Mum-of-two praises Ryanair after cabin crew help daughter over fear of flying and let pilot wannabe son into cockpit

A DELIGHTED mum-of-two has praised Ryanair after cabin crew members helped her daughter over her fear of flying and let her pilot wannabe son into the cockpit.

Verity Billington was flying from London’s Stansted Airport to Edinburgh Airport last Thursday when daughter Kaylah began to become overwhelmed as her fear of flying got the better of her.

However, the 33-year-old was left stunned when flight attendant Rachael went above and beyond to reassure Kaylah, 11, with a unique analogy to aid her fears and a kind-hearted note and gift from the rest of the cabin crew.

To top off their experience, Verity’s 13-year-old son Kaiden – an aspiring pilot – was subsequently given the chance to tour the cockpit of the aircraft and speak to the pilot.

Verity explains how Kaylah was gifted two bars of chocolate and a touching note from cabin crew members after Rachael explained that flying was like “being in jelly” which helped calm her daughter down.

Once the plane had landed in Edinburgh, Kaiden, a member of the Air Cadets, asked a steward if he could talk to the pilot.

Kaiden, 13, in the cockpit of the plane.
Kaiden, 13, in the cockpit of the plane.

The obliging Ryanair staff ushered the youngster into the cockpit, where he was allowed to sit in the pilot’s seat and even help turn the plane off, shutting down the exterior lights.

The pilots spent time explaining to Kaiden how best to fulfil his dream and become a pilot and even cheekily advised his mum to “line her pockets” to help pay for flying lessons.

Touching images show the chocolate and note handed over to Kaylah, which reads: “We are so proud of you.

“Thank you for trusting us to fly you home, or on holiday. Just remember it’s like being in jelly.

“From, Rachael, Julius, Ethan and Antonio.”

A further snap shows pleased Kaiden sitting in the pilot’s seat of the plane, smiling for the camera as the countless screens, buttons and dials of the cockpit are lit up in front of him.

Verity took to social media yesterday to share her positive experience, writing: “Ryanair normally has a bad reputation and gets some stick.

“I wanted to change that and say thank you and express my gratitude for a wonderful experience.

“I fly all over the world and back-and-forth from Scotland, however a Thursday night flight to Edinburgh had to be one of my most enjoyable trips with Ryanair and my two children.

“My 11-year-old daughter was so afraid of flying and as we boarded, she sat in her seat with her head in her arms, about to burst into tears.

“Firstly, an amazing air stewardess named Rachael knelt down beside her while people were boarding, reassured my daughter and told her [that] flying on a plane was just like being in jelly.

“‘Imagine flying through jelly’ she said and reassured her absolutely nothing would happen.

“If that wasn’t enough, five minutes after [the] seatbelt signs came off and we were in the air, Rachael handed my daughter a note with two chocolate bars inside, which read how proud she was of her for letting them fly her to her destination and signed it by the team.

“Then, after being one of the last ones off the plane, my 13-year-old son who is so eager to be a pilot an absolutely loves planes/flying was invited to sit in the cockpit.

“[He] had a chat with the pilot and the captain and was given a load of advice on how to reach his potential of being a pilot and was also given the responsibility of turning all the lights off in the cockpit for the outside lights of the plane.

“I’ve never seen my son happier. He was lost for words with the biggest smile on his face and hasn’t stopped talking about it since.

“We are now en-route back to England, my daughter who is still holding on to the note in her pocket and is funnily enough no longer anxious.”

Verity’s post received over 3,000 likes and scores of positive comments from social media users who were touched by the story.

One user said: “What a lovely experience for you guys. I am not good at flying, so I feel your daughter’s fears.”

Another added: “Brilliant – less credit to the company, and more to the individuals that made these positive experiences.”

A third commented: “Aw what a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing. It is always so nice to read positivity.”

Speaking today, Verity said: “I’ve never had service like this one.

“Acts of kindness can make a great impact not just in the world around us but on a child’s future. Thank you, Ryanair.

“You truly outdone yourself, not only making my sons dream come true and creating a memory he will have with him forever but for changing a child’s outlook on life for the better and proving that kindness wins always.”


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