Cabin crew of a Turkish Airlines (THY) flight surprised a 19-year-old girl with Down syndrome with a party onboard in a bid to help her overcome her fear of flying. Tuğçe Tan was traveling from Zurich to Istanbul with her mother on August 13 when the panicked girl left her seat and sat on another empty seat. When her mother sought help from the cabin crew, the crew, who found out that it was Tuğçe's birthday, came up with an idea to assuage Tuğçe's concerns: to improvise a birthday party. They scrambled to make a birthday cake from airline food and served it to Tuğçe Tan, complete with a "happy birthday" song. Other passengers then joined the celebration, to the joy of Tan.
"We couldn't get her to return to her seat but at least we made her happy," Büşra Güzelses, one of the flight attendants, said. "Everyone started applauding," she added.
Güzelses says although they paid special attention to the demands of every passenger, she believed passengers such as Tan may need more. "This was what her family expected from us. We would come up with something else if it wasn't her birthday. These were good moments. We kept company with Tuğçe throughout the flight and she was very happy, always laughing," she said.
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