Airline Rejects Letting Dad & Newborn On Flight, So Widow Says She's 'Going To Take' Him 'Home With' Her

Nov 30, 2021 by apost team

Every parent knows how hard it is to travel with their kids. Newborns are no exception.
Parents have to make sure they have entertainment on hand, refreshments, and snacks. A parent also has to know how to make sure their kids behave in the backseat or whatever vehicle they travel in. There can be unforeseen problems as well when you're suddenly stuck in traffic or somewhere else. Caring for a child can be much more stressful and frantic while you're on the road. Back in 2018, Rubin Swift, one young father from Ohio, found himself in dire straits when he was suddenly stranded at the airport with a newborn in tow. The airline had refused to let him and his baby board. Thankfully, Joy Ringhofer, a kind-hearted good samaritan, was there to save the day.

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Traveling by airplane is often a whole other nightmare for parents. Airplane travel is always a stressful time already, but when an infant is involved, the stress increases tenfold. On an airplane, you don't merely have to deal with your child. You have to deal with other passengers when your child inevitably makes them angry or bothers them.

Air pressure might irritate a young child's ears, leading to crying and tears of frustration and pain - not only for the tiny tot involved. Passengers often have little patience for a constantly crying baby or toddler, although most will try to ignore the commotion as much as possible. Everybody who has flown before knows the feeling of pressure mounting in your ears and the almost "plop" we can hear and feel when the pressure evens out. There are many tips to deal with this phenomenon: swallowing something, yawning, even taking ibuprofen. Unfortunately, very small children cannot be taught these tricks, as they simply lack the understanding of what is going on. They only realize that their ears feel weird, or might even hurt a bit, and react accordingly.

One father from Ohio found out first hand about the stresses of traveling with a child on an airplane. According to ABC News, Rubin Swift was recently granted custody of his newborn daughter, so he flew from Ohio to Arizona to pick her up. He was beyond ecstatic that his child would soon be living with him.

When he arranged for the flight, he communicated with the airline, ensuring he had the proper paperwork needed to bring the child back. Despite his efforts, the airline wouldn't let him and his child back on the airplane.

Naturally, Swift asked for his money back, but the airline told him it would take seven days for a refund. This was not due to any kind of malicious intent. Payment refunds are commonly issued back to the source they came from, and different banks or credit card system will take different amounts of time to process those payments. Refunding an airplane ticket you bought online is sadly not as simple as getting change from a flight attendant.

Additionally, the airline also told him that a child has to be at least seven days old in order to fly on their planes. Absolutely no exceptions could be made, even if he produced a doctor's notice. This left Swift and his very newborn daughter stranded in Arizona with no money, car, or place to stay.

The airline's refusal is not without reason. There are many difficulties babies face during air travel. Many doctors advise against taking very young children, especially babies of just a few days of age, on airplanes. There are numerous reasons for this.

Newborns are especially vulnerable to diseases. This is because their immune system is not fully developed yet. At the beginning of their life, babies gain antibodies and the necessary tools to fight off disease from their mothers. Breastfeeding is an important part of this process (although mothers who cannot breastfeed their children needn't worry, as modern baby formulas are specially developed as substitutes). During air travel, a newborn is potentially exposed to many viruses. Several studies have found that the close quarters and shared breathing air of airplanes greatly increase the rate of illness transmission compared to other forms of travel. 

In addition, as the Mayo Clinic explains, a baby's breathing may be affected by changes in air pressure, which could cause problems, especially for newborns who have pre-existing conditions (such as from premature birth). Many airlines, therefore, restrict air travel to children of a certain age. While some waive these restrictions if presented a doctor's notice, others consider the risk of potential harm too great and refuse. Many travel insurances warn their customers that they should check which restrictions their specific airline has. Be sure to carefully read the fine print and terms and conditions when you are booking your tickets and thinking of traveling with a newborn.

Luckily, Joy Ringhofer came to the resuce of Swift and his daughter. Ringhofer was the baby's nurse during the child's first days of life. She bonded with the child at the hospital before the father even met the baby. When Ringhofer heard of Swift's predicament, she invited him and his daughter to her home, where they stayed until they were able to fly back home.

Swift promised to stay in contact with Ringhofer, even promising to bring the child back to see her sometime. After enough time had passed and a new plane ticket had been purchased, the father and daughter were eventually able to fly back to Ohio to begin their life together.

Swift told the Inside Edition in an interview during this time:

"I didn't expect her to say, 'I'm coming to get you and take you home.' So, I'm thinking, 'She is going to drive me back to Cleveland?' But she actually brought me to her house, she's been feeding me and making sure my baby is alright."

Everyone loves seeing acts of kindness between strangers. The story of Joy Ringhofer and Rubin Swift is sure to put a smile on all your friends' faces. Be sure to tell them about this heartwarming story. It could be exactly what they need to bring their spirits up.

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