Kind gestures by strangers inspired the airline's gift.

By Travel and Leisure
December 27, 2019
Getty / Sopa Images

Virgin Atlantic is giving its oldest passengers a very special gift this holiday season—the gift of an upgrade—and it was all inspired by the kindness of strangers.

In mid-December, a Virgin Atlantic crew member detailed on Facebook how she witnessed a passenger named Jack give up his first-class seat for an 88-year-old woman named Violet.

"Jack and his family purchased seats in our upper-class cabin for a flight home from New York, but when he got on board, Jack went and found violet in economy and swapped seats with her," the crew member explained. "Violet is 88 years old, has been a nurse in both the UK and over in America. She travels to New York to see her daughter, but hasn't been able to for a while because of a knee replacement. Her dream has always been to sit at the front, and Jack made that come true."

Related: How to Get Upgraded on Your Next Flight

As for where Jack landed on the flight, the crew member explained, "He then sat on the row of seats directly next to the economy toilets and never made a peep or asked for anything the rest of the flight. No fuss, no attention, literally did it out of the kindness of his own heart, no one asked him too."

The story quickly went viral with many praising Jack and his true act of kindness. And now, the airline wants to do the same for other elder statesmen like Violet. So, now through Jan. 1, the airline will be upgrading the oldest person on every flight.

"This tale of Jack and Violet has warmed all our hearts this Christmas, and inspired us to spread the festive love," the airline tweeted on Christmas Eve. "On behalf of us and @RichardBranson, complimentary upgrades will be offered to the most 'seasoned' customer on board all our flights from today until 1st Jan 2020."

But, maybe, just maybe, in 2020 passengers will continue the trend of showing love for those passengers with a little more life experience by giving up their seats—or at the very least buying them an in-flight drink of their choice.

This story originally appeared on Travel + Leisure by Stacey Leasca.

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