Yesterday I offered a review of my United Airlines flight from Honolulu to Chicago in business class. Today, I want to focus on the amazing flight attendant, Diana Kaina, who took such great care of me on the flight.
Princess Diana Of The Friendly Skies, An Amazing Flight Attendant On United Airlines
When people lament about the “older” flight attendants in the USA, I shake my head. Not only is age just a number, but some of the very best flight attendants in the world have been flying with U.S. carriers since before many of us were even born.
Take Diana Kaina, who took care of me and others on the starboard side of the 777-300ER rear business class cabin on my flight from Honolulu to Chicago. She has been with United Airlines since 1968!
But over 50 years later, she continues to offer personalized, warm, caring, and attentive service.
After boarding, she came over and introduced herself, offering me the pre-departure beverage of my choice. Later on, she took my meal order, addressing me as “Mr. Klint” (and from that point on in the flight). She thanked me for my 1K status and said to let her know if there was anything she could do to make my flight more enjoyable.
During dinner service, she checked up on me no less than three times (and every seat was taken in business class) to make sure my glass was full. When I finished dinner, she promptly cleared my tray away.
I went to sleep and woke up six hours later in a dark cabin. Even so, within moments Diana noticed I was awake, came over, wished me a good morning, then offered me a cup of coffee and breakfast.
She always had a smile on her face (even behind her mask, I could tell) and a spring in her step.
I call her Princess Diana because for so many years she worked on the Queen of the Skies, the Boeing 747, which United once used for its Hawaiian service.
United’s Honolulu-based flight attendants are some of the best in the system and it was such a joy to interact with such a special lady who has seen so much over the last five decades and yet continues to offer the highest standard of service.
I was so thankful to get to fly from Honolulu to Chicago with Diana. What an amazing woman who continues to offer the level of personalized service that can compete with the best airlines in the world. United is in the hiring mode and for the first time in my life, I’m seeing many flight attendants younger than me. May Diana be an inspiration for them all!
Thanks for this, Matthew. Great of you to recognize an employee providing great service, and a career’s worth, at that. I agree with you about the Honolulu-based crewmembers. I’ve found they are among the warmest and friendliest.
I hope you have a chance to run into her again!
“I went to sleep and woke up six hours later in a dark cabin. Even so, within moments Diana noticed I was awake, came over, wished me a good morning, then offered me a cup of coffee and breakfast.”
Plot twist: She was watching you sleep the entire time!!!
Impressive career. So many changes in the industry. Perhaps it’s the motherly attitude that so recently missed in air travel. Hopefully nobody would dare sass or heaven forbid punch nana! Hat’s off to Diana!
“I’m seeing many flight attendants younger than me. May Diana be an inspiration for them all!”
What UA should be doing is checking out trip reports people make and notice who the good FAs are, and have them and others like Diana start training the next batch of FAs.
Don’t forget Pamela “Pam” Corbin and Marjorie Bailey. Both hidden gems in the UA FA family. Both ladies are EWR based as well!!
Some years ago UA had a base in BKK, was a while ago so I think it was BKK. Now they were all universally great. I guess in a reduction in force they all got the chop.
I believe you’re thinking if the SIN base they had for 15 years. It ended in September 2001.
Kudos to you Matt for recognizing Diana and the great service she provided.
She’s maintaining a level and class of service from a “golden age” of air travel long since abandoned as airlines struggle to juggle the numbers…….
Your comparison is kind of weird. Princess Diana was a royal who devoted her life to service and great causes. You are happy because someone gave you service that they receive a salary for. That read to much into it. Life isn’t like Downton Abbey.
I call her Princess Diana because she is United royalty.
Mahalo nui Matthew for taking the time recognize our good friend and flying partner.
Your words are deeply appreciated,
Retired HNL Domicile Flight Attendant
Truth. Since the mid 90’s UAL hired and let go a large number of f/a that were immature, had no service oriented job history, had no work ethics, had personal problems, and had another agenda to the training received as a f/a. Some of these ppl remain with their bad habits. UAL trainors back then had most of these same qualities so it was a doomed class of crew from the get go. U AL is just now getting the type of crew onboard these days, as evident by comments. Unfortunately problems start at the top and until that is solved,…….
It’s very touching how you eulogized D. Very few professionals take the time to observe the hard work of front line staff and provide some form of recognition. This essay reminded me the one you wrote for Julie.
Not taking anything away from Diana but I can’t help but think that your 1K status affords you special treatment over the others.
I watched her be kind to everyone around me. I cannot imagine we were all 1Ks or UGS.
She needs to train the new FA’s as theyare missing a lot!!!
It’s difficult to train what hasn’t been taught at home. Then, only if you can peel the phone from their hands. I would say it is a 50/50 ratio of new hires that give back into the job the dedication and level of service that this job requires. Like all companies airlines struggle to find good quality candidates.
Why not just ask her for a pic instead of taking shady side pics of her? I’m sure as “royalty” she’d oblige you!
I don’t tell people I am a blogger or going to write about them. It spoils the impartiality of the review.
How come I don’t see LALF articles on Google anymore? Great article btw! Nice to see age and experience celebrated.
I wish I knew!
While I have never met Diana, and I am sure she is nice, but to suggest that American flight attendants ever belonged to the best is the world shows a total lack of knowledge and likely experience on board of European , middle eastern or Asian airlines. But through the eyes of an American I understand that lack of polished service, lack flight safety knowledge, lack of delicately prepared dishes with excellent wine pairings and lack pro active and polite service is all compensated as long as there is a Sunday ice cream service cart available.
No, I take great exception to your ignorant and utterly imbecilic comment.
If you read this blog, you’ll know I have flown the finest first class products from around the world – you name it, I’ve flown it. I’ve also visited 141 countries and have certainly been amazed by service on many carriers and from many cultures. That makes it all the more noteworthy that I commend Diana.
You’re an injudicious fool. Also, it’s spelled ice cream “sundae” and this flight did not have one.
Aren’t all fools injudicious?
Did every passenger on the starboard side receive the same level of personalized attention or just the famous travel blogger?
Yes I’ve flown with Diana as well when the HNL inflight base was handling the HNL-GUM-HNL route from 2011 through 2017. She served as both a purser, and a flight attendant and I agree with your observations about her. In fact, I became very familiar with a number of the HNL based flight attendants for the six years that they were assigned to this route and can only report very very good things about each and every one of them. They all have/had 40+ years of seniority and this base is one base where seniority only means they are extremely appreciative and focused on how best to serve their customers – I was never once disappointed with their customer service. I’m glad to see Ms. Diana is still flying and wish her and her HNL based colleagues many more wonderful years in the friendly skies.
What a wonderful compliment! It’s very nice of you to acknowledge the sterling service of Diana and people like her. I have also had the pleasure of being taken care of on United by such caring staff members on all classes (F, J, Y). Some travelers may not know that such flight attendants were not only American, but they comprised many nationalities, too. After the closure of its bases overseas, many loyal and dedicated foreign crew and ground staff were unceremoniously let go by the company. Imagine that with little warning, your dreams are shattered with the closure of your domicile. Such a heartbreaking way to end one’s career … just to be a small footnote in the grand scheme of things. God bless them and many thanks for their exceptional service through the years!
Agreed. HNL based are the best in the system on United. Then i’d say SFO after them. It’s a small (but growing) base and I know many of them by now, and they truly are such a family. I wonder who is doing the GUM run now? I never flew there but they used to complain about the layovers ha.
Thanks for recognizing Diana Matthew! As a fellow 1K, I have seen both amazing FAs (regardless of age) and rude/demeaning/incompetent FAs during my travels on United the past dozen years. Diana seems to represent the best of the former and I wish her many more years of success!
Flying UAL cross country in first class years ago,the very kind FA noticed I wasn’t having any alcohol while others heartily imbibed.I explained I was driving home after the flight.Just prior to landing she presented me with a bottle of champagne elegantly wrapped in a cloth napkin.