Airport worker comes to the aid of passenger with makeup after airline lost her luggage

Actor Hana Sofia Lopes struck up an unlikely friendship after losing her luggage. Photo / Supplied; Instagram, hana.sofia.lopes

What began as an airline worker going above and beyond for a passenger in distress has resulted in a life-long friendship

There’s no good time to lose your luggage.

But when you’ve got to meet the prime minister in a matter of hours, and you’ve not got any backup clothes, has to be up there as one of the more inopportune times for your luggage not to appear at arrivals.

This was the situation facing Hana Sofia Lopes.

The Luxembourgish actor was transferring through New York to Canada to work on film but seven days on there was no sign of a change of clothes.

With a series of important meetings and media events, the Portuguese-based performer was desperate to find her belongings.

When nothing turned up on the carousel she told CNN she was forced to abandon hope and make here way to a media event in the clothes she was wearing.

“No shoes. No brush for my hair. No makeup. No socks. Nothing. Just me and my handbag.”

Buying a last minute dress in New York, she boarded the flight to Montreal but her luggage was still nowhere to be seen.

On arrival in the Canadian airport Lopes found herself pleading with airport staff to help her find her things.

She would be meeting with the national film fund and Luxembourg’s prime minister, Xavier Bettel, in a matter of hours. It was a claim that must have sounded outrageous and a little ludicrous to the 20-something airport worker behind the Montreal Airport help desk.

However, part-time airport staff member Azalia Claudine Becerril Angulo felt compelled to aid her. Lopes was practically in tears.

“I wanted to help her. Normally, people are rude and they’re very aggressive. She was different,” Angulo told CNN. She felt an immediate warmth towards the passenger.

However, she was able to track down the luggage. Unfortunately it was still in Frankfurt and there was no way it would get to Montreal in time for the event. Crestfallen, the actress explained that she was supposed to be meeting with the head of her country and she didn’t even have any makeup to put on.

What happened next took Lopes aback. Angulo revealed that when she wasn’t working at the airport she was a professional makeup artist.

“If you want, I can come to your hotel in the afternoon and do your hair and makeup so that you can attend your reception,” she said. “If I was in your place, I would be also freaking out. So I really want to do it for free.”

So that was exactly what happened.

Turning up that following afternoon at the actress’ hotel, Azalea and Hana Sofia became fast friends. Speaking a combination of Spanish, French and English

“It felt like I was meeting up with an old friend, which is crazy, because I just met her the day before, but we were talking a lot,” said Angulo.

To top it off the airline had been able to track down the back, which had arrived from Germany.

The two remain in correspondence and Lopes expects to return to Canada for film work in the near future.

Both women say their friendship shows the importance of empathy when travelling, and not to be so blinkered and stressed even when things are not going to plan.

“It’s proof that out of something bad can come something good,” says Lopes. “Trust the process.”


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