Cabin crews are often hard at work assisting passengers and meeting their every need on board. With this role comes dealing with passengers’ behaviour and emotions which can range from happy to angry and sad.
In a forum on US knowledge-sharing site Quora, flight attendants discussed some of the saddest things passengers have told them, which left them feeling sympathetic and even teary-eyed in the middle of work.
“I was working on a flight and a woman came on and became frantic when I told her there was no room for her bag,” said Toni Stewart, a long-time flight attendant.
“She became very emotional and stated that she could not check her bag as she stated, ”That was the only thing she had left.'”
The user revealed that she sensed something was wrong and asked the other flight attendants to help her find space for the woman’s luggage.
“Later on in the flight she thanked me profusely for allowing her bag to get on with her. She went on to tell me that not only had she lost everything she owned in a flooding in Houston she also lost her son. It was devastating…I almost cried along with her.”
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Another flight attendant shared a sad conversation he had with a woman mid flight: “On a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam there was a whitish-grey screen covering something and a lady who was seated by the window.”
The unnamed flight attendant said behind the screen was a stretcher for a patient – that patient was the woman’s husband.
“The poor man, the husband of the lady, came to Malaysia to visit their son who’s working in the O&G industry. He suffered a massive stroke so was in a semi-comatose state. He was hospitalised for one month in Malaysia with no major progress so they were flying back to Belgium where they live,” he said.
“The gentleman, a former top manager in some industry I forgot, just retired a few years earlier and finally enjoying his life after having worked for so many years and BAAAM, this horrible catastrophic event came in the way.
“Needless to say it was a very sad trip. The poor woman told me about the whole story, and how her husband fell sick, and she cried several times about it. My attempt to comfort her was vain and I do understand her. Very sad…”
Ned Abbey, former flight attendant for a Major US Airline, shared his story.
“The flight was finished, and the passengers were getting off the plane. I was at the back of the plane with another flight attendant, waiting for everyone to get off, while we said goodbye to the passengers around us.
“A man who was seated near the rear of the plane approached us, and asked us to look at his ‘sweet little dog.’ He was cradling it like you would hold a baby.