Early last month, a woman departed from Newark Liberty Aiport the day before her wedding. Only, the carry-on containing her wedding dress got left behind at airport security. Usually, a lost-and-found form can take up to five days to process. Thankfully, the request found its way into the hands of an empathetic TSA agent, who sprung into action and saw to it that the dress was delivered to its owner well in time before the ceremony.
Earlier last month, a TSA agent in New Jersey literally saved the (wedding) day for Narolin Cepeda. She and her family flew from Newark one day before she was scheduled to get married in Ohio. However, something fairly crucial for the upcoming event did not make it onto the plane.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
Mother of the bride left her carry-on behind
Running a little late, the bride’s mother forgot to take her red roller bag containing her daughter’s wedding dress after clearing security. The party boarded the flight to Columbus, none the wiser. The discovery of the absent carry-on was only made upon arrival at their destination.
The bride-to-be’s brother, Christopher Cepeda, immediately filled out a lost-and-found form online when the mistake was discovered. However, as soon as he submitted the request, the automated reply indicated it could take about five days to receive a response.
Bag located in six minutes
Thankfully, a TSA agent by the name of Loletta Nathan-Gordon saw the email at 11:54 local time. Six minutes later, by 12:00, she had confirmed the whereabouts of the bag, having sent a colleague to the security check-point. According to NBC New York, Nathan-Gordon put herself in the bride’s shoes.
“I could only imagine how stressful that would have been for me if my mom would have left the dress behind. I would have freaked out,” she said.
She immediately rang Mr Cepeda, who told People that he was “ecstatic” to hear from the TSA so quickly. He arranged to pay for overnight shipping, and the bag was delivered at 08:55 the following morning, just in time for his sister’s wedding.
It took a prayer and an empathetic TSA officer, but Narolin Cepeda got her wedding gown back just in time.https://t.co/kZTR9TtTHg
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) August 25, 2020
The resourceful duo certainly saved the big day for everyone involved, particularly the bride and, we can imagine, her mother.
“She literally saved my sister’s wedding,” Christopher Cepeda said. “If it wasn’t for her, everything would have been a disaster.”
Be as empathetic as Nathan-Gordon
So next time you find yourself walking through security, rushed or annoyed at this regulation or that, take a moment to appreciate that TSA agents are human beings, with empathy and willing to go that extra mile when it truly matters. They work long and hard hours to essentially keep you safe while flying. During the shutdown last year, they did so without even getting paid, and during the pandemic, they have done so while risking their own health.
Have you ever forgotten something at airport security, or on board a plane? Did you manage to recover it? Let us know in the comments.