Mikayla Renfrow is an understudy for Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway. She was heading home from vacation in Europe last week, and her Delta flight delayed. That was going to be a problem – because she was about to be given a chance to play Jasmine. She got a message while inflight,
Mikayla… please send an updated eta when you can,” the text read. “I may need you for Jasmine tonight.
She was looking at a 5 p.m. landing at New York JFK – with immigration and customs ahead of her, and a rush hour transit – and didn’t think she could get into makeup and costume for a 7 p.m. curtain time. But thanks to above and beyond efforts across Delta, chronicled by a video she made alone the way, she got to play Princess Jasmine on Broadway after all.
- She asked a flight attendant if she might help get her off the plane first? The flight attendant escalated matters to the pilot. She was moved up to “a single available seat in first class at the front of the plane,” which I assume was actually a business class seat being used for crew rest.
- The pilot asked for a close-in gate. And he got in touch with his airline, who arranged a Blade helicopter transfer. The pilot explained “he was inspired by her living out her dream, and he just wanted to support her how he could.”
- After all that… the plane didn’t have a gate. But a Delta employee met the aircraft, walked her though immigration formalities and escorted her to her waiting helicopter. She was delayed at immigration along the way, but showed up a minute late for Blade with the helicopter waiting to whisk her into the city.
- And she made it just in time to appear as Princess Jasmine!
Here’s the video chronicling her journey, pulse racing the entire time.
That flight attendant who helped her out? Princess Jasmine gave her a ticket to the show for the evening. She went straight from the airport to the theater, still in uniform.