I thought I’d share a remarkable story of what happened at the airport recently, while leaving for my mini vacation with Andy.

We’d been planning our trip for a while. On the week of, we prepared everything and got all packed. I was excited and just couldn’t wait to sit on a beach chair and take in the gorgeous Caribbean sun, sea, and sand. I was hoping everything went perfectly smooth as planned; and so it was. When we got to the airport we were lucky enough to get onto an earlier flight. With just a few minutes left to board, we rushed up to the security check point. In the midst of rushing, I completely forgot about the bottle of wine I had in my carry on. As expected, airport security picked up on it and offered me two options — either I throw away the bottle of wine I particularly picked out for our trip, or I run back downstairs to check it in with my other luggage. With merely one or two minutes to spare before the plane door closes, I had to choose between my bottle of wine and missing the flight.

For a brief moment I stood blank saying, “Uhhhh…” — in that split second a stranger next to me hastily asked, “I’m on your flight and I have to run back downstairs to the check in counter, would you like me to take it for you?” I glanced over at him — he was scrambling to grab his shoes and belongings from the conveyor belt. Without hesitation, I said, “Yes, please, thanks!” In an instant he grabbed the bottle of wine and ran downstairs. It happened so quickly. The airport security looked at me, shook his head and laughed in a cynical way as if I was just conned.

I barely got a chance to see the stranger’s face much less take his number — there really was no time anyway. Andy was sceptical, but I somehow believed the gesture was sincere. We boarded the plane, took our seats and waited to see if the “wine guy” was seriously coming into the flight. I sat up at the edge of my seat and eagerly looked down the narrow aisle that led to the exit. No more passengers were boarding and a second went like a minute. As the plane door was about to close — phew! — the “wine guy” came rushing in.

When we landed, he darted out the plane ahead of us. We lost sight of him. ‘Is he ditching us?’ — I thought to myself. We eventually caught up with him at baggage claim. He told us the wine was in his relative’s luggage who was coming in a later flight that night. Was he being sincere? At that point, I really couldn’t tell. 

Between Andy and me, it suddenly wasn’t about the wine anymore. We were more interested in seeing the kind of people that’s out there. I grew a bit disappointed but somehow still believed he was being honest.

We took his number and contacted him later that night. The first call was a no answer — I grew even more disappointed.

A few minutes later, he called back. Yay! I knew it! We got directions to collect the wine. When we finally got it, a sense of happiness grew over me — not so much for the wine, but for the kindness and honesty that existed — especially in a total stranger. We thanked him for being so kind and sincere. He responded saying, “My pleasure! Just flew back from my cousin’s funeral. Life is too short to be dishonest and not help each other along the way…”  His perspective and simple act of kindness, even in what must have been a difficult time in his life, warmed our hearts and made us smile.

After all, do good and good will surely follow, right?

What would you have done in either end of that situation?

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Thank you for stopping by 🙂

Keep Smiling — Love, Candace


45 Replies to “The Airport Stranger and My Bottle of Wine”

  1. Thanks for sharing this touching story. It is inspiring to hear about the kindness of strangers 🙂 I think I would feel a bit skeptical in this situation as well. But what a pleasant surprise that he brought back your wine! I love what he said about life being too short. That’s so true.

  2. Seems nowadays we’re more likely to slip in the distrust mode instead of doing what our ancestors did – which was implicitly trust …and he’s right – life is way to short and no one knows when our number is up …

  3. I like the symbolism of the bottle of wine. It’s heavy–takes effort for him to lug for you. But also, easily breakable! It could have gotten smashed while he ran it through the airport. Finally, wine is about celebrating good fortune (even in times of trouble). How beautiful that he took this heavy, delicate, celebratory item into his hands for a stranger, and returned it.

  4. This truly touched me as well babe, I was very skeptical and I am so happy that I was pleasantly surprised. I am very happy that you shared our little adventure, I hope the airport stranger comes across it!

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