A woman being called a Good Samaritan saved the day after an Ohio dad was left stranded at an Arizona airport with his newborn daughter because Frontier Airlines deemed her too young to fly.
Rubin Swift had planned to fly back to his home in Cleveland, Ohio after being awarded custody of his baby daughter, Ru-Andria, AZ Family reports.
Swift says he contacted Frontier to inquire about what he needed to fly with his baby. The airline allegedly told him a birth certificate and a note from the hospital clearing her to fly. Swift told AZ Family he acquired the documentation and then went to the airport with his daughter to get their plane tickets.
However, once Swift reached the gate, airline crew members would not let him board with Ru-Andria. Frontier’s policy bars children less than seven days old from flying.
“I asked for my money. They said it would take seven days to get your money back,” Swift said to AZ Family.
Swift says he was left without enough money to get a place to stay or rent a car to drive them back to Ohio. Swift was stranded with his newborn until he remembered a volunteer, Joy Ringhofer, he had met at Banner Medical Center while his daughter was in the NICU.
“I was rocking [Ru-Andria] when her father came in and we sort of made a connection right away,” Ringhofer said of meeting Swift at the hospital.
Swift said he made the call to Ringhofer looking for help, but was taken back by her response.
“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 and feeding me and making sure my baby is alright,” Swift said to AZ Central.
Swift said Ringhofer let the two stay there until his daughter was seven days old and able to board the flight back to Ohio.
“I had such a strong feeling that I needed to do this for him,” said Ringhofer. “I know he was a kind and safe man to have in my home and he has been a perfect gentleman.”
“We’re two different colors and she opened up her door and it never was an issue,” said Swift. “My color was never an issue. She loves my baby. She held her. My baby was with her all night. Who does that?”
Swift said he started calling Ringhofer the grandmother of his daughter and is planning a trip back to Arizona so Ru-Andria can visit her.
“He promised to come back and visit me, and let me see her again,” said Ringhofer. “I’m looking forward to that.”
Swift and his daughter left on Tuesday on a Frontier Airlines flight.
Frontier Airlines told AZ Family, “To comply with Frontier policy regarding the age of traveling infants these passengers were rebooked on a Frontier flight department on March 20. We also waived any change fees associated with this change so the passenger can travel in accordance with our policy.”
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