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Pilot Travels 6,000+ Miles to Reunite 9-Year-Old Girl with Lost Doll



Quick Smiles:

  • Valentina Dominguez lost her cherished doll, Beatrice, during a family trip from Tokyo.
  • American Airlines First Officer, James Danen, went above and beyond to help, saying, “It’s my nature. I like helping people… that’s just what I like doing.”
  • Beatrice was returned to Valentina with a bonus: Japanese candy and a map showing the doll’s unexpected world tour.

Journeys often bring about unexpected twists, and for a young Texan named Valentina, it brought both heartbreak and an incredible reunion.

In a story soaring higher than your average feel-good tale, 9-year-old Valentina Dominguez lost her beloved American Girl Doll, Beatrice, on a family trip to Japan.

But the universe had other plans, thanks to a kind-hearted pilot and the magic of social media.

Returning from Tokyo, Valentina’s world was turned upside down when she realized her dear Beatrice was missing.

After a frantic search through their luggage, her father Rudy believed they might have lost the doll either at Haneda Airport or on the plane.


Enter James Danen, an American Airlines First Officer with a heart of gold.

After catching wind of a social media post about Beatrice, Danen, with three decades of flying under his belt, took it upon himself to help.

He mentioned, “It’s my nature. I like helping people… that’s just what I like doing.”

Being no stranger to Tokyo routes, Danen reached out to Turkish Airlines’ lost and found, leading him to the staff at Haneda Airport who had, in fact, found Beatrice.

In an operation more intricate than a transatlantic flight plan, it took two trips for Danen to rescue Beatrice.

But it all paid off when, last Monday, just a few miles from Valentina’s home, he personally handed the doll back to its overjoyed owner.


An ecstatic Valentina, showcasing a mix of glee and humor, queried, “Thank you! Was she well-behaved on the flight?”

And in a delightful twist, Danen even presented Valentina with some Japanese candy and a map showing all of Beatrice’s globetrotting adventures, courtesy of WFAA.

If dolls could talk, Beatrice would surely have quite the tale to tell!