In praise of flight attendants and good samaritans

21 Mar

On a recent Alaska Airlines flight, I was seated in row 29 out of 31, which meant 164 people arrived at our destination before I did. But it also meant I saw a praiseworthy demonstration of professionalism in action.

We were about 45 minutes from our destination when a teenaged girl collapsed in the aisle next to my row. The flight attendants quickly moved into action laying her down on the floor, getting her comfortable, and making the proverbial, “Is there a doctor in the house?” announcement. Two doctors quickly appeared, one a family practice MD from Olympia and another a surgeon. The family practice doc arrived first and took charge. He was both professional, friendly, and compassionate. He engaged the teenager in conversation, checked her vital signs, ascertained her medical condition (which turned out not to be serious), and distracted her from her situation. The flight attendants calmed the passengers, finished their pre-landing preparations, and relayed the information about our medical emergency to the pilot and tower, which in turn moved us to the front of the landing queue. Each person acted in the manner to which they were trained.

When the doctor was thanked by the flight attendants, he simply said, “I’m just doing what I hope someone else would do for my children.”

Way to go, Alaska Airlines! Way to go, Doc!

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Posted by on March 21, 2010 in Alaska Airlines, Leadership


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