Good Samaritan NFL player helps traveler stuck in a basic fare bind

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baggage carousel at airport
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Flying the friendly skies can be downright unfriendly these days when you think about the many rules and policies we have to adhere to in order to go from Point A to B. But with airfare sales so frequent, flying continues to be the most attractive way to travel long distance.

But that doesn’t mean the hassle involved doesn’t get us every now and then. One passenger recently shared her harried tale about trying to board an airplane only for it to turn into an awesome feel-good story and go viral on social media.

Delilah Cassidy, who is in law school at Arizona State University according to her Twitter profile, tweeted this week that she was trying to board an American Airlines flight when she ran afoul of the airline’s carry-on luggage policy.

Woman’s frustrating Twitter tale shows the gotchas of flying basic economy

While her Twitter thread didn’t mention it, Cassidy likely booked a basic economy fare, which the major airlines have rolled out to compete with the budget airlines. Basic economy fares are stripped of many of the amenities we have all come to know and love on an airplane.

We’ve written in detail about basic economy and what’s included — and, more importantly, excluded — on each airline.

In most cases, if you’re flying basic economy with American Airlines or United, not only will they charge you $25 to check a bag, but if they have to do it at the gate they will hit you with an additional $25 fee. It seems like that’s what happened to Cassidy.

In her case, not only were her credit cards not working at the time (she had just come back from Europe) but she was told that she had to go back to the ticket counter to pay with cash and likely miss her flight. Of course, when she trekked all the way back to the ticket agent, she found out that she didn’t have $50 in cash.

That’s when a Good Samaritan who happened to be NFL football tight end Jermaine Gresham walked up and said, “How much is it?” They told him $50 and he said, “I got it,” Cassidy says in her tweets.

Cassidy’s story ended happily and she learned a valuable lesson, but there’s even more that we can take from this inspiring account when it comes to booking a basic economy flight.

If you see a cheap flight from a major airline, money expert Clark Howard says, that’s when you should do your due diligence and read the fine print. “Pay close attention to this anytime you’re doing a fare search and you’re looking at one of the three full-fare airlines, because the cheap fare you see is a gotcha,” Clark says.

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RELATED: Flying isn’t the only way to travel: Here’s how to find cheap bus fares

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Craig Johnson is a conscious money-saver who stills read paperback books and listens to vinyl. He likes to write about how technology is making things easier and more affordable — but also sometimes more dangerous — for the modern consumer.
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