Megan Schofield was on a Southwest flight from San Diego to Nashville when she witnessed a random stranger comforting his 96-year-old co-passenger throughout the trip.
At a time when it seems like humanity has lost all sense of empathy and compassion, certain stories about the simple yet kind gestures of strangers bring renewed faith in our kind. After all, it doesn't take much to be nice to those around us. While one might think nothing of a trivial exchange they had with someone they met for a brief while, that very same encounter could've meant the world to the other person or even someone who just happened to witness it. This was the case with Megan Schofield, who bore witness to a stranger's random act of kindness and took to social media to share the same with the rest of the world.
See how a stranger consoled a terrified 96-year-old woman on a flight https://t.co/fVAfzTi4cn— TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 10, 2019
Megan was on a Southwest flight from San Diego to Nashville when she noticed a 96-year-old woman sitting in the row next to her. The elderly woman reminded her of her own grandmother, who had recently passed away. She came to know that her co-passenger hadn't been on a flight for the past 15 years and was hence nervous about the journey. Thankfully, the distressed woman found comfort in a young man seated beside her, who held her hand and calmed her throughout the flight.
Sharing the heartwarming tale on Facebook, Megan wrote, "On my flight from San Diego to Nashville today, sitting in the row next to me was a 96-year-old woman who hasn’t flown in 15 years. For her birthday she wanted to go to Kansas City to see her family but she was scared of flying. She asked for this man’s hand during takeoff and then hugged him again when experiencing turbulence. This gentleman I should say, gladly took her hand, let her hold onto him, calmed her by talking to her and explaining everything that was happening, and simply was that stranger there for her."
She continued, "He knew just what to do the entire flight to help. He helped her stand up to go to the restroom and watched her carefully walk down the aisle. It made me smile the whole flight as he comforted her. This man was her flight angel. He held her bag, helped her get off the plane and into the wheelchair, and when she got confused wondering where her daughter went (she called her her sister), he stayed with her until she caught up with her daughter who got separated from her." Megan concluded her post by adding how she was left in tears by the stranger's kind deed and how she was thankful for the existence of people like him.
Speaking to TODAY, Megan revealed that the elderly woman's resemblance to her own grandmother is what touched her the most as she hoped a good Samaritan like the man on the flight would've helped her nana if she had ever been in a similar situation. "Throughout the flight, she turned to him for consoling. He just really tried to make her feel comfortable through the whole flight. During turbulence, which is one of those pictures when she was hugging him, he helped her out. And then again during landing. Anytime there was a little bit of a reason why she would be a little bit scared, she turned to him for comfort," she said.
Since first being shared in July, Megan's Facebook post has been shared over 81,000 times. In fact, the post gained so much traction that a family member of the kind gentleman on the flight reached out to him to enquire whether he was the man in the photographs. Turns out, father-of-one, Ben Miller was indeed the elderly woman's "flight angel." Although the internet can't stop praising him for his actions, Miller doesn't think that what he did necessarily makes him a hero.
'He Was Her Flight Angel': Man Comforts 96-Year-Old Woman Who Is Terrified To Fly. This is how you “Bless Somebody Else.” https://t.co/en0SsIdraM #BlessSomebodyElse #Travel #Angel pic.twitter.com/oRXHcLYAGY— Kurt Carr (@TheKurtCarr) August 9, 2019
"It's pretty surreal. I don't even know that I necessarily appreciate it. I'm not a Facebook person myself. And so it was pretty wild. I was traveling alone, I didn't know anybody on the plane. You certainly don't think anybody is paying attention to you. So to get a text from somebody a few days later after the flight saying, 'Hey, is this you?' It's crazy," he said. Miller also believes that more than his random act of kindness, it was the way Megan framed the whole event that has touched so many hearts.
Praising his co-passenger, he said, "To see what it's done in terms of taking off, I think Megan really gets the credit for that because I think the interaction that I had with Virginia was maybe somewhat unique, but I'd like to think that it wasn't all that uncommon." Meanwhile, Megan hopes the moving post will remind people "to not overlook where help is needed, especially while traveling. We're just so rush, rush, rush to get from A to B. Slow down and look around and see where you can be helpful."