When Alexa Bjornson packed her seven-year-old son off for his first solo flight, she had additional worries to those any mother might have.

Diagnosed with high-functioning autism the young boy would be flying from Las Vegas to Oregon with an added challenge. Bjornson worried that Landon's unfiltered curiosity and tendency to ask "are we there yet?" might be equally challenging to whichever passenger had to share a seat with her child.

So she came up with a plan to explain the situation to her son's Southwest Airlines seatmate, via a hand written note.

Tucked into the note was a $10 bill, by way of thanks for looking after her child.
"I thought, 'How do I make it so whoever's sitting next to him won't look at him as a burden but more of like, 'I can help this kiddo get through the day'," Bjornson told the Portland TV station KATU.


Fortunately - with this note and a bit of luck in and seating allocation - Landon was placed next to a passenger who found the boy was no burden at all.

Passenger Ben Pedraza who wound up next to Landon for the long flight, sent a message to his mum to let her know her son was alright and not trouble at all.

Today my son took his first flight to Oregon to see his dad. I sent Landon with a letter to give to whoever sat next to...

Posted by Alexa Bjornson on Thursday, 27 June 2019

He shared a photo of the two of them on their way, to calm the mother's worries.

"He did ask if we were there yet several times but he was a great travel buddy," Pedraza wrote. "We had a good time and played a few rounds of rock-paper-scissors. He's a great kid and you're a lucky mom.

Bjornson took the message and posted it on Facebook thanking Pedraza for looking after her son.

Pedraza told KATU that Landon had been no trouble. The pair had hit it off instantly over a shared sense of humour although "after a while, he asked me to quit making dad jokes," he said.

The cute travel couple and the heart-warming story were a big hit online. Bjornson's post had over 118,000 shares via Facebook and many messages of support.

"I am so grateful to this individual," she wrote. "There are still kind people in the world who make a difference."


As for the $10 note, Pedraza said he donated it to the US charity autism-society.org.