It’s another routine flight for Delta Flight 581 from Houston’s Hobby Airport to JFK in New York City. As the Boeing 757 approaches 30,000 feet, the seat belt sign is turned off and the inflight service cart is rolled out. Sarah Meads, a flight attendant who gives out full cans of soda to every passenger, quietly begins her far-reaching and influential work.
Each year, our Person of the Year award is given to the individual whose work, for better or worse, made the strongest impact on the world around us. And while it is true that Donald Trump, Beyoncé, Simon Biles, ISIS, and several others dominated the headlines this year, only Meads had the audacity to give out full cans of soda to every passenger she came in contact with.
In the ever cheapening landscape of airline travel, Meads helps inject decency and humanity back into it all. True, other flight attendants can be seen attempting to add life to an otherwise mundane experience. But the extra pins on their uniform for increased flair, and the unwarranted spunk in their preflight safety demonstration are misguided pursuits. Only Meads gives out full cans of soda or any nonalcoholic beverage of one’s choosing.
Of these deep-seated, ample refreshment convictions Meads simply says, “I’m just trying to do the right thing.” Further confirming her obsession in doing the right thing is Mead’s generosity with the salted snacks. Oftentimes, before a passenger even asks, she can be seen handing out two bags of peanuts or pretzels instead of the usual one.
We congratulate Sarah Meads, our Person of the Year. In a world of increasing uncertainty, we can rest assured that as long as Sarah Meads is at the helm of the beverage cart, passengers will be enjoying full cans of soda freely and without restraint.