Virgin Atlantic spreads holiday cheer by upgrading eldest passengers after viral post
Virgin Atlantic is spreading the holiday cheer to its eldest passengers this holiday season, after a random act of kindness on one of its planes went viral earlier this month.
The airline announced that it is upgrading the most senior customers on board all of its flights over the holiday season to the highest cabin available.
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"This is in honor of Jack [Littlejohn], who recently gave up his Upper Class seat for 88-year-old Violet [Allison] on a flight home from New York to London," a spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic told TPG in a statement on December 23.
"On behalf of Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Atlantic, upgrades will be offered to the eldest customers on board all Virgin Atlantic flights from tomorrow, 24th December 2019 until 1st January 2020," the statement continued.
Littlejohn and Allison became fast friends before a flight from New York JFK to London Heathrow, and Littlejohn decided Allison would have a better time in business class, according to the New Zealand Herald.
According to a retelling of the story in the Washington Post, Littlejohn walked up to Allison on board the flight and asked if she'd like to be upgraded. Allison, not thinking he was being serious, reportedly responded, "you're joking."
Leah Amy, who said she’s a Virgin Atlantic flight attendant, documented on Facebook the encounter between Allison and Littlejohn, whom she called her “[favorite] passengers ever.”
Littlejohn told the Post that he was in New York with his family for a charity event for global homelessness. He said that his mother surprised the family with business class seats, but he wanted to give away his seat because he felt there were inequalities between business and economy class.
“Jack and his family purchased seats In our Upper Class cabin for a flight home from New York, but when he got onboard, Jack went and found Violet in economy and swapped seats with her,” Amy wrote in her Facebook post, which has since been shared over a thousand times.
“He then sat on the row of seats directly next to the economy toilets and never made a peep or asked for anything the rest of the flight,” Amy continued. “No fuss, no attention, literally did it out of the kindness of his own heart, no one asked him too (sic).”
Violet seemed to have an incredible trip, enjoying business-class amenities such as dinner (with real silverware!) and lie-flat seating. It was Violet’s first time in business class, Amy wrote. She traveled to New York to visit her daughter, Amy wrote, but hadn’t been in a while because of a knee replacement.
“You couldn’t have found a sweeter lady,” Littlejohn told the Post.