KENNER, LA (WVUE) - A Phoenix woman got free flights for her family on Spirit Airlines for the next 21 years, but it took some pushing to get that kind of gift. Cristina Penton had a baby on a flight Saturday night. She told her incredible story at a Kenner hospital.
"I got on the plane, sat down, and everything seemed to be fine. They started closing the door and started to take off and everything was not fine," she said.
Cristina got on the flight 36 weeks pregnant and got off of the flight carrying her newborn baby boy, Christoph. A passenger recorded the special moments at Cristina's request, documenting the miracle of birth at 35,000 feet. She told the story of the incredible delivery from a Kenner hospital.
"The way it started is I went to Fort Lauderdale to get my children and we were going to Phoenix, Arizona. Everything seemed OK," she said
Her older children, Lulu and Ramon, witnessed everything. Lulu was right by her side as the contractions started.
"It was every four minutes, every three minutes," Cristina said. "I notified the flight attendants from the beginning and they were able to talk to doctors on the ground," she said.
She said her water broke, and within 10 minutes the baby was almost born.
"He did what he wanted and we were just along for the ride, I think," she said.
A pediatrician and a nurse just happened to be passengers on the flight. Airline officials say the baby was probably born over the Gulf of Mexico, and the New Orleans area was the closest place to land. Mom and baby were taken to Ochsner Medical Center in Kenner. The only person missing was dad.
"I sent him images of the delivery via text," she said. "How do you explain that?"
So, Christoph Carsten Lezcana will have a story to tell when he's older of a high-flying entry to the world.
"The birth certificate says Louisiana and when they say facility they say other and it says airplane. He's going to have a hell of a time filling out paperwork when he gets older!" she said.
Cristina's husband will fly to New Orleans to meet his family, and they will all drive to Phoenix together. Doctors recommended the baby not fly on a plane until his immune system is stronger. But, the family will have free future flights on Spirit until the baby is 21.