There are birthday surprises, and then there’s this birthday surprise, planned by a flight attendant mom for her 9-year-old son. She got an entire plane full of passengers, plus the flight crew in on it, and pulled off an incredible present for her son, Caleb.
Danie Betts is a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines based in Las Vegas. For Caleb’s ninth birthday, she got him on a flight. Then, in a TikTok video, she shared the plane full of passengers helping her reveal his big birthday gift.
“Caleb thinks he’s going to California for his birthday,” she announces at the beginning of the video. “If I could get you all, on the count of three, to tell Caleb what state he’s actually going to today.”
The passengers excitedly help Betts with the countdown, and then shout to the birthday boy that his flight isn’t headed to California — he’s actually going to Hawaii for his birthday! His jaw drops before a big smile takes over his face and he turns to give his mom a hug.
In an interview with Today, Caleb revealed that his mom pulled it off — he had no idea the surprise was coming.
“I was surprised when I went up there; I was like… ‘Why am I up here?'” he recalled. “And then I was surprised… I was so happy.”
Betts had recruited everyone, from the gate agents to the flight crew, to help her keep up the ruse that they were flying to California.
“Everybody was really excited on the staff,” she said. “It was a great crew we worked with that day and they just made sure it all happened pretty good and seamlessly.”
She added, “I worked the trip to get him out there. 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.”
While in Hawaii, Caleb enjoyed beaches and sun, and spent time with his grandma and cousin, who were also on the trip.
“I was so happy my mom planned this. I was surprised. I was so happy,” he said. “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.”