Airline Refuses To Let Dad Board Plane With Baby, Doesn’t Realize That Won’t Stop Him


He couldn’t believe the situation he was in. He was completely stranded. He had nowhere to go and it was starting to get late. He thought about what had happened again, trying to make sense of it all. 

He had boarded his plane, thankful to be on his way back home when it happened. He had stepped onto the plane and found his seat. As he sat there a woman approached him. She quietly informed the new dad that despite what he thought he wouldn’t be flying and that he had to follow her immediately. 


In April of 2018, Rubin Swift was the happiest man in the world as he headed for Phoenix, Arizona. The reason for his fantastic mood was because he had just become a dad, but life wasn’t about to be kind. 

When he had heard the news he was absolutely ecstatic. It seemed that things were finally starting to go right. He was excited to become a dad and start this new chapter of his life. However, his good mood would soon be severely dampened.


In April of 2018, Rubin Swift was the happiest man in the world as he headed for Phoenix, Arizona. The reason for his fantastic mood was because he had just become a dad, but life wasn’t about to be kind. 

When he had heard the news he was absolutely ecstatic. It seemed that things were finally starting to go right. He was excited to become a dad and start this new chapter of his life. However, his good mood would soon be severely dampened.

Glad Tidings

Rubin had spent a long time embroiled in a legal battle but he had finally succeeded. The court had ruled in his favor, granting him full custody of his newborn daughter Ru-Andria. To Rubin, it was the best news in the world. 

The ruling stated that Rubin would get full custody over Ru-Andria. Finally, Rubin would be ab;e to go to Phoenix to fetch her and take her back home, his home, back in Ohio. He was excited to finally meet her, but fate was about to complicate things. 

Off Guard

After collecting his daughter, who was a mere four days old, from the hospital in Phoenix, Rubin and little Ru-Andria headed straight for the airport. There they would finally board a plane to go back to Ru-Andria’s new, and forever, home. 

He had arranged everything with the airlines in advance and had discussed everything with them at length to organize everything. When he reached the ticket officer, however, it turned out that none of that had mattered.

How And Why?

Taking an infant, especially one as young as Ru-Andria was a complicated procedure. As such, the hospital had made sure all the documentation to prove that she was fit, healthy, and able to undertake an inter-state airplane trip.

The ticket officer at Frontier Airlines, however, was telling him that it didn’t matter, and that he and Ru-Andria would not be allowed to board the plane or fly. Rubin was dumbstruck. After all the preparations, how was this possible?


According to the ticket officer, Frontier Airlines has a very strict policy regarding babies. Apparently, the rule is that babies who are not yet seven days old would not be permitted to fly, no matter the length or duration of the trip. 

Rubin was devastated. He was already missing his family and he wanted to get his daughter home but suddenly he was stranded. He couldn’t stay there for several days. Frantic, Rubin began to consider other options.


Rubin sat down and considered every option. Could he wait the three days until Ru-Andria was old enough to fly? Where would they stay until then? Maybe he could find a different airline that had a different policy? 

He was overwhelmed, tired, and shocked by what was going on. He tried to think of any other options to get himself and Ru-Andria back home to Ohio. However, while the confused father racked his brain for a solution, fate decided that one obstacle wasn’t enough. 

Rock, Hard Place

“I was out of money and the hospital told me that I wouldn’t be able to get a birth certificate for seven days,” Rubin explained during a later interview about his ordeal and how it finally gor resolved. 

“I was worried that if security saw me sleeping at the airport with a newborn, they’d take her away from me and charge me with neglect. I was stuck.” However, things hadn’t finished becoming more complicated yet.

Lacking Support

Rubin didn’t know anyone in Phoenix. He had no friends of family there, meaning he had no-one to ask for help. This, unfortunately, also meant that the new dad and his newborn daughter were stuck in an unfamiliar place with no help.

Rubin looked and Ru-Andria, terrified that he would be unable to provide her with the best care he possibly could. He took a deep breath and calmed himself down. Now, no longer panicking and frantic, Rubin began to rethink everything rationally. 

Vision Of A Visage

Rubins mind was a turbulent mess when suddenly, a face managed to present itself to him. It was the face of an elderly woman who worked as a hospital volunteer at the maternity ward of the hospital. 

He’d first met her at the Banner University Medical Centre where she had been caring for Ru-Andria as a volunteer member of the staff. She had been carrying her around and taking good care of her. 


Rubin and the woman had only spoken for a few minutes when they met, but even so, he could immediately tell that she was a very kind, nurturing, and caring person. She had given him her number, and he had taken it down even though he didn’t know why at the time.

Rubin fumbled in his pockets. He had written it down on a piece of paper before stuffing it into a pocket. So much had happened since then that he was afraid he may have thrown the scrap of paper away or perhaps lost it without realizing. Still, even if he did call her there was no guarantee that she’d remember him/ 

Praying For An Answer

Standing with a newborn in his arms, stranded at the airport and with no other options presented to him, he gathered his thoughts and decided to follow his intuition.

Pulling the crumpled note out of his pocket, he dialed the number and prayed when it began to ring, “Please answer…please…” Everything was riding on that phone call.

Open Arms And An Open Heart

This is where Joy Ringhofer steps into the picture and the start of a beautiful and heartwarming story unfolds. Even her name is significant! This act of kindness, which began with only three days, turned into a lifelong connection and touched the hearts of millions of people all over the world. Joy invited Rubin and little Ru-Andria into her home with open arms.

She said, “I had such a strong feeling and I that I needed to do this for him and I know that he was a very kind and safe man to have in my home… and he has been a perfect gentleman.”

Almost Disastrous

What started out as an extremely joyous occasion where he was going to fetch his newborn baby almost turned into a disastrous adventure where Rubin was to be stranded in a strange city with a brand new newborn baby girl.

After everything that has happened to him, he has now been taken in by a kind elderly lady and suddenly he feels elevated — this kindhearted Angel took care of him and his little baby girl, Ru-Andria.

A Misunderstanding

Ruben remarks that when he called her she said she was going to come and fetch him and take him home. Ruben still laughed and thought she was going to drive him all the way home to Ohio, but little did he know she was going to take them into her own home and care for them.

Rubin remarks that she could easily have said that there was a problem and refused them. Instead, she made them part of her family and, even though they were complete strangers, it was never an issue.

Good Food And Love

She fed Ruben and little Ru-Andria and made sure they were comfortable and happy. Joy would sit up at nights and hold little Ru-Andria as if she was her own. She even took her into her room at night and stayed with her and made sure she was warm and fed.

Rubin was amazed and said: “I mean who does that? Joy formed such a strong bond with her and said she’s just beautiful, wonderful, she’s been so good and Joy is going to miss her when she’s gone.”

Honorary Granny

Over the next few days she held, cared for, and loved the tiny baby. The three strange companions became so close they even went to the cemetery to visit the grave of the 78-year-old great grandmother’s husband, who had recently passed away of Parkinson’s disease.

Rubin was so taken in by this unconditional kindness and says Joy is Ru-Andria’s grandmother, and Joy has gained a granddaughter.

Too Little Too Late!

Rubin and his daughter had booked a flight to go back to Ohio and the Frontier Airlines said they would waiver any change fees associated with Rubin’s travel this time around. How does the saying go? Too little too late?

When he was unable to board the flight with his newborn infant, they said his money would only be refundable in seven days and were prepared to leave the young family destitute — in a strange city with no money for food, supplies or to get a hotel or a cab to make the ride back home.

Mysterious Life

Fortunately, as the world works in mysterious ways. When Ruben Swift met up with this kind great-grandmother who took a leap of faith and saw that a fellow human being was in need of some love, caring, looking after and human kindness.

In this small act of kindness, so many new unbreakable bonds were formed. A Family, grandmother, granddaughter, and friendship.

A Daunting Task

With the daunting task of suddenly becoming a single father and not being experienced or equipped to take care of a newborn, this experience has taught Ruben many lessons.

Having followed all the correct procedures the airlines still had their rules, which can sometimes seem pretty ridiculous and unfair, but he managed to keep his senses about him and used his best judgment by asking for the help of a retired caregiver… and a very Good Samaritan, at that!

No Mom

Nowhere in this story do we hear how the mother features in this dramatic saga. Somehow I do not think this is where the emphasis lies. Maybe she had difficult childbirth, did not want the baby or was unable to take care of her. Or one could assume anything else in the book.

The fact remains that Rubin Swift rushed over to Phoenix to accept his newborn and did absolutely everything in his power to give little Ru-Andria the best possible chance in life.

Everything Working Out

With the help of Joy Ringhofer it was all made possible. And this wonderful grandmother should be honored and respected by all humankind. She had absolutely no consideration for her own safety by bringing a complete stranger into her house, even with all news about the violence doing the rounds on social media.

All she could see was another human being in need of help and love.

Close As Family

Ru-Andrea and Ruben flew home, but he made a promise to return to the woman who has become family, a stranger who has now become like a grandmother who gained a granddaughter.

What Rubin learned from this experience is: “…that in this crazy world there is still compassion.” The blessed new father wants to spread this compassion by encouraging others to help those in need. “Let’s return to a time when we all cared about one another. That’s what I’m hoping will happen,” he said.

A Little Human Kindness

What would your immediate reaction be when you see or hear of someone in need of help or just a little human kindness? Would you turn your head, look the other way, pretend you didn’t see someone’s dilemma, or will you stretch out your hand and offer some human kindness?

In the end, would you be able to say, like Rubin, “I’m grateful?”