American Airlines has helped a 17-year-old girl with Down syndrome and other health conditions to achieve her dream of becoming a flight attendant.
Shantell Pooser, known as Shannie, was born with a heart defect and a series of terminal airway defects, and has been travelling from Denmark, South Carolina, to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for treatments and surgeries for many years.
Through these trips, Shannie befriended a lot of the flight attendants and pilots, and told her mom, Deanna Miller-Berry, that she’d love to be an attendant. Deanna decided to throw her an airline-themed 17th birthday party and wrote to American Airlines asking if Shannie could have some airline memorabilia for the party.
The airline responded by saying they were going to give the teenager a birthday party on a Boeing jet at Columbia Metropolitan Airport. In addition, they sent her an official uniform and badge to wear so she can dress as an honorary flight attendant whenever she flies. On the day of the party, the entire first class of the plane was filled with Shannie’s friends and local celebrities.
Since she was appointed an honorary attendant, Shannie has been part of the staff every time she flies to Cincinnati for medical treatment. She helps the other attendants before the flight begins and then assists with demonstrating the safety instructions.
Shannie’s mom Deanna is currently working to make the rest of her bucket list experiences happen. These include taking a hot air balloon to her junior prom and having a dance-off with Ellen DeGeneres. She achieved another ambition recently when she met former US First Lady, Michelle Obama.
You can follow Shannie’s page on Instagram here.