Mom's Facebook post notifies El Al pilots to help son on flight to London

The mother sent her 13-year-old son Yoni to London to visit his grandmother, but discovered that the plane had returned to the gate and was worried.

 Yoni on an El-Al flight. (photo credit: DANIELA FRANKS)
Yoni on an El-Al flight.
(photo credit: DANIELA FRANKS)

When Daniela Franks turned to the Facebook group "Brits living in Israel" after she discovered that flight LY15 to London had returned to the gate due to a malfunction, she was looking for someone who could update her on its status. 

In a conversation with Maariv, Franks said: "I sent my son Yoni to his grandmother's place in London, and then I received a call from him that they were coming back, I didn't know what to do, who to contact to find out what to do, so I turned to the group to see if there was anyone who could support."

Daniela added that "one of the members of the group is Elad, a pilot at El Al, who saw the post and contacted his friend who flew the plane in question, and personally promised that they would take care of the child. 

"My son is crazy about aviation, he had a good flight, especially after the pilot heard about him. They even let him sit in the business class and the cockpit until takeoff, and every 5 minutes they checked if he needed anything. 

"The group "Brits living in Israel" on Facebook is a group that supports and helps in everything, but I did not imagine that it would allow such support from El Al."

 An Israeli El Al plane flying above the clouds. (credit: Norbert/Pixabay)
An Israeli El Al plane flying above the clouds. (credit: Norbert/Pixabay)

The group gets the job done

Anton Delin, who runs the Facebook group, told Maariv that "once again, our group does the job when there is help, it is not only for counseling but also helps people with real problems. I am proud of the members of the group who knew how to do everything to help."

Elad, a pilot in El Al's 737 fleet, happened to be a member of the group who saw the post. As soon as he saw it, he decided to help: "I knew that we had to calm the mother down and support her, so I turned to the pilot of the flight the child was on," he told Maariv. He also said that "I am happy that we were able to help the child and give him a positive feeling, this is our DNA at El Al - to give every passenger the best feeling."

Yonatan Raz and Omer Peleg were the pilots on the flight. Omer told Maariv that "As the flight crew, we come across many different inquiries and are always happy to help together. The beauty of El Al is the Israeli essence, which knows how to make contact from anywhere in the world, at any time, and with great fun."

Michal Benin, head of the Israel station in El Al, said: "Children between the ages of 5 and 15 flying unaccompanied by an adult are received by flight attendants from the special unit department, who retrieve the children at the designated desks and escort them with extreme care and sensitivity."