Traveling can be a stressful experience but that stress is compounded when you show up to the airport and realize you’ve brought something that’s not allowed on the fight.
In my time flying, I’ve had to give up some shampoo bottles, hairspray, sunscreen, and a pocket knife I accidentally left in my bag. Thankfully, all those items were replaceable and I was able to leave them with TSA on my way through the airport.
But sometimes, a passenger will show up at the airport with something they simply can’t part with – like Kira Rumfola.
Kira was flying home for summer vacation with Southwest Airlines, but when she arrived at Tampa International Airport, she had the horrible realization that her pet fish, Theo, wouldn’t be allowed on the flight.
As Kira checked in at Tampa International Airport, she learned she couldn’t bring her beloved fish, Theo, onto the…
Southwest posted about the incident on Facebook, saying:
“As Kira checked in at Tampa International Airport, she learned she couldn’t bring her beloved fish, Theo, onto the plane. As a recent addition to Kira’s life, Theo is very special to her, having provided comfort and companionship as she adjusted to college life.”
Kira couldn’t stay in Tampa all summer, but she wasn’t willing to part with Theo for good.
The airline explained that a customer service agent named Ismael spoke with Kira and her father about what their options were regarding the fish. When none of the options panned out for Kira, Ismael stepped up and offered to care for Theo himself while Kira was home for the summer.
Kira agreed that Ismael caring for Theo could work and they exchanged contact information. Kira ended up returning home for the summer and leaving Theo in the care of Ismael and his fiance, Jamee (who’s also a Southwest Employee.
Ismael and Jamee sent Kira regular photos of Theo and even got him a new fishbowl to make him more comfortable!
When summer came to an end, Kira was able to head back to Tampa for her sophomore year of college. There, she met up with Ismael and finally reunited with Theo.
Southwest ended the post saying, “Thank you, Ismael and Jamee, for showing Kira what #SouthwestHeart is all about.”