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.