Pilot Flies a Lost Doll Halfway Across the World

Kindness knows no borders.



(Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock.com)

Valentina Dominguez, a nine-year-old from Plano, Texas, was thrilled when her best friend traveled 5,880 miles to reunite with her. Beatrice, Valentina’s “best friend” is actually an American Girl Doll, who Valentina accidently left behind on an airplane from Tokyo, Japan. Luckily for Valentina and Beatrice, a kind-hearted pilot volunteered to travel halfway across the world and reunite the pair, reports the New York Post. 

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Losing Beatrice
According to the New York Post, Valentina had been traveling with her parents, Rudy and Celeste, and her doll, Beatrice, back from a vacation in Bali, Indonesia. The family stopped over in Tokyo and then boarded the airplane for home.

According to ABC 8 News, when they arrived in Texas, they searched through their bags, but couldn’t find the doll. That’s when they realized that they hadn’t seen Beatrice since they were on the airplane. Valentina’s family was devastated at losing the doll. Her father explained that, “Beatrice was a big part of our lives for the past three or four years. I am feeling sad because she [Valentina] is very sad.” The family reached out to the airport and airline, and when they weren’t able to track down Beatrice, they took to social media.

A gesture of kindness
First Officer James Danen, an American Airline pilot who happened to live only miles from the Dominguez family saw the post and reached out to Turkish Airlines’ Lost and Found in Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, where he located the missing doll.

Since Danen’s flight routes often included Tokyo, he realized that he had an opportunity to help out Valentina. “It’s my nature. I like helping people…I was really glad I could do something nice for somebody,” he explained. 

And that’s how First Officer Danen ended up chaperoning the doll back to her home in Texas. The New York Post shares that he took pictures of the doll in the airport and along the journey home. He also brought along Japanese treats and a map showing Beatrice’s journey.

A few weeks after Beatrice went missing, Danen showed up at Valentina’s door and handed her the doll, treats, and map. “Was she well behaved on the flight?” Valentina asked.“Very well behaved, yes,” Danen answered. 

Valentina and Beatrice are thrilled to be reunited. “[Beatrice] means a lot to me,” Valentina shared. “She brings me happiness and she’s my best friend. When she was missing, when we got settled into our hotel, I felt very bad. I felt like my heart was broken.”

First Officer Danen could easily have overlooked the social media post. But, instead he took the time out of his day to help someone else and to make a little girl smile. This heartwarming story serves as a touching reminder of the difference a simple act of kindness can make and the power of empathy.

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