Flight Attendants on Special Humanitarian Flights Consider the Experience as Priceless and Fulfilling
By: Flyhigh Manila Staff
A Philippine Airlines cabin crew was safe at home when he got a call from the PAL office asking to volunteer for a special flight from Manila to Canada. It was easy for him to say no to the request knowing that there is a pandemic going on and flight attendants, given their exposure to passengers, have a high risk of contamination if not protected. However, this was not the case, as he answered the call of duty to fly stranded passengers back to their home countries.
This is the case of many flight attendants who are taking special flights like cargo and repatriation flights, answering their call of duty knowing that there service this time is not only for their few passengers nor their families, but for the country as we all battle the CoviD-19 crisis.
PAL flight steward Alan Gabriel Espana said, "I am grateful to Philippines Airlines for the opportunity to contribute and be part of the frontline to help others, because I think that’s what we need especially this time where humanity’s survival is at stake," referring to being part of a special flight from Manila to Australia. Skyjet flight attendant Jandy Uy who was part of a humanitarian flight also shared her fulfillment, "Such an overwhelming experience to be one of those aviation frontliners and be part of this humanitarian flight." PAL flight attendant Meriam Santiago Abueva describes the experience as "story to tell to my future grand kids."
In fact, most, if not, almost all flight attendants told us that they will say "yes" when asked to volunteer for a special flight because this is where their role as flight attendants will really shine, and that is to serve passengers in a time when the whole world is at crisis. It just so happens that the airline would only ask a certain number of cabin crew to volunteer hence, only a few are given this opportunity there are only a select number of flights.
As you see, being a cabin crew is not just about serving passengers and doing safety demos. It is about stepping up amidst any type of event or crisis. They are highly trained to face the toughest situations that may happen in any flight which may involve lives and they live to this commitment.
While this CoviD-19 pandemic is going on, most airlines are grounded due to travel restrictions in order to control the spread of the virus. Those mostly flying are cargo and repatriation flights, both in which need flight attendants. Yes you got it right, even cargo flights using passenger aircraft have cabin crew members in the cabin to ensure that all items are secured and to man the cabin as pilots fly the aircraft.
Good thing airlines like Philippine Airlines and Skyjet now provides Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for their cabin crew to protect them from contracting CoviD-19 and they are encouraged to take all extreme measures like handwashing, wearing their complete gear, and ensuring that they disinfect particularly their hands.
Was it all worth the sacrifice? For these flight attendants, it was a priceless experience knowing that they are able to serve humanity as frontliners; bringing home stranded passengers to their families, and ensuring all medical or essential goods are in good condition throughout the flight which will all be used to fight the CoviD-19 pandemic.
To us, they are more than servants of a nation, but they are our hero frontliners of the sky for selflessly answering their call of duty for God, humanity, and our country. They left home to take you home.
To be a flight attendant takes a huge amount bravery, dedication, intelligence, strength, integrity, selflessness, and compassion.
Our salute to all our flight attendants and all in aviation, our frontliners in the sky!