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Teen Uses Sign Language to Assist Deaf and Blind Man on Flight

Flying in an airplane can feel frightening and isolating for anyone. This can be powerfully amplified for disabled passengers.

When an Alaska Airlines flight asked if anyone might be able to help communicate with a passenger who was both blind and deaf, a California teen stepped up.

That teen believes that she was put on that flight for a reason.

Alaska Airlines Clara Daly 1

An Alaska Airlines flight made an announcement, asking if anyone onboard knew sign language.

As it happened, a teen girl who is a Calabasas native, Clara Daly, has been learning ASL (American Sign Language), and she jumped at the chance to help.

There was a man on the flight with her who was not only deaf, but blind. As a result, she had to sign into his hand in order to communicate with him.

“They thought that he might need something,” Clara would later explain. “And they weren’t sure how to communicate.”

As it turns out, she says, no emergency situations came up in which she needed to translate. But she was still happy to help.

“He didn’t need anything,” Clara says. “He was just like lonely and wanted to talk”

Alaska Airlines Clara Daly 2

Clara’s mother, Jane Daly, shared a series of photos of the encounter and explained what had happened.

“Clara and I flew home yesterday.” Jane writes. “Our original flight from Boston was cancelled (of course!) so Alaskan Airline placed us on an earlier flight out.”

There’s always something when you fly, it seems.

“Clara and I made a mad dash to the airport to make the new flight! (we did, phew)” Jane says.

“Shortly after the flight took off,” Jane says. “A flight attendant made an announcement asking if anyone knew sign language.”

Fortunately, there was just one such person on the plane.

“Clara has been studying American Sign Language,” Jane says. “So she rang the flight attendant button.”

There was a twist, however.

“They explained that the passenger was not only deaf, but also blind,” Jane reveals.

Yes, like Helen Keller.

Jane explains what the attendant told them: “The only way you can communicate with him was by signing into his hand.”

Alaska Airlines Clara Daly 3

From what Jane says, Clara was eager to help.

“Clara jumped up and went to see if she could help…” Jane says proudly. “And she did!”

Jane had started learning ASL because of her own dyslexia, figuring that it was just another way to communicate without writing or reading, since her mind jumbles those letters.

Jane shares: “Several times he requested her assistance throughout the flight.”

Which may mean that Clara was being too modest when she claimed that he didn’t need her help, even if there were no emergencies.

“Toward the end of the flight he asked for her again,” Jane reveals. “And this time he just wanted to talk.”

“She spent the remainder of the flight until landing with him,” Jane says.

“He asked her lots of questions,” Jane explains. “And she signed-spelled the answers into his hand.”

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“The flight attendants and the passengers around him were all taken by Clara,” Jane says. “They took these photos which they shared with me this morning.”

That is so sweet. And Clara suggested that it might have been no mere coincidence.

“After the flight,” Jane reveals. “Clara told me that she thought it was meant to be that our original flight was cancelled and we were placed on this flight so that she could be there to help this man.”

That is such a positive way of looking at an otherwise unfortunate flight cancellation.

“His name is Timothy,” Jane shares. “Our original flight was direct to LA. The new flight had a layover in Portland. Timothy was flying to Portland.”

Jane also says that Clara is being modest about the entire thing.

“She’ll probably kill me for posting this, but – Proud of my girl. #alaskanairlines

Of course, that very sweet story went viral. Good news is always welcome.

There is no shortage of horrifying viral stories, after all. Especially from flights.

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Couple Gets Married on a Southwest Airlines Flight: WATCH!

A couple decided that there was no place they'd rather get married than on an airplane.

Not a private plane. Not a plane on the ground. Just a regular, commercial aircraft full of other passengers.

It's a strange story, but very touching, especially when you see how much everyone else played along. Take a look:

Airplane wedding gif 01

"Airplane wedding" might sound like the premise of some god-awful romantic comedy (not all of them are, but this one would be).

Seeing it play out in real life, on the other hand, shows that it can be pretty sweet.

Michael and Renee used the airplane aisle as their, well, aisle. Renee walked towards Michael while Ed Sheeran's "Perfect" played, because of course.

The pilot of the Southwest flight addressed the entire plane over the intercom, saying:

"They met each other four years ago," the pilot announced. "And this weekend decided to make it at least another four years,"

Everybody's a comedian.

"They met on a Match.com date," the pilot also shared. "And yes, ladies and gentleman, it really does work."

"They were in beautiful Baltimore when they met," the pilot added. "And it’s happily ever after from there."

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Their vows were appropriately tongue-in-cheek under the circumstances.

"I, Michael, take you, Renee, to be my wife, my partner in life, and my travel companion when I become a Rapid Reward Member today, tomorrow and forever."

That's very cute.

(They danced down the aisle to Chris Brown's "Forever," which is gross, but it's inclear whether they or a passanger chose that music)

Skylee Campbell was one of the many passengers who captured this precious moment on video.

"Can’t think of a better way to spend a late-night, 5 hour flight," Skylee wrote. "Other than watching a wedding happen on the plane!"

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It makes sense that the airlines are happy to oblige.

First of all, it gives flight attendants and pilots a break from, you know, the mundane agony of just doing their jobs like they do on every other flight.

Second of all, it gives new, free good press for the airline. Do you know how rare that is, these days?

How many videos have we all seen of people getting dragged off of airplanes?

Earlier this month, there were overlapping horror stories from airplanes. One was of a man removed for his foul body odor.

Another was of a man who, according to the woman who was seated beside him, was allegedly masturbating during the flight.

So, yes, a heartwarming story that takes place on an airplane is clearly welcome. From their perspective.

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There are ethical concerns to getting marred in a plane in this manner.

The ceremony is sweet, sure. But … the passengers didn't sign up for this.

These two were effectively tying the knot in front of a captive audience who, rather than being invited to a wedding ceremony between strangers, found themselves immersed in it against their will.

Sometimes public proposals happen like this, but it usually only monopolizes a minute or two of people's time.

This was a whole wedding ceremony, and the captain was speaking over the intercom. That's not exactly easy to avoid.

On top of that … imagine having to go to the bathroom while on the flight. That's an unpleasant prospect at any point, because the process of flying is an exercise in misery.

But interrupting a wedding that you never asked to attend adds extra unpleasantness to being squeezed into a small nightmare bathroom while hurtling through the clouds in a metal tube.

Still … we haven't actually heard any complaints.

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The flight crew reportedly had all of the passengers activate their overhead lights to illuminate the aisle.

It's such a cute story.

Apparently, the crew was happy to comply.

This couple is hardly the first to get married on a flight, and they won't be the last.

Honestly, airplane tickets might be expensive considering the conditions that people endure on flights, but they can't compare to the price of a more traditional wedding.

Good for these two for thinking outside of the box.

And good for the flight crew and passengers for indulging them.

Couple gets married on a southwest airlines flight
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