Flight Attendant Surprises Son With Birthday Trip And Gets Passengers To Help Make The Announcement

Photo Credit: Danie Betts Yarbrough for People.com

A Las Vegas-based flight attendant recently worked her most memorable flight yet. 

In a now-viral video posted to the airline’s TikTok earlier this month, Danie BettsYarbrough surprised her son Caleb Myles with a special trip for his ninth birthday and got passengers to help her reveal the destination.

Article continues after video.

The Southwest Airlines flight attendant stood at the front of the plane next to her son with a special request for the passengers. She said: “Caleb thinks he’s going to California for his birthday. If I could get you all on the count of three to tell Caleb what state he’s actually going to today,” she said. “One, two, three…”

“Hawaii!” the passengers shouted with enthusiasm. The shock on Caleb’s face was evident as his mom said, “Happy Birthday, kid.” 

Yarbrough shared with PEOPLE.com just how she pulled off the surprise for her son. “Well, since I’ve been working, I’m away from home a bit much. I don’t get to spend as much time with Caleb as I would like to, and I’m a single mother, so things are a little tight financially,” she told the outlet.  

“It just seemed like it made more sense to be financially feasible and make a work trip, a birthday trip. And I got my mother and my cousin and brought them along to kind of help with being with him while I was working,” she added. 

Her family also helped with the “surprise aspect” at the airport. “I had my mom there at the gate with headphones on him, and he had his back to the gate screen…playing games on his tablet,” she said.  

They also told the gate agents so they were extra careful not to spoil the surprise. And, even though she didn’t get to tell the other flight attendants until after boarding due to security checks, she says they were a big help to keep the secret for the birthday boy. 

“I didn’t get to tell the flight attendants until afterwards as we were doing security checks and then we started boarding. But as Caleb came on with some little gift bags for the flight attendants, I would kind of run behind him and be like, ‘It’s his birthday, he thinks he’s going to California. Don’t say anything.’ They kind of helped me all pull it together to keep it a secret.”

Yarbrough says the flight’s passengers were also good sports even though they didn’t know they would be part of a big birthday surprise. 

“Everybody yelled it [Hawaii], and it was so funny because it kind of shocked me that everybody participated,” she said.

As for Caleb, he said that he loved the surprise from his mom. “I was so excited but did not realize my mom lied to me. I was so excited because I was going to Hawaii,” he told PEOPLE.

Aside from going to the beach in Honolulu and Maui, Caleb’s most memorable moment from the trip is all about quality time with loved ones. “My favorite part was just spending time with my family, mostly my mom,” he shared.

Yarrabrough said she feels grateful to be able to give her son this chance to travel at such a young age.

“[My favorite part was] just being able to expose Caleb to some new things. I didn’t go to Hawaii until I was 35 and got this job with Southwest and it was great to be able to take him, and it was my mom and my cousin’s first time as well,” she says. “So just to be able to have a first time for all of them and all of us be able to spend time together.”

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