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Stressed mum grateful for 'woman in seat 32E' during chaotic flight

A stressed woman with a crying child on a delayed flight says an understanding mum of five came to her rescue.

Anna Whitehouse came very prepared for her four-hour flight with her small children on Sunday.

However when the flight was cancelled and distractions for the children had run out, the UK journalist – like many parents trying to quieten their babies on a plane – was feeling stressed and alone.

"Our flight was cancelled and we were bumped on to another one. Snacks had all been eaten, kids were exhausted," she said on Instagram, of her flight from Gran Canariato, Spain to London Stansted Airport.

A photo of Mum and journalist Anna Whitehouse with her toddler. Another photo with her and her young daughter drinking tea.
Mum and journalist Anna Whitehouse was flying from Spain to London when a kind stranger offered to help with her children. Source: Instagram/mother_pukka

"We were separated as a family. Ryanair had an issue with delivering food on board. It was three hours after asking for a drink and sandwich — and still nothing. My daughter was crying. I was near to crying.

"I asked and asked but nothing. I couldn’t leave my seat because (my daughter) got upset every time I tried to."

Luckily, a non-judgemental and understanding mother-of-five named Becky was there to lend a hand, which Ms Whitehouse was very grateful for. She now hopes to find the woman "in seat 32E" who "helped more than (she) might realise".

"Becky turned around and said 'you sit there and I’ll sort this'. She handed me raisins and an apple for (my daughter) and disappeared down the aisle and came back with food, water and a toy," Ms Whitehouse continued in her post.

"She was so kind. Her and her partner had five kids of their own on the plane and she reached out to me."

The mother and journalist said she had "never really found that girl gang in parenthood" but moments like what she experienced on the plane made her feel supported.

"Motherhood has united me with others daily. In playgrounds, soft plays, cafes… Not everyone for sure," she said.

"But those fleeting smiles across a busy cafe while breastfeeding. A woman offering up her seat as I wrangled two kids onto a bus. Knowing looks and kind understanding in the middle of tantrums. A woman in seat 32E leaning over and saying, 'I’ve got this'."

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