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'It Was An Honor': Pilots Fly With Grieving Woman's Photo Of Her Late Grandmother

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
A woman sent this beautiful story to a local news reporter after she received "extraordinary kindness" from employees of Alaska Airlines.

"I am writing to tell youKathryn about the extraordinary kindness that was shown to me by members of Alaska Airlines who worked Flight 1176 on May 10th.


I had to travel that day to attend my grandmother's funeral.

She was 103.

This was her birthday last November.

She died on May 8th.

Concetta Immacolata Mongiardo was the light of my life.

For the wake and funeral mass, I made a poster of my favorite picture of her, which is when she turned 100.

To me, this picture shows the essence of my grandmother's nature: Gratitude.

I didn't want anything to happen to the poster, so I used cardboard to protect it.

When I got to the gate, I showed the gate agent what I was carrying and asked if I would be able to put it in a safe place for our cross country journey.

At first, I was told that it would have to go in the cargo hold with all the regular baggage.
But as soon as I explained why I was traveling (and I started to break down), and who the cardboard was protecting.

The gate agent, Lourdes Pedemonte, started to cry with me, and then she assured me that Nan wouldn't have to fly in the cargo hold.

A few minutes later, she came up to me, put her hand on my shoulder and said, 'you're all set, the pilots are going to keep Nan in the cockpit.'

I started to cry again because of the kindness Ms. Pedemonte showed me.

When I boarded the plane, I was greeted by flight attendant Pam Keck who said, 'you must be the woman with some precious cargo.'

I smiled at her, with tears in my eyes, and handed Nan over to her.

The cockpit door was open, and when Ms. Keck handed Nan over to the pilots, they both made eye contact with me and told me not to worry, that they would take good care of Nan as we travelled across the country.

After what seemed to be an eternity, we finally landed.

Ms. Keck made sure Nan was waiting for me.

I thanked Ms. Keck again, and asked her to thank the pilots for me.

She said, 'you can thank them yourself, there they are.'

So I looked them both in the eye, and, with my hand over my heart, thanked them for taking care of Nan.

They both said, 'it was an honor' and offered their condolences.

I really hope Ms. Pedemonte, Ms. Keck, and the pilots know the depths of my gratitude for the kindness and compassion they showed me that day.

-Kathryn"