On 7 August, Chelsea Smith arrived at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at 3:45am with her husband and three-year-old son. The family, who were flying Air Canada, was supposed to land in Vancouver that day in time for their cruise.
By six in the morning, Smith said in a video posted to TikTok that there were no staffers working the Air Canada bag drop, and showed a line of passengers waiting to board their flight that would never come.
“We’re at the Seattle airport, been here since 3.45am,” she said in the video. “It is now 6am and we’re supposed to be flying on Air Canada. Flight leaves right now and nobody is at the gate desk.”
Soon after, Smith learned right as the plane was supposed to take off that their flight was cancelled, along with other Air Canada flights for that morning. Smith told the Canadian news outlet Daily Hive: "The lineup at the airport was just all the way down the aisle. There were just hundreds of people waiting."
An Air Canada spokesperson told the outlet that its flights out of Seattle are handled by a third-party service provider, which didn’t have enough staff to operate the flight. They added that all passengers were rebooked on flights within 24 hours. While Air Canada offered to rebook Smith’s flight for 4pm that day, her family needed to be in Vancouver by noon for their cruise.
That was when a woman named Annie Nguyen met Smith and her family in line for the flight and offered to drive them two and a half hours from Seattle to Vancouver. Smith told Daily Hive that Nguyen had dropped off her mother at the airport that morning, and had “no reason to be in Vancouver”.
“During the drive she told us she had to drive another three hours to be on the other side of Washington for work that evening,” she added.
While on board the cruise, Smith took to TikTok to share with her followers the random act of kindness she received from a complete stranger. “As we’re standing in line, this girl behind us just offers to drive us two and a half hours from Seattle to Vancouver,” she explained. “She has no reason to go there, she just offers it up like the nicest person in the world.”
Smith recalled: “We’re like: ‘Are you sure you really want to drive us?’ and she’s like: ‘Yeah, I don’t mind at all.’”
“So, a random stranger takes me and my husband and my three-year-old son from Seattle to Vancouver, crosses the border, drops us off at the cruise ship with plenty of time left,” she continued. “I still cannot believe that this happened to us. We lucked out that the nicest person ever was behind us in line.”
The mother of one started to get emotional when thinking about Nguyen’s generosity towards her family. “It makes me want to cry because I just can’t believe that happened,” she said. “We thought we were screwed that we were gonna miss our cruise because Air Canada cancelled our flight.”
Smith signed off her TikTok with a message for the kind stranger. “Annie Nguyen, you are an angel and the greatest person I’ve ever met in my life,” she said. “I owe you everything for getting us to our cruise ship on time. I got her number and hopefully we’ll see her again.”
The Independent has contacted Smith for comment.