Dad And Newborn Are Not Allowed On The Plane By Airline, So Kind Stranger Takes Them Home

Airlines have different policies regarding minimum flight age requirements. Some airlines allow newborns to fly only two days old. Others require babies to be at least two weeks old.

Potantial Problem on Airline Baby Rules

Rubin Swift was unaware of this potential problem on Airline Baby Rules. When he and his four-year-old baby girl Ru-Andria went to board a Frontier Airlines flight in Phoenix, Arizona, he was told that he could not board the plane. He has no proof of her age and can no longer obtain her birth certificate. According to per airline policy., his daughter must be 7 days old to fly.

He Went to Phoenix

Swift, 43, had learned he had a newborn daughter at the same time he was told he was going to have full custody of her.Even if it was unexpected, he did not hesitate. He immediately went to Phoenix to take his daughter and took her home to Cleveland, Ohio.

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After picking up his daughter, he plans to return directly to Cleveland. He has no extra money and no residence in Phoenix.

He Would Not Able to Fly According to Airline Baby Rules

When the airline told him that he would not be able to fly home that day, he requested a refund, hoping to use the money to help him and his daughter run away from home in the next few days.

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Not Able To Refund

But the airline told him that he would not be able to refund within 7 days.

“I was out of money and the hospital told me that I wouldn’t be able to get a birth certificate for seven days,” Swift said. “I was worried that if security saw me sleeping at the airport with a newborn, they’d take her away from me and charge me with neglect. I was stuck.”
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No Money to Rent a Car

Swift has 3 adult children from previous marriages and 4 stepchildren with his wife Tiffany. After the airline refused his flight, he called his wife and they talked about their options, but not much. They have no money to rent a car or stay in a hotel room for a few days.

Joy Ringhofer

Swift thought of the one person he had connected with during his time in Phoenix: Joy Ringhofer, a volunteer at Banner University Medical Center where Ru-Andria had been born. He’d met her in the NICU, where Ru-Andria had been transferred as a precautionary measure.

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They United To Solve Airline Baby Rules Problem

Swift and Ringhofer had bonded in the NICU. Swift had told her about the new, unexpected situation he was in, and she could see he was already a sweet and devoted father to his child. Ringhofer offered to take Swift and Ru-Andria to the airport and gave him her phone number in case of emergency.

Therefore, Swift was at a loss after being denied a seat on the plane, and then contacted 78-year-old Linhoff.

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

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They Stayed in Her Home

They stayed together for a few days at Ringhofer’s home, until Swift and Ru-Andria could get home. They went on walks together, went grocery shopping, and even visited Ringhofer’s late husband’s grave.

“I’m black and she is white. I’m a stranger who grew up in the projects in the Bronx and she’s a great-grandmother who recently lost her husband,” Swift said. “She knew very little about me, and yet, she took me in. Color wasn’t an issue to her. She showed me that in this crazy world, there is still compassion.”

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Swift says that he will always refer to Ringhofer as Ru-Andria’s grandmother.

“I could see the pain in her face from losing her husband, so at the cemetery, as we sat there with the baby, I said, ‘Hey, Charles, look — it’s your new granddaughter,’” Swift said. “We had some touching and wonderful moments. I lost my mom to cancer in 2007, so Joy really became like a mother or grandmother figure to me.”

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I am Gonna Miss Her

Ringhofer is just smitten with Ru-Andria.

“She’s just beautiful and wonderful,” Ringhofer said. “She’s been so good. I’m gonna really miss her.”

Swift and Ringhofer have promised to stay in contact.

Learn more in this video.

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      Sandy White January 9, 2021

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