A Wish to Remember

Every quarter, we take time to celebrate Portland International Airport employees who go above and beyond in the name of customer service. From saving the life of a passenger who had stopped breathing to taking the time to give thorough directions and travel tips to an out-of-town visitor, we were inspired by the outstanding stories highlighted at our most recent quarterly awards luncheon.

But this one really demonstrated the power of PDX people coming together to make the difference for one person.

Alaska Airlines’ Michael Higgins was working the baggage drop-off line when a group with Make-A-Wish arrived. After extending a warm welcome to Wish Kid Marie, Michael was escorting the group to the gate for a Honolulu flight when he was struck by an idea: Why not ask PDX volunteer musician and Alaska colleague Anthony Cadiz to play Marie a tune on his ukulele?

When the pair arrived at the gate, Anthony dropped to one knee and introduced himself. “Aloha, I’m Anthony. Would it be okay if I sing you a song?” He sang Sea of Love, phone cameras recorded, eyes welled up with tears and a warm round of applause rang out.

As Michael said, “Someone willing to do something so selfless for a stranger should be recognized – he seized the opportunity with great enthusiasm, kindness and empathy, and he’s one of the reasons our airport is a place people love.”

Here’s a video of Anthony’s moving performance. Thanks for taking the time to make Marie’s Make-A-Wish trip to Hawaii even more special.