Flight attendants go the extra mile to cheer passengers

They calm down the sobbing ones, make ‘Get well soon’ card for the sick, and celebrate too

At the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, flyers could be anxious about many things. Flight attendants, knowing their anxieties, try their best to put passengers at ease — from calming down a sobbing flyer to making a ‘get well soon’ card for someone sick.

Karthika Hariharan Iyer, working with IndiGo for 11 years now, recounts seeing a number of migrant workers on board.

“Some of them felt bad they didn’t know how to lock the washroom door. A few of them used all their money for the ticket and were really hungry on board. So, I make them comfortable and buy them snacks and tea. That’s the least I can do,” she says.

Chandni Pandit, a flight attendant for nine years, says a first-time flyer accidentally fell during the rush to board a flight and entered the aircraft with bleeding knees. “I tried to give her first aid and made her a ‘get well soon’ card before she got off. She still remembers and is in touch with me. Sometimes, we have passengers who sob on board and we give them a vacant seat in front so that they can immediately leave to the hospital or funeral they are heading to,” she adds.

Sometimes, there are some happy instances too. A couple travelled from Delhi to Chennai late last year to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with family. “We somehow got to know about this. With whatever was available on board like biscuits and dry fruits, we made a small cake, a sash and a tiara and wished them. They were thrilled beyond words,” she says.

If they come to know a newly married couple coming straight to flight hours after the wedding or it’s a passenger’s birthday, they make an announcement to wish them and make them a small greeting card.

Neelam Rathore, a flight attendant for nine years, says, “A major barrier for everyone now is communication, and many feel lonely and isolated. So, at this time, even small gestures will make a world of difference. We want to do everything in our capacity to bring a smile to their faces.”

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