Mom gets touching email from stranger who sat next to son with autism during flight


PORTLAND, Ore. (KATU/CNN) – A social media post about an act of kindness on a flight from Las Vegas to Portland is going viral.

Tens of thousands of people have reacted positively on Facebook to the way a man looked out for a young boy with autism sitting next to him on the plane.

Seven-year-old Landon was pretty scared to take his first solo flight, but his mom, Alexis Bjornson, had a whole different set of worries.

“And I thought, how do I make it so whoever’s sitting next to him won’t look at him as a burden, but more of I can help this kiddo get through the day?” Bjornson said.

Traveling can be a bit turbulent, and she didn’t know how he’d do alone. She wrote a note to his neighbor on the plane hoping they’d help out. She stuffed $10 inside as a thank you.

“We were cracking jokes, and after a while, he asked me to quit making dad jokes,” said Ben Pedraza, who sat next to Landon.

Pedraza said the direct Southwest flight was full of non-stop activity. He captured a photo at the end to assure Bjornson all was well and sent a message to his mother:


My name is Ben. I was Landon’s seat neighbor for his flight to Portland. He did ask if we were there yet several times, but he was a great travel buddy. We had a good time and played a few rounds of rock-paper-scissors. He’s a great kid and you’re a lucky mom. I appreciate the $10, but it wasn’t necessary. I donated it to Autism in honor of Landon.

Have a great day!

Their story’s since gone viral, his generosity capturing hearts online.

Pedraza, though flattered by the attention, said he hopes the attention stays on autism awareness.

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