Lonely Planet Writer

An airline passenger shared a heartwarming story about a random act of kindness in the sky

Sometimes it seems like only the negative airline stories are the one that make the headlines. Now a random act of kindness prompted one airline passenger to take to social media to share her uplifting story.

Natalie Gunderson flew to North Carolina earlier this month on a nearly-full flight. On the same flight was a mystery donor who handed out $2 bills to every single passenger. He explained that by doing so, he was honouring his late father.

When he was 16, he explained, his father gave him a $2 bill, saying that as long as he had that, he would never be broke. In an effort to spread the love and put a smile on people’s faces, he did the same for every single passenger.

A dollar bill folded into the shape of a heart.
The mystery benefactor wanted to spread the love with his gift. Image by Lasse Kristensen

Natalie took a picture of all the passengers holding up their bills and smiling to remember the moment. After posting it to her own social media “in the midst of all the crap going on in the world”, the post has gone viral with people praising this small, random act of kindness for a plane full of strangers.

Travel and the serendipitous encounters it creates often inspire uplifting stories of the kindness of strangers. Last year, a homeless man in Edinburgh made friends with two Swedish tourists after he gave them directions and they repaid his kindness with a holiday. In a more deliberate move, Rob Greenfield travelled from Panama to San Diego completely for free to prove that people would be willing to help him out.