With more than 100 years of combined experience, these flight attendants have seen just about everything. They’ve flown all over the world and now share some of the sweetest moments they’ve experienced. From the kindness of a stranger to a precious moment with a senior couple, these stories will surely bring a smile to your face.
Heather Earl spent 20 years flying with Delta. On this particular flight, she noticed an elderly couple in their 90s during pre-boarding. With some clear discomfort, they slowly moved from the aisle and settled into their seats.
“I saw that the gentleman had two hair ties wrapped around his wrist. I noticed because they were bright blue and peeked out from under the cuff of his nicely pressed navy blazer. This couple was from an era when flying was an occasion to get dressed up.
As I passed, they asked me how much time they had before the other passengers would be boarding. I said that they would be boarding any minute. The woman patted her husband’s knee and turned her back to him.
He immediately pulled a comb out of his breast pocket and began combing and braiding his wife’s long gray hair. He smiled at me and said he learned how to do her hair because her arthritis prevented her from doing it. He told me with pride that he was very efficient at it and was sure he could finish before the other passengers arrived. He had just finished wrapping the hair bands on the end of her braids as the other passengers began streaming down the aisle.
I noticed that the couple smiled and greeted the arriving passengers. Every time I passed this couple, they were holding hands.”
Now that is true, unconditional love!
A Song Saved The Day
Lara Ketterman is always up for a good challenge. While she still flies, she will never forget a very delayed flight out of the busy Newark airport.
“We were flying a Boeing 757 with 190 passengers to Phoenix. It was the first flight in the morning, and everyone was on edge because they woke early to catch this flight. I do not want to disparage a particular city, but this is a New York airport full of short-tempered citizens.
We pushed back on time, and so did all the other airlines. After we finished the safety demonstration, a few of us flight attendants congregated in the aft galley during what we knew would be a long taxi to the runway.
After about 15 minutes, the pilot made an announcement that we were number 68 for departure! The passengers groaned and started ringing their call buttons for news about their connections. You could feel the tension in the aircraft.
We had this cute family in the very last row with a young child around six years old and a lap child, too. I felt badly for them to remain seated for so long before we even took off. The six-year-old was this sweet little girl with a fun ponytail and pink glasses.
I was standing in the aisle and talking to them while everyone around was complaining to me about the delay. The little girl asked what was going on and I told her we were delayed for take-off and that put some people in a bad mood. She replied, ‘Well, we should sing the Oscar Meyer song! No one is in a bad mood when you sing that song!’ I laughed and said, ‘Okay sweetie, you start and I will follow.’
Her little sunny voice started, ‘I wish I was an Oscar Meyer wiener, that is what I’d truly like to be-ee-ee, because if I was an Oscar Meyer wiener, everyone would be in love with me.’
I said, let’s sing it again, and this time I joined in and so did her parents. Then another flight attendant walked up to sing. We sang multiple times and like magic, the passengers stopped complaining and started listening and with each song, more and more people started singing. When we stopped, everyone cheered and clapped! That little girl knew way more than most adults how to change negative into positive.
And that ladies and gentlemen, is how I got 190 New Yorkers to sing the Oscar Meyer Wiener song!”
The Kindness Of A Stranger
Flying for almost 40 years will give you plenty of stories. Lara shares one more about the life-saving kindness of a stranger.
“We were boarding a flight from Raleigh to Phoenix. Everyone was settling in and the aircraft door was still open. Earlier, I had greeted a very frequent flier that was already hard at work on his laptop. I was in the aft galley preparing the beverage carts for service when I heard a passenger call button. I walked out into the cabin, saw the light on above a lady in the window seat. She was turning around and looking for me. She looked stressed and anxious.
I asked her what I could do for her and she told me that the battery in her insulin pump died and did I have a AAA battery onboard. I thought hard. This was the first time anyone had asked me for a battery for an important reason. I looked up and everyone was listening and watching. I said I wasn’t sure but I would call up front and ask the gate agent to get one.
Just then, the frequent flier held up his hand. I walked over and he was taking apart his laptop mouse. He handed the battery to me and returned to his work. No words, just actions. I thanked him profusely and he just waved me away. Some of the passengers clapped but the man just continued to work away, and we left on time with a working insulin pump for a diabetic passenger.”
Kentrell Charles flew with American Airlines for almost 25 years. He loved his time in the sky with his passengers. So it’s no surprise they showed their appreciation.
“Our flight was full and already delayed for hours. Our goal was to quickly and seamlessly board the passengers, safely push back from the gate, serve snacks, and enjoy the long flight. Several of my first-class passengers said they didn’t appreciate the delays and were upset about it. All I could do was listen and apologize. It’s always hard when delays are out of your control.
Well, I guess my service made up for it. After arriving at our hotel, I saw several of our passengers in the check-in line. We wave and smile. Some time passed and I received a call from the front desk. They said a complimentary dinner was waiting for me. All I needed to do was call room service and order whatever I wanted.
I was so touched and I suggested there had been some mistake. The front desk told me that two guests of the hotel told the manager about my excellent service. I was so moved and couldn’t wait to place my order.
Our layover was cut short due to the delay so all I wanted to do was relax and stay low. I left a nice thank you note at checkout and had a great flight home. I hope my passengers understood their gratitude meant the world to me!”
New ‘Dos’ For The Crew
You might say Nancy Lee has seen it all! She’s been a flight attendant for more than 40 years and still loves it! Her story is a fun one, and actually, I wish I was on that plane!
“Around the mid-’90s, I flew a late flight from Orlando to Los Angeles. I noticed a passenger with the most gorgeous hair color and cut. She said she was a hair model. It turned out there was a hair stylist competition in Orlando. And the winner was on our flight! Because all the other passengers were asleep and we were bored, he gave us all free haircuts on the plane. We looked great, and someone got a lot of free drinks from us.”