Since the great majority of offices, factories, restaurants and shops are closed on Christmas, it may seem like most of us get to spend the holidays with loved ones. The truth though is that many services, such as transportation, law enforcement and hospitals, are still up and running during the holidays, therefore many can't spend time celebrating with family and friends.
Pierce Vaughan, a Delta flight attendant, had been scheduled to fly on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year, yet despite the sadness of being away from her loved ones, one person made sure Vaughan was not alone for the holidays, her father, Hal Vaughan.
Hal, in a generous show of affection, decided to book a seat on all the flights that his daughter was scheduled on, including flights New Orleans to Detroit, Detroit to Fort Myers, Florida, back to Detroit, and then onto Hartford, Connecticut. On one of the flights to Detroit, Hal was seated next to Mike Levy, who posted a picture of the father and daughter and wrote a post detailing their holiday adventure.
"The flight was from Fort Myers, Florida, to Detroit. While chatting with Hal, I mentioned I was heading back home. He then told me about his daughter working as our flight attendant and how he was along for the ride to spend Christmas with her,” Levy told CNN. "I was amazed and thought he was such a phenomenal father for going well out of his way to be with his daughter. Pierce is very sweet. She definitely knows now how great her dad really is."
Hal used his daughter’s employee benefits to book the six flights. The benefits include free or reduced travel for parents, children and spouses. Afterwards, Pierce said that her Dad’s trip had been a success and thanked her fellow crewmembers and gate members. She added that he had even gotten an upgrade to first class on the Florida to Detroit leg of his journey, calling it cheekily a “Christmas miracle."
Hal had suffered a neck injury after falling off a ladder earlier this year that had left him temporarily quadriplegic. This trip was the first time he had managed to travel since the accident.
"We appreciate all of our employees for working during the holidays to serve Delta customers, and love seeing this awesome Dad having the chance to spend Christmas with his daughter – even while crisscrossing the country at 30,000 feet," Delta said in a statement.
Hal said he was motivated to take the trip because his wife and he didn’t want their daughter spending Christmas Day alone in a hotel room. This isn’t the first time the Vaughans have made a long journey to be with their daughter on Christmas. Two years ago, while she was working in Australia after graduating from college, Pierce’s parents took a 15-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney visit her. It was the family’s first Christmas away from home.