Nov 7, 2009

What a flybaby

I recently heard that babies who are born during an airline flight are given free airfares for the rest of their lives.   This has a ring of truth to it.  In the Hook household babies did not need to pay for their own airfare.  It turned out the baby’s father picked up the tab.  This practice happens until the baby goes to college.  Actually, now that I think about it, it extends well into college.  Since one baby has decided to spend the next semester studying in England, I have begun to rethink the whole free airfare concept.

 

A little research revealed that sometimes airlines do actually provide free airfare to babies who are born mid-flight.  According to Snopes.com, Dararasami Thongcharoen was born on September 6, 1995 on Thai Airway’s flight 641.  The President of the airlines decided it would be great marketing or good luck and gave the young girl special flying privileges and an educational scholarship.  On May 23, 1996 Mohd Aliff Mohd Fuad was born on an Asia Pacific flight.  The company decided to provide Mohd with an education and free travel for the rest of his life. (Or the rest of the life of the airlines, whichever happens first).

 

You’ll notice that these two free-for-life instances happened in Asia.  In the United States, the Airlines are not so generous.  According to the Snopes article, the best we could do was for Stephany Ann Marie Ehler who was born on the BART train on July 21, 1996.  She gets a lifetime pass on BART.   Of course it is doubtful that in any of these events the parent who must travel with these infants gets a discount.

 

Having been through four childbirths, I can’t even imagine how difficult it would be to undergo this procedure in an airplane (or a commuter train).  I wouldn’t be thinking about trying to get a free flight out of the deal.  I would be thinking about how much they would charge me for the mess.  If anything the one who should get free-airline-travel-for-life should be the mom!  Of course by this time of pregnancy, most moms would have the child about anywhere to be done with it.

 

I imagine all of these children grow up thinking they are very special.  Even though they had nothing to do with the circumstances of their birth, they must feel some pride and joy for being at the right place at the right time.  Or is that the wrong place at the right time?

 

How much greater a gift have we been given.  We certainly could not purchase a free-life-forever pass, but Jesus Christ went through the pain of our new birth.  It’s a gift we did not earn or deserve, and yet it is ours to claim!  It’s much better than a free ride on BART, and not just because we live in Arizona.

 

Blessings,

 

Pastor David Hook