Last December, a massive winter storm named Elliot wreaked havoc on air travel, causing thousands of flights to be canceled and stranding countless passengers. Among them was Brittany Loubier-Vervisch, a science teacher who had planned to fly to meet her family for Christmas but had to postpone her trip due to the cancellations.
Brittany and her husband ultimately decided to go hiking in Tucson instead, but they called off their plans about 30 minutes before Southwest Airlines officially canceled their flight.
As a result, the couple had to retrieve their luggage from baggage claim. When Brittany arrived, she was shocked to find piles of luggage everywhere, with multiple rows of bags between the carousels. While searching for her own luggage, she had an idea: she could help others who had lost their bags.
Brittany began searching through the bags and noticed that there were tags on them with the owners’ contact numbers. So she started sending text messages to the owners, letting them know where they could find their luggage. “I was walking through the bags, like, ‘Oh, here’s your bags. Is this your name?'” Brittany explained. “And they were like, ‘Yes,’ I’m like, ‘Oh, here’s your other bags.'”
Brittany estimates that she sent between 70-80 text messages to people, letting them know where to find their luggage. Many of the travelers who received Brittany’s text messages called her gesture “lifesaving.” Some passengers had been making multiple trips to Tampa Airport for three days looking for their luggage, and some people had waited in line for hours without realizing that their bags were only a few hundred feet away.
Southwest Airlines staff said that they had never witnessed anything like the chaos that ensued during that weekend nightmare, with the computer system crashing and employees running back and forth to help passengers and answer questions.
Despite only helping passengers at one airport out of hundreds in the United States, Brittany’s simple act of kindness had a significant impact on the travelers she assisted. Many took to social media to express their gratitude for her.
Brittany, who was later dubbed the “Lost Luggage Angel,” advised travelers to always put a tag with their name and contact number on their luggage so that in case they encounter the same situation, a kind stranger might be able to help them find their bag through a simple text message.