Earlier this week I wrote about the beautiful goodbye offered by an American Airlines flight attendant upon the completion of her final flight. In another recorded farewell, a United flight attendant offered his somber farewell that again will pull at your heartstrings.
Flight Attendant Says Goodbye On United Airlines
Kevin Gieseke is a Boston-based flight attendant for United. He has now been furloughed. His partner has also been furloughed. Fighting back tears after what may have been his final flight as a United flight attendant, Gieske addressed the cabin:
The heartbreaking, last flight prior to this United crew losing their jobs was captured on video by a passenger. This FA is one of 16,400 @united employees who will be furloughed or laid off within the next few days. pic.twitter.com/wKVD0djwy5
— Passenger Shaming ✈️ (@PassengerShame) September 30, 2020
“It sincerely has been a pleasure flying the friendly skies with you the last few years. And while I refer to all of you as passengers rather than customers, because I sit up here on the aircraft with you and not in our corporate office, at the end of the day you all spend your hard-earned money here and you are paying customers. And without that we would not have been afforded the luxury of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So for that, I thank you.
“Wherever your future travel plans may take you, we hope you’ll come back to United…so we can come back to you. And I hope that when I see you again, it’s under better circumstances. But if it’s not for you or if you are not traveling for a happy occasion, I know that the rest of my United family will be here for you. Thanks again.”
The cabin erupted in applause. I love that he refers to guests onboard as passengers and not just customers…a subtle distinction, but an important one.
United Optimistic About A Second Bailout
For its part, United remains hopeful that Congress and the White House will soon come together and extend payroll support, which will result in an reversal of the furloughs it has already embarked upon.
“As we said earlier this week, we are eager to reverse the furlough process once Congress has passed legislation to extend the CARES Act Payroll Support Program, but they need to act quickly. We’re hopeful that the widely expressed, bipartisan support for saving airline jobs will lead to a legislative breakthrough soon. Our CEO and other company leaders continue to be deeply engaged in working with our union leaders and Airlines for America to stay in close touch with senior government officials in both parties and urge them to pass legislation that saves airline jobs. We will continue to update our employees on the latest as this unfolds.”
Live and Let’s Fly will continue to share personal stories about airline employees impacted by furloughs. Those who have lost their jobs and livelihoods are not just faceless numbers, but human beings with hopes and dreams and families. Kevin, your speech was beautiful and I wish you all the best in the days ahead.
> Read More: How An American Airlines Flight Attendant Said Goodbye
Congress should not be giving the airlines any additional payroll assistance. It is just kicking a can down the road. The airlines have been smug for years, they need to manage the crisis on their own, not with the help of taxpayers.
Air travel will take years to recover, not months. These flight attendants and pilots will need to eventually find a new line of work unfortunately.
What is unfortunate is that folks like you have not been effected by the financial hardships this pandemic has brought about or you could not say what you did.
Economics do not work on feelings Elizabeth. What would your plan be? Subsidize salaries for people who are not working for another 6 months, then go through this all over again? Like I said, air travel is unlikely to return to pre pandemic levels for years, business travel may never return to what it was. Carriers need to adapt and they will come out of this smaller.
Industries can be cyclical, and air travel is certainly one of them. I do have a steady job right now, thanks! but that could change and I may have to pivot. Outside of unemployment benefits I don’t know how anyone could expect the government to subsidize them for years if they lose their job due to an industry downturn. Tis life in a free market. If you want the government to control your economy head to China and let me know how it goes for you.
I would agree with that Albert.
Also, I believe Southwest has not taken any stimulus money.
Southwest took more than $3.2 billion in stimulus money. Less than what UA and AA took (~$5 billion each) but quite a bit nonetheless.
Yes I agree 100% because I’m a business owner my & I have managed my own & I Thank God for what is doing for the righteous people in tha world who is really in need, so I say no to the aviation industry, until that lying ass president trump who down played the virus, so now look where this country is at now, hold on the worst is yet to come. Amen
Everyone remembers perfectly well the moment WHO declared this virus a Global Pandemic. Everyone took notice, businesses shuttered overnight. Stop blaming the President for the unpredicted duration of this disease. Every world leader is struggling to deal with this in their own countries. No one claims to have the answer, no one has the perfect solution.
Nicely said. I like it when FA call us “passengers” and thanks us for the opportunity to “serve us”. I don’t like being called a “customer” and thanking us “for your business”. Travel is an adventure, not a transaction!
It’s a sad situation but it will be over when the pandemic ends. I expect that to be in about 3 years. It could be faster if everyone gets the vaccine and continues to wear masks after the vaccine but fat chance. Instead, after 3 years, it will get better but will still be around.
Why does the title of the article say United airline attendant but in the article says American Airlines? The writer sure did not proof read the article and get their facts straight!! Dot doing their job properly!!
Not sure what you mean. The link above is to an additional story on American Airlines. There’s two stories–one from American Airlines, one from United Airlines.
I’m a CEO of my company and these CEOs run these companies down they know what’s the industry is bringing and they see what’s happening until they get a vaccine for the virus everybody’s down I don’t see funding Aviation if you can’t find everyone especially small businesses
Johnny boy, take a minute and read the article again. And while you’re at it, check your spelling.
I’m not sure I understand why airlines while get bailouts. I work in the live meetings and events industry. We have over 90% unemployment in my industry and have since March.
Why don’t we get a bailout?
I have never understood why the airlines started calling their passengers “customers”. Totally wrong. Shows are those fat CEOs love capitalism and making that almighty dollar for their shareholders. Just so they can reap huge bonuses for themselves.
I have found United FAs during the Covid-19 crisid most nasty to and unappreciative of even their most loyal paying customers. This seems to be a great opportunity to get rid of the very worst of them at least.
It’s odd, I’ve found them to be the opposite. For the most part, FAs have been great.
Every airline in the United States received bail out money in April.
It is a lot of money, but you know what it Takes Planes, Trains, Buses, Ships, Trucks, and automobiles. to make this world work! And with the modes of movement reduced or eliminated, Our Economy will suffer a Sever blow. The Governments and The w h o. hold countries accountable the world Pandemics and should not Happen Ever!!! From a previous furloughed United employee.
Having owned our own travel business for some 30 years I have to agree with Michael and Albert. We are a small business and don’t have the resources of the “airline Lobby” in Washington. The airlines have received Bailouts since the events of 9/11 and have made huge profits in recent years. I am all for loan assistance till things improve but as a tax payer and a business owner in the same industry who does not qualify for bail out funds I can not agree with giving this one facet of the travel industry our tax dollars. I notice one of the post mentions “it takes planes, trains, buses, ships,… etc” yet no one is bailing out Hertz & Avis, the cruise lines, bus companies or businesses such as mine who market and sell travel; Nor should they.