Brothers help unite families stuck in airports Christmas Eve


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4)- Sergio and Brecca Ponce were looking forward to spending Christmas with their family for the first time in three years. But on Christmas eve, their flight from Los Angeles to Salt Lake was delayed.

“It went from all of the sudden 5:30, to 7:30, to 11:30, to 3:30 am to 7 am to 8 am to, you know, just stopped,” says Brecca. As the couple prepared to spend Christmas in the airport, a friend sent them a viral social media post of two brothers offering to fly people stuck at airports, so they could spend Christmas with family. “I sent him a message and he responded minutes later and him and his brother, so Mark and Mike, ended up flying out to LAX to pick us up so that we could be home for Christmas,” says Brecca.

Mike and Mark Patey posted the offer on their social media channels when they saw over two thousand flights were cancelled world wide on Christmas eve.

“We were sitting spending time with our kids on Christmas making Gingerbread houses and spending time just watching TV and relaxing and we said you know what, why don’t we take a break and unite some other families, and we’ll be back in the morning to spend Christmas day with our family,” says Mark.

As the post started going viral, the brothers witnessed their own kindness set off a chain reaction. “It was pretty neat to see that as we’re trying to arrange trips, that most people were able to find their own little miracles. Other people donating homes to stay in, hotel rooms paid for…” says Mark. The two say they were happy to help the families in need, because that’s what Christmas is all about.

“It felt like it became a little network for people to communicate and help each other for Christmas, it was amazing, just so much fun to watch,” says Mike. And for the Ponce family, it became a Christmas they would never forget.

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