46-year-old Jason Kunselman, the man previously referred to as the passenger in seat 2D on American Airlines flight 588 from Orlando to Philadelphia, spoke to Dailymail.com about his generosity.
Kunselman, an industrial engineer from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, was flying home after working on a project in Florida when he saw Kelsey Zwick waiting to board the plane to Philadelphia, her 11-month-old baby daughter Lucy in a stroller.
“She had an oxygen machine for her daughter. It couldn't be put over her head and she had to have it with her the whole time. It was so touching seeing the little girl with her oxygen. I was tearing up as I saw her,” he said. “Kelsey was pre-boarding and I saw the young mother traveling with a child that needed oxygen. She was so tiny.”
Kelsey was taking Lucy, who suffers from severe chronic lung disease because of a complication during the pregnancy, to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
“I expected to see her in the front since she had the oxygen machine with her but when I boarded she was in the back. So I asked the flight attendant if she thought the young lady with the baby would be more comfortable in my seat,” he recalled.
As they switched seats, Jason saw Kelsey crying with gratitude, and he began to tear up.
“I just hoped that she had a better flight with more room,” he said.
Sitting so far back in the plane, he joked that he almost missed his connection to Harrisburg.
After the flight, many passengers on board thanked him for his generosity.
Kunselman thought nothing of his gesture until Kelsey took to Facebook to share her experience.
“To the man in 2D. Today you were traveling from Orlando to Philly. I don't know you, but I imagine you saw us somewhere. I was pushing a stroller, had a diaper bag on my arm and also lugging an oxygen machine for my daughter,” she wrote. “We had smiles on our faces as we were headed to see her 'friends' at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia).”
“We pre-boarded the plane, got cozy in our window seat and made jokes to those around us about having to sit by my yelling-but-happy baby. The flight attendant came over and told me you were waiting to switch seats. You were giving up your comfortable, first class seat to us. Not able to hold back tears, I cried my way up the aisle while my daughter Lucy laughed!” she added.
“She felt it in her bones too... real, pure, goodness. I smiled and thanked you as we switched but didn't get to thank you properly. Sooo... thank you. Not just for the seat itself but for noticing. For seeing us and realizing that maybe things are not always easy. For deciding you wanted to show a random act of kindness to US. It reminded me how much good there is in this world. I can't wait to tell Lucy someday. In the meantime... we will pay it forward. AA 588 passenger in seat 2D, we truly feel inspired by your generosity,” the post continued.
The post garnered over 600,000 likes and 400,000 shares.
An American Airlines spokesperson responded to the story, saying: “We truly appreciate the kindness of the gentleman in 2D. We were able to connect the two of them together, and our team is reaching out to him as well to extend our thanks for the kind gesture. In the words of Kelsey, we also want to pay it forward with our thanks and appreciation.”
Kelsey stated that she hopes others are inspired by her story to do good.
“You never know what people are going through. So many people helped us along the way. One small act of kindness is a ripple effect! And when you get to the other side of your struggle – whatever that looks like – pay it forward!” she wrote. “Thank you to the man in 2D! The world is hungry for kindness... and I hope this expands far beyond what happened to us yesterday.”
“Thank you doesn't cover it,” Kelsey wrote to Kunselman in a private message. “The world clearly needed your kindness.”
Sources: Daily Mail