About 300 international travelers found themselves stuck in the Billings Logan International Airport on Sunday without access to food, and members of the Billings community did their part to help make a bad situation a little easier to bear.
Donna Healy jumped into action when she heard a El Al Airlines flight from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles made an unplanned stop in Billings. As a member of Congregation Beth Aaron, a Jewish community in Billings, Healy understands that many of the folks in Israel and aboard the flight keep a kosher diet. With the help of her daughter Kat Healy and Kat’s friend Victor Sargent, she decided to feed as many as possible.
“You just don’t often get a planeload of Israelis in Billings, and we thought we should do what we could to make them comfortable, and kosher food is a part of that,” Healy said.
She picked up fruits, cereal, crackers and hummus, among other snacks, but also provided other items like deodorant and diapers.
Healy said Beth Aaron keeps an emergency fund for events like Sunday’s and is paying for the goods she delivered.
A rabbi from Bozeman also made the trip to Billings and delivered a large quantity of food.
Michael Eisenberg was one of the stranded travelers who benefited from the surprise meal.
“Once the rabbis came, there was more than enough. Tons. People in Billings can eat bagels for a month,” Eisenberg said.
He praised the care his fellow travelers were shown while stuck in the sequester area and kept the experience in perspective.
“I missed a couple meetings today in (San Francisco). But you know what the definition of a good flight is? One where you land safely and get to walk away from. It’s all good,” Eisenberg said.