Acts of Kindness

Airline won't let dad who won custody of baby board flight, so nurse brings them home with her

February 23rd, 2019

Anyone who has ever dealt with a newborn baby can attest that they can cause a lot of stress. Traveling with a newborn is even scarier.

So, it’s no wonder that new dad Rubin Swift was stressed when he and his four-day-old daughter Ru-Andria were not allowed on their flight in early 2018. Swift had just won custody of his daughter after a long legal battle with her mother. He was taking her from her birthplace in Phoenix back to their home in Ohio.

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YouTube Screenshot-Inside Edition Source: YouTube Screenshot-Inside Edition

But the father and daughter hit a bump at the airport: Frontier Airlines refused to let him get on the plane with his infant.

Swift said he had called ahead and been told by airline officials that he only needed medical documentation giving permission to bring Ru-Andria on a plane.

Even though Swift had the baby’s birth certificate and a medical note from the doctors at the hospital stating she was fine to fly, airline attendants insisted that they would not allow children below the age of one week to board.

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Adalia Rose Source: Adalia Rose

Ru-Andria was only four days old.

“I asked for my money,” said Swift. “They said it would take seven days to get your money back.”

Flabbergasted and unsure what to do, Swift reached out to the one person he knew in Phoenix: a hospital volunteer named Joy Ringhofer who he’d met when he arrived to collect his daughter.

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YouTube Screenshot-Inside Edition Source: YouTube Screenshot-Inside Edition

Swift was just hoping that Ringhofer would be able to give him some advice.

He had very little money and didn’t know anyone else in the city. But he was blown away by her response.

“I didn’t expect her to say, ‘I’m coming to get you and take you home,’’ said Swift. “So, I’m thinking, ‘She is going to drive me back to Cleveland’ but she actually brought me to her house and feeding me and making sure my baby is all right.”

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YouTube Screenshot-Inside Edition Source: YouTube Screenshot-Inside Edition

Ringhofer put Swift and Ru-Andria up at her own house.

She had only met the new father once — on the maternity ward at Banner Hospital, where she was cuddling the baby when he arrived. But she said the two of them got along right away.

Still, it’s an extraordinary gesture to make for someone who is almost a total stranger.

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Adalia Rose Source: Adalia Rose

Swift and Ru-Andria stayed with Ringhofer for three days.

At that point, they were able to get a new flight with Frontier Airlines, since the baby was now one week old.

Frontier Airlines allowed them to rebook without any fees and flew the pair back to Cleveland safely. But the experience has stayed with Swift, who says he considers Ringhofer his daughter’s grandmother.

“He promised to come back and see me, and let me visit her again,” said Ringhofer. “I’m looking forward to that.”

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YouTube Screenshot-Inside Edition Source: YouTube Screenshot-Inside Edition

For Swift and Ru-Andria, it was a long, exhausting trip with a lot of bumps along the way.

Thankfully, they’re now safely back in Ohio. And they’ve made a new friend who has proven that she will do anything for the two of them.

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Source: Adalia Rose

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