Earlier I wrote about the 13,000+ United Airlines workers who will be furloughed today. Meanwhile, over at American Airlines 19,000 will lose their jobs. One flight attendant was captured on video offering a particularly poignant goodbye to passengers during what now appears to be her final flight as working for American Airlines.
Flight Attendant Says Goodbye On American Airlines
Breaunna Ross has had a brief but satisfying career at American Airlines. Sadly, she does not have the seniority to hang on to her position and is one of the thousands who will be furloughed today by AA absent rapid intervention by Congress and the White House.
As she touched down in Dallas – Fort Worth (DFW) from Jacksonville (JAX) on Sunday after what was probably her final flight as an AA flight attendant, she welcomed passengers to Dallas, provided the arrival time, gate, and baggage carousel info. But she did not stop there. She went on to share some personal thoughts. A colleague who sat next to her captured them:
“As all of you know the airline industry has been impacted greatly by this global pandemic. Our routes and flying have been significantly reduced, resulting in our company having an overage in staff. For myself and one other crew member on our flight today, this means we’ll be furloughed Oct. 1 and unfortunately, this was my last working flight before that day comes. I will never forget seeing your faces today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kindness shown on today’s flight…
“I also want to personally thank each and every one of you for choosing to fly American today. This job was an escape for me after being unhappy with my job after graduating from college. It was a job that awarded me many opportunities. A job that I fell in love with. I have been to places I thought I’d never have the opportunity to go and places I never knew existed. I’ve met people from all walks of life and made friendships that will last the rest of my life…
“With so much happening in the world, you never know how small actions can impact the next person. Please be kind to one another, practice compassion with everyone and live with acceptance of yourself and others.
“Until I see you guys in the friendly skies again, please take care of yourself and your health. I hope all of you have a wonderful night and again, thank you for flying with us.”
The cabin broke into applause. Many personally thanked Ross for her kind words. One person donated to charity on her behalf:
Another apparently slipped her some money.
She later told USA Today:
“I realize it may take years to get the airline industry back to what it was. When that glorious day comes, I hope I can still fit my uniform! When the time comes, I will gladly pin my wings on again and come back to work with a very grateful heart.”
It’s a sad time in the airline industry and I shared this story to highlight that every worker has a story. Anyone who loves her job as much as Ross will soon find another career to excel at. I’m confident of that. And in the meantime, let’s indeed practice compassion and be kind to one another.