Durham woman’s efforts to give a lift to the airline industry go viral

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – After weeks of negative headlines for airlines, there’s a positive story going viral from the skies — and a Durham woman is behind it.


Last month, Carrie Grace McQuaid was flying out on Southwest Airlines one day before her birthday for a work trip.

She took to social media to reach out to the airline to get her idea approved in advance.

McQuaid decided to give birthday goodie bags to every single traveler and the flight crew — that was 175 bags. She also wrote notes to the pilot and crew.

The birthday girl told CBS North Carolina she just wanted to do something nice.

“It well exceeded the expectation I thought. I thought I was just going to stick them on the seats, be anonymous, and then go on. It was crazy to have like 175 strangers sing happy birthday and the flight attendants loved it,” McQuaid said.

During the same trip, which involved six flights, she gave Delta flight attendants a gift. She presented them with a cookie cake that said “You’re so fly.”

This wasn’t McQuaid’s first time at spreading happiness.

In Sept. 2016, CBS North Carolina reported on McQuaid handing out free ice cream in Durham’s Central Park.

She gave the ice cream out to people who pledged to do at least one act of kindness.

McQuaid said she wanted to launch the effort to counter negativity in the world.

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