Simple gestures of kindness carry a profound ability to lift the human spirit.
Flyertalk member JV Photo, who I know is a trustworthy source, penned a thread entitled, A United FA Made Me Cry (In a Good Way).
It was a simple act. On the 319 I was in row 2 and an elderly (wheel chair on/off-load) woman made her way to the forward lav. She spent a good 3-4 seconds at each row steadying hands on the seat backs (coming from around Row 10). As I realized what was happening before and before I would have walked her up with my arm she was already making her way past row 1.
A few minutes later I look up and see the F FA doing a 1/4 squat while she walked and the woman was behind her hands on each shoulder steadying herself as she walked back to her seat.
Maybe it was the time of year, the amazing week I had heli-skiing in Canada or maybe the thought that neither of my two living grandparents would ever be able to travel alone. Thankfully I had my sunglasses to put on as I started to get a bit misty eyed.
There are a lot of people out there and even a simple gesture goes a long way.
What a touching display of humanity and a beautiful act of compassion during this Christmas season. I salute that United FA and hope that s/he is properly recognized for providing such good service. This should be the norm, not the exception, but it merits a mention as a selfless act that goes beyond the contractual scope of FA duties.
Doesn’t this story make you want to help someone today?
Thank you Matthew for sharing your ideas and thoughts this past year. This post is a good reminder how we can all help each other more.
>On the 319 I was in row 2
>Maybe it was the time of year, the amazing week I had heli-skiing in Canada
*Barf*. Imagine spending time writing about other people’s kindness and then littering it with your own insecure bragging. Kinda makes you wonder if this even happened, or if what’s-his-face was just out to brag to the FT community.
Next time, JV Photo could include phrases such as:
“The elderly lady almost tripped over my Balenciaga bag, but I made sure to remove my B&O iH9s just in time, not even noticing the Swarowskis that fell off as I selflessly turned my head, …”
This actually happened and it happens everyday thousands of time a day at United and other airlines. Its so sad that you take a good story and turn it into something ugly. Maybe if you take time to help others in small ways it will open your eyes to the world around you and you will see the small gestures people do everyday. Maybe instead of walking with your head down always looking at your phone you will pay attention to the world around you.
An even more beautiful gesture would have been to kindly give up your seat to the elderly woman and taken hers instead. That would be true generosity and caring about others.
As a 25-year flight attendant, I don’t know why Matthew thinks this assistance for our elderly passengers is unusual. Surely, not for me. Nowadays, most of our passengers are so self-absorbed in their ear-plugged entertainment, they’re stunned speachless to the question from us about what they would like to drink. Or, 2 days ago, so enraged by what, I don’t know, my First Class passenger yelled at me for “disappearing for one-and- a-half hours” (!) and not doing such-and-such (for him and his travelling companion….still not sure what that was about). Unmitigated RAGE!
Kindness is out there, dear. One just has to PAY ATTENTION and REIGN IN ONE’S SELFISH MINDSET.
Still a nice story in spite of William the Grinch trying to make it negative
and Lisa using her patronizing “ditto” comment. William and Lisa should go back to Fox News and stop reading if they have issues with stories like this.
I think you your must mean mainstream media and CNN the news for people who only care about themselves and spreading negativity. The generation of ME ME ME.
Thank you for sharing ..What a kind heartfelt Deed you witnessed…These should be the norm….If only….
New Port Richey, Fl
25 years ago, flying between the USA and London, my husband and I observed a United Airlines FA on her knees in the aisle feeding an elderly woman. I will always remember that image.
A nicer gesture would have been to give up his seat in row 2.
pretty bad when the (gasp!) novelty! of simply helping a little old lady walk makes headlines. merry Christmas, zombieworld. this is how it used to be.
Garuda’s FA did it better. Just saying….
If you saw the flight attendant doing this gesture, why did you say “I hope s/he is properly recognized…” You could have taken the moment to give that flight attendant the recognition you believed they deserved and taken their name down and written to corporate. I believe this story is not genuine to you or fabricated.
His legs must have been too tired from heli skiing to trade seats with her and really make a difference.
This was lovely. I have to say, however, that Asian carriers routinely help in such a manner. I lived in Thailand for a number of years and brought my elderly mother over. Each time my mom had to use the bathroom a flight attendant would face my mom, hold her hands to support her and walk backwards to the bathroom. She would then stay until my mom was through and would repeat the process back to her seat. Wonderful!
I’m a flight attendant and I do this every single day because I care. I will literally carry passengers (even though I’m not suppose to). I’ll take all their bags, let them hold on to me, I’ll do whatever it takes to make their journey easier. I wasn’t trained for this, I’m just a compassionate human being who cares about others.
So will this finally slightly change the image of United? Or everyone will still only remember that single incident of pulling off a passenger?
It’s a sad thing that this is “newsworthy” to some; as others have pointed out, it’s very common and not only on planes. For sure, some FAs can be rude, surly, gruff, and generally unpleasant but I’ve never seen one NOT freely offer unsolicited help to passengers in genuine need, elderly or otherwise. Job frustration has not lessened their humanity.
Thanks for sharing what you saw. Very touching observation. It is a great reminder that we can all be kind to the people we encounter, whether in person or on-line.
Thanks for sharing your observation- I can place myself there and almost see your misty eyes! What a great flight attendant! She should be commended (and probably has been by United). The little things really matter.