‘Little Mermaid’ star Halle Bailey gets sweet surprise from Delta pilot: ‘Real tears’

A woman with brown hair pulled back into a bun smiling in a brown velvet dress
Halle Bailey attends the 2021 American Music Awards in Los Angeles.
(Jordan Strauss / Invision/AP)

“The Little Mermaid” star Halle Bailey was moved to tears Sunday by a sweet surprise she received from a Delta airlines pilot.

“this amazing pilot on the plane gave me this beautiful note today,” Bailey tweeted along with a photo of a handwritten letter addressed to her. She also posted the image on her Instagram story with the caption, “Real tears.”

“Ms. Bailey,” the note reads. “It is an honor to have you on board today. Thank you for being an inspiration to little brown girls all over the world [who are] like we were a few years ago ... [signed] your young latina female Delta Pilot.”

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In response to Bailey’s post, Delta tweeted, “You’re giving so many little girls wings. Thank you for letting us be part of your world.”

The pilot’s letter echoes the sentiments of many women and girls of color who watched the trailer for Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid,” starring Bailey as Princess Ariel. When the first preview of the highly anticipated film debuted at the D23 Expo in September, a number of parents shared heartwarming videos of their young daughters reacting to a real-life Disney heroine who looked like them.

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The 22-year-old singer and actor’s performance in the teaser alone sparked a wave of positive reactions from fans and members of the industry, including Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in the classic animated film of the same name.

“Halle, you were absolutely amazing!” Benson wrote on Instagram in September. “I’m SO proud of you.”

“Thank you so much @JodiBenson,” Bailey wrote back. “This means the world to me coming from you! You made Ariel magical for us.”