When a sick, special needs boy would not return to his seat on a flight from Sydney to Melbourne the crew started to get anxious.
It was a short flight but at 10pm on a Sunday night passengers were tense.
When they boarded the cabin crew implored them to “be nice” to each other after gripes over luggage space broke out, so when they were ready to land and a 14-year-old boy would not sit down the atmosphere became electric.
They were low on fuel, passengers wanted to get home and this one young boy was the hold up.
It was a short flight but at 10pm on a Sunday night passengers were tense. Via Facebook.
The incident took place three weeks ago on Flight JQ527 from Sydney to Melbourne.
Cabin manager John Chesson told Fairfax Media things got stressful.
"Any longer and we would have to declare a fuel emergency, and then clear other aircraft out of the way. The captain was starting to get a little anxious himself."
The boy - a 14-year-old with Down Syndrome - felt sick and not even with intervention from his elderly parents or adult brother and sister would he get up.
The crew needed help, and fast.
They put out a call over the loudspeaker for assistance. Usually in times of emergencies, medical emergencies, they ask for doctors, but this time they needed the only person who could help a child in need.
"Is there a teacher on board this flight? Is there a special needs teacher on board?"
The woman who came forward was Sophie Murphy, a teacher with two decades experience.
“You gave him the space to feel safe Sophie. Bravo” Sophie Murphy via Facebook.
Ms Murphy, 42, whose experience includes overseeing early years special education curriculum at Westbourne Grammar and Wesley College says she knew she could help.
"Teachers get such a bad rap," she told Fairfax Media. "I was proud to go back there, knowing I could help. This is what every single teacher does, every single day."
Ms Murphy went down the plane where she found the young teenager lying in the aisle. He was sprawled across the floor facing the front of the plane and surrounding him were his anxious family.
"It was just teacher mode, teacher talk, teacher voice." Via Facebook.
Fairfax Media reports that after meeting his family Sophie Murphy too lay down on the floor.
"We didn't talk about the plane, or being on the floor," she says. "It was just teacher mode, teacher talk, teacher voice."