The airline pilot's compassionate gesture gave the little girl immense happiness and he was 'really glad' about that.
While taking a flight can be one of the safest and most convenient ways to travel, it does have its drawbacks when it comes to luggage. Most airlines have a limit to how much you can check-in and in some cases, luggage even gets lost. In such situations, we often end up losing valuables and end up feeling helpless as we have to rely on the airline staff to find our lost possessions and return them to us. Valentina Dominguez, a 9-year-old girl from Plano in Texas, thought she lost her prized doll named Beatrice when she forgot to take the doll from the plane returning from Tokyo. Speaking to WFAA, her father Rudy Dominguez said, "Beatrice was a big part of our lives for the past three or four years. I am feeling sad because she is very sad."
The girl's toy is an American Girl doll, a lineup that portrays young girls from various backgrounds. Each doll has its own backstory within a book that comes with the toy. Rudy described the entire ordeal to be a panicky experience. The family recalls that they had last seen the girls' precious toy on the plane and made every effort to contact the airline to get it back. The family had taken the trip over three weeks back and now the girl has finally been reunited with her favourite toy.
According to WFAA, an online post giving out details about the missing doll allowed the news of the missing doll to reach James Danen, a First Officer at American Airlines. Danen, who has been at the company for a few decades, conveniently had many trips to Tokyo. Deciding to help the little girl reunite with her doll, he contacted Turkish Airlines and managed to get the doll. He frequently updated little Valentina with photos of him and the doll at various locations. Reflecting on his kind gesture, he said, "It's my nature. I like helping people... that's just what I like doing." He went on to state that he was "really glad" to be able to make the little girl happy.
On August 21, Danen, who lived a few miles away from the family, traveled to their home and personally handed Valentina her doll. The little girl was overjoyed at being reunited and will probably remember Danen and his efforts for a long time to come. Danen also gave the little girl a few sweets and a map highlighting all the locations he had taken Beatrice to. Thanking the man, Valentina hilariously inquired if her doll was "well-behaved on the flight."
Rudy also expressed his gratefulness and said, "There's a lot of kindness in this world. He's a kind man. He said he would do it and followed through." The girl is sure to be more careful of her possessions, especially when traveling. The tale also serves as a reminder to be mindful of other's valuables while traveling, as they might have some memories associated with them.