Flight attendant enlists a plane full of passengers to surprise her son for his birthday

A Las Vegas-based flight attendant did all she could to ensure her son was flying high on his 9th birthday.

Danie Betts, 36, is a single mom whose surprise for her son, Caleb Myles, has been viewed more than 1 million times on Southwest Airlines’ TikTok since it was shared earlier this month. In it, Betts, who is a Southwest Airlines flight attendant, gets passengers to help her reveal his birthday destination.

“Caleb thinks he’s going to California for his birthday,” Betts says at the start of the clip. “If I could get you all, on the count of three, to tell Caleb what state he’s actually going to today.”

In the video, passengers excitedly take part in the countdown before finally shouting to the birthday boy that he is on a flight headed to … Hawaii! His mouth drops open before he turns to his mom with a big smile and embrace.

Speaking to TODAY.com, the mother and son share that the reveal happened just days before his Oct. 7 birthday.

“I was surprised when I went up there; I was like… ‘Why am I up here?’” Myles recalls. “And then I was surprised… I was so happy.”

“He made little gift bags for all the other flight attendants on the flight, and he walked on the plane and handed them out to all of them,” Betts explains. “And as he would hand out the gift bags, I would kind of come behind them, and I was like, ‘This is his birthday trip.’”

Betts says that to surprise Myles, she told him they were taking a trip to California. She ultimately got everyone, from the gate agent to the pilots on board, to help her keep the secret.

“Everybody was really excited on the staff,” she continues. “It was a great crew we worked with that day and they just made sure it all happened pretty good and seamlessly.”

To keep Myles distracted from noticing any signs that would give away where he was going, Betts tapped her mother and cousin to join the trip to keep an eye on him.

“I worked the trip to get him out there,” Betts explains. “It was kind of the only way for me to be able to make it happen — financially, feasibly as a single mom. So I worked the flight out there.”

Like many flight attendants, Betts has a hectic schedule that tugs her away from her son often.

“I live in Atlanta and I’m based in Vegas, so I have a pretty long commute to get in and out,” she says, adding that the distance can take a toll. “It’s hard to be away from him and try to make that time. It’s just kind of difficult sometimes. So that’s why it was really important for me to kind of do something for his birthday where we could spend time together even if it wasn’t the most amount of time.”

Besides working the commute from Las Vegas to Maui to pay for the trip, Betts attended flights hopping around the Hawaiian islands. While she worked, Myles spent time with his grandmother and cousin, and for his birthday, they all went to a beach and found a restaurant that served him a birthday cake.

Ultimately, Myles enjoyed three days of sunshine, beaches, adventure and education.

“I learned people actually live there,” he exclaims. “I did not know that people lived in Hawaii. And also, I learned Hawaii is actually made out of lava.”

“I was so happy my mom planned this. I was surprised. I was so happy,” he says. “It told me my mom cares for me a lot. I already knew this, but it made me feel like she cared about me more, and I want to be like my mom when I grow up.”

If his behavior on the flight is any indication, he’s already halfway there in terms of generosity.

“It was just very good to see how comfortable he was interacting with people and no fear, no hesitation and he’s just like, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it,” she explains about his eagerness to help onboard. “Even when the other flight attendant said, ‘You probably don’t want to do this … but I’m gonna take the trash,’ he’s like, ‘No,’ he’s taking the gloves out of her hands.”

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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