There’s no much that’s frustrating with air travel today. Airlines are working hard to give you less at the same or even higher price — while in competitive industries businesses succeed by working to deliver greater value at a lower price.
Planes are full and — callous employees and offensive passengers aside — the number one thing that determines whether you have a decent flight is personal space. If that seat next to you is open you’ll feel a bit better about everything, but that doesn’t happen very often anymore.
We’re all trapped together in a metal tube. Flying has become an increasingly small-d democratic experience. Planes are full. Tensions can run high as our different habits, speech, and even odors intrude onto our neighbors.
And yet sometimes — not often admittedly — a little bit of generosity and compassion make a difference in the life of a travelers and in the process inspire the rest of us.
Last week I wrote about a little girl who asked questions of all the passengers she passed down the aisle as she boarded. Earlier this year I wrote about a spontaneous circle of women calming a hysterical woman and her son at LAX. These are the heroes we need in these divided times, even if they aren’t the ones we deserve.
And so I try to share some of these human moneys and the end of the week seems the perfect time to do that.
Patrisha Organo is a flight attendant for Philippine Airlines. On Tuesday she was scheduled for her check flight in order to qualify as a Cabin Crew Evaluator. On board a baby was crying. She approached the mother. The baby was hungry, but she didn’t have any formula.
She describes the scene, “Passengers started looking and staring at the tiny, fragile crying infant.” So the flight attendant offered her own breast milk.
She and another crew member brought the mother to the galley. And she breastfed the baby.
The baby started rooting, she was so hungry.
I saw the relief on her mother’s eyes. I continued to feed the baby until she fell asleep . I escorted her back to her seat and just before I left, the mother sincerely thanked me.
Ms. Organo did qualify as an Evaluator. And she never once claimed to only be there for the flight’s safety.