It’s called the most magical place on Earth.
A trip to Disney World is a dream destination for children everywhere, including five-year-old Winni Iapicca, of Danvers.
“She’s a little girl with a princess attitude who just wants to dream and believe,” says her mother, Lyssa.
But life’s been tough for this little girl. Winni was born with tuberous sclerosis complex, a rare genetic disorder affecting her lungs, kidneys, brain, eyes, and skin. Lyssa says she takes the challenges head-on and with a vibrant spirit. So her parents decided to make her dream of going to Disney World a reality. They booked a family trip to celebrate her fifth birthday.
“No matter what her life is going to be, we want to make it as dreamy as possible for her,” Lyssa says.
Winni had never flown before, so Lyssa wanted to make sure she booked a flight that would work best for her daughter. Crowds of people and large gatherings can cause anxiety for Winni.
“We really have to prepare,” Lyssa says. “We have to have extra time just to go to the grocery store.”
Earlier last year, Lyssa went online and booked a 12:30 p.m. direct flight from Boston to Orlando on Delta Airlines. It would give them the extra time they needed for Winni. The Iapicca’s planned to get to the airport four to five hours early to give Winni enough time to get acclimated. The flights cost $2,300 for the family of four.
Everything was going according to plan until a few months before their big trip.
“I received an email that the flight all together had been canceled,” Lyssa says.
Lyssa says the Delta representative gave her two options: a 6 a.m. direct flight or an evening flight with a layover. Neither option would work because of her daughter’s condition.
“They just kept saying, ‘Unfortunately, I’m so sorry for your situation…there’s nothing we can do,’” Lyssa remembers.
She found a similar early afternoon flight on a different airline, but it cost more than $4,000. Wanting to keep their Disney dream alive, she reached out to Solve It 7.
We called Delta. The airline told us they would contact Lyssa directly to try and figure out a solution. Lyssa says she got a call back within hours.
A Delta executive told Lyssa to book whatever flight she needed, send an invoice and Delta would write her a check. She booked the flight on the other airline and Delta took care of the cost. They also gave the family a $500 Amazon gift card for their troubles.
“We know how important family vacations like this are,” the company said in a statement provided to Solve It 7. “While scheduled adjustments like this are uncommon, Delta employees are empowered to work with customers to find solutions.”
Winni got to take her trip of a lifetime. One home video shows the five-year-old in a pink dress meeting Cinderella. Another shows Lyssa and Winni riding a roller coaster, all smiles.
“She saw every princess, filled two autograph books, it was a dream,” says Lyssa.
A dream come true for this princess in training.
“I want to thank [Solve It 7] tremendously for helping us have an amazing, successful trip to Disney World,” Lyssa says. “And giving her the dreams that she deserves.”
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