When Flight Got Delayed, One Passenger Challenged Our Views Of Airlines With A Single Photo
Airlines have gotten a bad rap lately. In addition to the usual annoyance of flight delays and aircraft malfunctions, the fiasco involving forcibly dragging a doctor off the plane has given airlines an unpleasant reputation. One woman’s story, however, just may change the way you see airlines and their staff.
We have all been there – waiting endlessly for the plane to actually start moving, even though we have been sitting in our designated seats for what feels like forever. Kristen Wiley found herself in this common situation, and she wondered what could be keeping the plane from going somewhere.
When she finally realized what was going on, this passenger felt a heartwarming sensation running through her body. This is one flight delay that has everyone talking, but not for the reasons you might think.
As it turns out, one of the more elderly passengers on board the Alaska Airlines plane was diagnosed with dementia. As she sat in her seat on the plane near the Seattle-Tacoma airport, the staff realized that this woman had forgotten where she was. She seemed quite scared, as you would be if you had no idea where you were and found yourself packed into a crowded place among total strangers.
The flight staff acted very differently from what the media typically portrays. They were extremely compassionate and understanding toward this woman. It was clear that each worker wanted to do everything he or she could to help her.
“We are currently sitting on a plane, with a 45-minute delay. Why? Because there is an elderly woman suffering from dementia, who is very upset and confused,” Kristen shared on Facebook.
The staff tried to keep the customers calm as a security guard boarded the plane and walked straight over to the panicked passenger. They let her cuddle her companion dog the entire time, and they spoke gently as they tried to help her understand what was happening.
“The incredible staff of #alaskaairlines is being extremely patient and compassionate, in what can only be a very scary situation for her,” Kristen said. “Explaining every step, cuddling her dog, working with her husband/caregiver to find the best solution.”
In the end, the staff was not able to help the woman remember why she had boarded the plane, but they met this situation with even more sympathy.
“Alaska Airlines calmly assisted the woman, her husband/caregiver and sweet pup off the plane, providing hotel and transportation with plans to rest up and try again the following day,” Kristen explained. “Again, incredible compassion given to the both of them while quietly explaining the situation to other passengers.”
This was one passenger who was impressed with the way the crew handled the whole ordeal. She summed up the sentiment perfectly with her final phrase: “This is how I would want my mother, my sister, my aunt, my daughter, my niece, my friend cared for.”
Kristen had no idea what kind of experience would be waiting for her when she boarded that plane, but she got to witness something truly amazing. When people are willing to work together, the world becomes a much better place.
Airlines have bad reputations for a number of reasons, but the bad situations that are so commonly documented are only part of the reality. In every profession, there are plenty of people who care for their fellow human beings.
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