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Sara Benincasa @SaraJBenincasa
, 12 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Hey @AmericanAir here is a thread about something really kind I saw your employees do that I personally appreciated. I was on a flight the other day and a little girl ran up to the flight attendant to ask if he could tell her parents she was getting off the plane. He was SO kind.
He talked to her very politely and kindly and asked if she'd be okay with sitting down while he went and got her parents. (This was during boarding.) Needless to say Mom and Dad were already hustling to the front. He made sure they had room to themselves to talk. She was maybe 9.
Thankfully Mom and Dad handled it extremely well and talked to her rationally and calmly. She was just really, really anxious about flying. Then the captain invited her to take a tour of the cockpit so that she could learn what all the controls were and how everything worked.
She went from saying to her parents loudly, "I am just so SCARED" to coming out of the cockpit and saying, "Thank you SO much. That really helped me feel better." There were other pilots who happened to be flying that day as passengers and they were encouraging too.
I found this particularly meaningful because I'm agoraphobic and when I was a kid I had a lot of incidents like that - lots of panic attacks that eventually led me to be housebound in my early twenties. I was fortunate to have parents who cared and to access good medical care.
I heard her dad tell one of the crew that she'd had a panic attack when she heard that it might be bumpy on the ascent due to weather. All of the adults I saw talk to her on the in-flight crew were deeply respectful, didn't minimize her feelings or talk down to her.
I had just been visiting a loved one with a serious panic disorder, and it really made all the difference in the world to sit on the plane myself as someone who once feared even leaving her home and seeing the @AmericanAir crew treat a scared little girl with such dignity.
Then someone on the flight passed out while in flight and the whole crew moved with such grace and dignity to make the passenger comfortable and safe. I believe they ended their day in Vegas and I hope the whole crew had a good time.
So thank you @AmericanAir for making my flight from DFW to LAX on Sunday such a nice experience, and for dealing with passengers' medical and mental health needs so beautifully. Also the lasagna was really good, and I say that as an Italian-American with standards. xoxo
P.S. I didn't ask because I didn't want to bother her, but I'm pretty sure the gal sitting next to me sent some snacks or drinks back to the little girl's parents. ;) She was voicing fears a lot of grown-ups have and I think the crew's behavior was soothing to everybody.
P.P.S. The parents did such a great job, too! Obviously I identified with the kiddo based on my own history. I mean, my memoir is called "Agorafabulous!: Dispatches From My Bedroom. I didn't want to bug them as they were seated farther back but they did so well and so did she.
P.P.P.S. As for how the little girl made it to the front without Mom and Dad - they were managing multiple kids and you know how fast little ones can be. The flight attendant was so on top of the situation, I was like, "This man has eyes on the back of his head."
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