Once a plane leaves the gate, there's usually nothing anyone can do but sit back and relax. It would take a lot for a pilot to actually turn the plane around and return to the gate, but a pilot for Israel's El Al Airlines did just that in order to let a young passenger back on for a flight to New York.
Yahoo Shine reports today that 11-year-old Inbar Chomsky of Rehovot, Israel was one of 36 children on a plane bound for Camp Simcha, a camp operated by non-profit organization Chai Lifeline in Glen Spey, New York that is geared toward children with cancer and other hematologic conditions.
When flight attendants came around to collect passports and prepare for takeoff, Chomsky was unable to find hers and was ultimately informed that she would not be able to land in New York without one. Other passengers began to search for the passport along with her, but when nobody was able to locate it, Chomsky's mother was forced to pick her up.
“Everyone was very emotional,” said Rabbi Scholar, executive vice president of Chai Lifeline. “There wasn’t one person on that flight who wasn’t in tears or upset for this little girl. However, there was nothing that could be done.”
Just as the plane was heading for the runway and ready for takeoff, someone found Chomsky's passport in another camper's backpack. The pilot then alerted several El Al employees on the ground and inside the airport to try and find the girl, and after some negotiating, the plane headed back to the gate to pick her up, eliciting cheers from everyone on board.
According to a statement released by the airline, "El Al was honored and proud to help Inbar’s dream to go to the camp in the USA come true. We wish Inbar full recovery and health.”