In moments of testing, most flight attendants rise to the occasion. I recently witnessed a beautiful interaction between two flights attendants and an older gentleman on a flight to Chicago on United Airlines. The flight attendants went above and beyond their call of duty, displaying selfless care and affection for a passenger in need.
Compassionate Flight Attendants On United Airlines Help A Man In Need
Yesterday I wrote about United’s latest push for flight attendants to offer the following baseline of service on every flight:
- Provide a warm welcome to customers as they board
- Show a positive and friendly attitude
- Be visible and attentive throughout the flight
- Thank customers as they deplane
But on a recent flight from Houston to Chicago, the flight attendants went far further than that.
I was seated in 1F, the starboard window seat in first class. Next to me in 1E was a very old man (I don’t know how better to say it). He had boarded early via wheelchair and was sitting in his seat when I boarded. Other than a brief hello, he sat quietly.
Just moments after takeoff, it was clear he had to use the lavatory. He tried to get up, but fell back into his seat. He tried to get up again, then fell back into his seat again.
Not only was the man feeble, but the angle of the plane made it impossible from him to stand even while clasping the bulkhead. I took off my seat belt to help him to the lavatory, but before I could a cheerful flight attendant appeared.
FA: Sir, we’re still on a very steep climb. Can you wait?
FA: All right then, let’s go!
She and her colleague sprung into action. They both lifted him from his seat and one flight attendant held his hand while the other flight attendant steadied the old man from behind so he would not fall back.
They helped him into the lavatory and stood by in case he needed any assistance. Then they helped him back into his seat.
There was no scolding, no lecturing about using the lavatory before takeoff: just compassion and kindness. It was a beautiful sight to behold.
I wonder if all flight attendants would be so accommodating? After all, lifting a heavy man and walking through the cabin just minutes after takeoff is a dangerous thing and not part of the flight attendant job description.
But the beautiful gesture gives me hope that we will see continue to see service improvements onboard. It was about more than just the physical assistance: it was the gentle tone in which the man was addressed, so that he did not feel bad for what must have been a very uncomfortable situation.
I was privileged to witness such a kind encounter onboard. To say it was a “given” that the flight attendants would respond in this way really fails to understand the valid safety concerns flight attendants have. Kudos to the two flight attendants for being so gracious to the passenger in need.