers they can sign.
“With this improvement, customers and qualified employees will immediately be able to visually recognize when they hold sign language as a common connection.”