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To any parent who has anxiously traveled by air with a young infant, Southwest Airlines flight attendant Anissa Charles is nothing short of a saint.
Just ask Heather Gooch. The New York mother and her husband were returning home from their Florida visit last week, a bit nervous about how their 9-month-old son would fare.
It was the boy’s first trip but all went just fine, thanks to “a very special Southwest flight attendant. All I know about her is that her name is Anisse," Gooch wrote on the airline's Facebook page.
“Anisse went above and beyond to make sure that the trip went as smoothly as possible. I have NEVER had a flight attendant as kind and as helpful as she was. My son adored her and kept looking for her as she passed by.”
At one point, where her son started getting antsy, the flight attendant came by “and picked him up and walked up and down the aisle with him while my husband and I ate our lunch," wrote Gooch, who reached out to Southwest Dec. 29, hoping the airline would express her appreciation with the flight attendant.
“Although this may not be a story that stands out from the rest, I wanted to thank her and let her know how appreciated she is," Gooch said. "We so often hear about the negative things going on so I wanted to share this story of a someone who made my trip a little brighter."
The post went viral. It has since been shared more than 58,500 times and elicited more than 8,000 comments, including one from a flight attendant named Anissa Charles.
“It was truly my pleasure and he made MY day!! I needed him more than he wanted me to hang out with!” Charles wrote in her reply to the post: "Lol I don't mind being used by the babies.”
Later, through a Southwest statement, Charles downplayed her role on the flight.
"I didn't do anything spectacular,” she said. “We have so many flight attendants who love families and kids and help them every day.”
In her Facebook response, Charles explained a little further.
“I tell adults all the time on my flights, children are doing exactly what they are supposed to do....make noise! Lol,” she wrote. “Think about it, the aircraft is completely boring to them (after takeoff) and there's nowhere to run! I would honestly rather hear them make noise and even cry than to hear an adult whine! Lolol They have soooooo much to talk about and mom and dad deserve a break!”
Southwest praised Charles for being "an amazing flight attendant" who went above and beyond in her work.
“Her kindness and helpfulness made the Gooch family's trip brighter, and it's that type of focus on hospitality that makes the Southwest travel experience an incredible one for so many of our customers,” Sonya Lacore, Southwest vice president for cabin services, said in a statement