Glady’s Wish Fulfilled on Her First Ever Flight
At 95-years-old, resident Gladys Blackburn at Milton Court Care Home had always wished to go on a plane. She had spent time travelling in Europe with her sister when she was younger, but always by coach or rail. So, when she hung her wish up on our ‘Wishing Tree’ back in November we knew we had to find a way to fulfil her request!
Gladys applied for her passport and with the help of London Luton Airport and EasyJet, we were able to make her wish come true with a visit to Lake Geneva in Switzerland this week! On arriving at the airport, Gladys was very nervous. However, the staff at Luton Airport were incredible as she went through the security checks, duty-free and even experienced the executive lounge. She then had special assistance to board the plane, which Gladys loved – having fun waving and chatting to everyone.
When the plane started its engines, Gladys said “Oooh, isn’t this exciting! We will be going up, up, up in the clouds and then back down to the ground”. Gladys was treated to a glass of prosecco and loved every moment of the journey – especially joking with the Cabin Manager! Once we had safely landed, Gladys also had a great time meeting the captain, taking some photos and making friends with everyone.
Once we got to Lake Geneva, Gladys was a little overwhelmed with the experience, smiling and shedding a tear of happiness. We made sure to ask if everything was okay, to which she laughed and said “you have made an old lady very happy. Thank you.”
Gladys had a fantastic time in Switzerland and experienced the royal treatment again at Geneva Airport as she was assisted back onto the plane. Gladys noticed Gemma getting a little nervous about the take-off, so leant over and said: “Let me hold your hand, it will be okay, I did this yesterday.”
Once we’d touched down back in Luton Airport Gladys didn’t want the trip to end! “Lock the doors, I’m staying on!” she said to the special assistance crew, folding her arms.
We can say with complete confidence that Gladys loved her first-ever flight at 95. She’s now caught the bug for flying and is already thinking about her next trip abroad.
Fame from Flying
Luton Airport put a fantastic video together of Gladys on her trip, which was quickly shared across the internet. In fact, Glady’s story proved so popular, it has been featured in approximately 100 regional UK news titles online, including The Daily Mail, the Metro, and Daily Express, broadcast on Heart Four Countries, ITV Anglia, BBC Somerset and BBC Radio Leicester, and even featured in the United States on ABC World News Now!