Hernandez and her boyfriend were bound for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; her journey was not destined to be a normal one, however. In fact, it was set to be an airport experience that she would never forget. But the whole story turned out to have taken place long before she set foot on the plane itself.
These days, officers from the Transportation Security Administration – or TSA – have to be very strict on people traveling with liquids.
The usual rule is that air travelers are forbidden to bring items individually containing more than 3.4 ounces of fluid onto flights if they are being stowed in hand luggage. As a result, it has become a commonplace sight to witness shampoo and bottles of water being tossed away at the security gate.
Hernandez even heard the man asking if he could perhaps place the item in the airport’s lost-and-found department.
The TSA officer told him to put the object in the trash, however – and, reluctantly, the traveler complied. But something about the situation bothered Hernandez and her boyfriend.
The object in question was a snow globe; it wasn’t just any old souvenir from a recent vacation, though.
For one, it had photos of what appeared to be family members inside, along with a heartfelt inscription that read, “We love you Katie. Nana and Papa 1/25/16.” And on seeing that message, the couple who had found the snow globe decided that they needed to do something.
Subsequently, the couple had the bright idea of taking their search to Facebook.
First, they wrote a post explaining the situation, then they asked the online community to share the story. The aim was that together they might be able to find the man from the airport.
What’s more, that number would keep snowballing.
Just seven days after the post had appeared on Facebook, it had been reposted more than 48,000 times, in fact – a considerably greater number than Hernandez had originally expected. And as a result of the shares, something awesome happened.
Furthermore, the Things Remembered worker managed to track down the name of the person who had originally bought the snow globe.
The customer’s name was Linda Modry, and she had purchased the ornament as a gift for her granddaughter Katie. The little girl had never received it, though, because her adopted dad had been forced to throw it in the airport’s trash.
Then when she held the snow globe in her hands again, Modry was visibly overwhelmed.
“I can’t believe that you did this,” she said to Hernandez, having given her a bunch of flowers to thank her for her efforts. But to Hernandez, her good deed wasn’t such a big deal.
“People are basically really good, and she’s just exceptional,” Modry said. That said, plenty of other passengers might well not have been curious enough to find out what had ended up in the airport trash can; they might also have decided not to get involved.
But thankfully, Hernandez and her boyfriend did choose to investigate – and as a consequence, they made a stranger very happy indeed.