“I didn’t think I was having the baby because it was too soon, but after a few minutes I knew I needed medical attention,” Penton said in the airline’s press release. “Soon after that, it was clear I was having my baby, and I was in pure panic.”
At 36 weeks pregnant, Penton did not expect her water to break mid flight; but luckily the airline identified a pediatrician and nurse onboard the aircraft.
“A baby being born during a flight is very rare,” Spirit spokesman Paul Berry said in a statement. “But our flight attendants are trained to handle medical emergencies in flight and they have access to doctors on the ground via inflight communication.”
Once Penton went into labor, the aircraft was rerouted to New Orleans for an emergency landing, but newborn Christoph Lezcano had already taken his first breath.
Time Money reports that Spirit Airlines officials visited Penton and her new baby in the hospital, gifting Christoph free flights for life as well as promising a sale in the baby’s name.