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Family dynamics

03rd Sep 2017

How Aer Lingus went ‘above and beyond’ for this Irish mum and her autistic child

She and her family were flying to Spain.

Keeley Ryan

A mum’s heartfelt thank you note to Aer Lingus crew members who went “above and beyond” to support her family has gone viral.

Ciara Doyle was on her way to Murcia with her partner Ciaran and their three kids: eight year old Sean, 22 month old Billy and three and a half year old Anna.

But Ciara told how their daughter, who is autistic, struggled on the lengthy flight.

She explained:

“Anna struggled on the 2 and a half hour flight.

“She kicked screamed so loud some people were actually covering their ears.

“She pulled my hair her own hair kicked chairs, banged her own head numerous times mid tantrum.”

Ciara wrote that Anna fell asleep after an hour and 45 minutes into the two and a half hour flight.

She continued:

“People gave out, moved seats, huffed and puffed and cursed under they breath like we, as parents, had done something wrong.

“One or two passengers offered help, told me how beautiful she was – and even after the flight, approached myself and Ciaran to tell us we are fantastic parents and our daughter is an angel.”

The mum of three also praised the kind hearted crew members for going “above and beyond” for not just helping Anna, but the entire family.

Ciara wrote:

“But the reason for this post is to thank the lovely staff of Aer Lingus on our flight.

“They were so understanding, made us feel so welcome on the flight they went above and beyond to accommodate us and Anna.

“But, not just that, they made sure our other kiddies were not forgotten about either.

“They were chatting with Sean and Billy trying to distract them from what was going on with their sister; spoke to me while Anna was screaming at her highest as if there was no noise at all to make me and Ciaran feel ok about the situation. “

Ciara said that as the family went to leave the plane, she apologised to the crew “for the chaos” – and thanked them again.

But the crew told her she didn’t “owe them an apology or even a thank you” and wished the family well on their vacation.

Ciara continued:

“As I left the plane I thanked them from the bottom of my heart for being so understanding and apologised for the chaos that had happened.

“I was told I don’t owe them any apology or even a thank you for that matter, she is a beauty and just didn’t like the plane, but you have arrived in Spain now so go enjoy your holiday with your lovely family.

“But I needed to thank you guys as you have no idea how much it meant to myself and Ciaran.

“Knowing there are people that understand and want to help makes me less anxious about our next flight.”

Her heartfelt thank you to the airline has moved other social media users.

It has gotten more than 28,000 likes and over 1,200 shares since it was posted on August 28.

Photos courtesy of Ciara Doyle.