There’s nothing quite like exploring new places and meeting new people. Unfortunately, traveling anywhere often involves a trip to the airport, which can be stressful. Between the long waits and the pressure to make it there on time, flying can be a real ordeal.

No one had to explain that to Shaina Murry. Recently, while waiting for her final flight after a long trip, she was ready for it all to just be over. Then, she noticed one man acting strangely. Moments later, her whole life changed…

Shaina Murry was just one of hundreds of people waiting for her American Airlines flight at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Eager to return home to her husband (pictured here with Shaina) and tired from her travels, she hurriedly found her gate and sat down. Then, she noticed something unusual…

Shaina Murry / Facebook

A man lay sprawled out on the airport floor. “It was clear something was wrong,” Shaina recalled later in a post on Facebook. “I just didn’t know what.” So, she rushed over to find out.

Ian / Flickr


Shaina asked the man, whose name was Will, a few questions. She never shared exactly what he told her, but after their conversation, she knew there was something she needed to do: call for medical assistance.

NBC DFW

Then, Will shared something else with her. Over and over again, he told her he was “afraid he was going to miss his flight while waiting for the airport medical team to come assist him,” Shaina wrote. That’s when she realized exactly what was going on…


Will was autistic, Shaina determined, and the overwhelming stress of traveling alone had made him very uncomfortable. This realization “triggered me to switch gears,” she wrote.

Shaina Murry / Facebook

Most other people would have left Will waiting for the medical team, but not Shaina. Instead, she assured her new airport pal that all was well: she’d make sure he boarded his plane before takeoff—and she didn’t stop there.

Together, the duo called Will’s mom “to let her know he wasn’t feeling well and seeing the medical team at Dallas Airport,” Shaina said. Will’s mother explained that her son was indeed autistic, confirming Shaina’s hunch.


When the medical team arrived, Will, Shaina, and the staff at American Airlines discussed the best way to make sure Will was in good condition to continue with his flight. Unfortunately, they were concerned about his health—and his ability to remain in such a cramped space.

CBS

The medical team said he needed to eat and have something to drink,” Shaina wrote, “and they were worried he would get sick again and didn’t know if he should fly.” Did this mean Will would miss his flight?

NBC DFW


If your typical stressed-out, in-a-hurry traveler had been the one to first talk to Will, he might’ve ended up grounded. Shaina, however, was no ordinary traveler—and she wanted to make sure Will was safe. Although she was tired and eager to see her husband, Shaina was prepared to do whatever it took to get Will home safe.

I worked with American Airlines and the medical team at Dallas,” Shaina said, “and told [them] I would change my flight, grab some lunch with him, and make sure he got on his flight okay.”

In response, American Airlines helped out by facilitating Shaina’s flight transfer free of charge. “American didn’t charge me a dime for the flight change,” she wrote. The airline took another above-and-beyond action, too…

Brad Loper / Dallas Morning News


Shaina added that American Airlines “even called me when [Will] and I were eating lunch together to let me know his gate changed.” Everyone with the power to help came together to make sure one frightened Will made his flight!

Finally, after a meal and pleasant conversation, Shaina walked Will to his gate. American Airlines took over from there, and the gate clerk “made sure he boarded safely to go see his Mom for Christmas.

ABC News

Just as Shaina (pictured with her husband here) promised, Will made his flight! Later, she beautifully reflected on her hectic day at the airport. “Today was not at all what I pictured it to be,” she wrote. “It has turned out so much better…”

Shaina Murry / Facebook

Her account of the day continued: “I had an amazing lunch with a wonderful young man from Louisville, Kentucky. While I don’t know him well, I know he has a heart of gold and a wonderful mother and sister, who he loves very much.”

There’s no denying it: airports are stressful. They’re loud, crowded, and at times they feel like a labyrinth no map can navigate you through. But Shaina sacrificed her easy traveling experience and spent more time in the chaos for a stranger. That’s pretty amazing!

Scott / Flickr


Of course, Shaina couldn’t have done it alone, and she acknowledged everyone who played a big role in getting Will on his flight. “American Airlines handled the situation with such professionalism and care,” she wrote. “The medical team [was] also just as amazing.”

Most importantly: Shaina acknowledged a truth everyone could stand to hear. “Every once and awhile we all need a little help. Regardless of disability, age, or social status. Thanks for making my day Will!”

Shaina Murry / Facebook

Although Shaina wouldn’t likely ever see Will again, the day she spent with him might have changed her whole life—and his. It just goes to show you that a little kindness and sacrifice can go a long way!

Shaina Murry / Facebook

Our own lives are so stressful that sometimes an opportunity to do the right thing can just slip us by. Kudos to Shaina for being so attentive to her fellow traveler!

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