Bloomberg’s Lorcan Roche Kelly (@lorcanRK) tweeted the following story from his brother, who took a flight on Germanwings from Berlin to Paris today.
The airline is reeling after a pilot crashed his plane into the French Alps, killing all 150 people onboard.
The full text is transcribed below, from @hughrochekelly:
So, I was on a Germanwings flight this morning (Berlin-Paris). It hadn’t even occurred to me to think about that before I got on the plane, but there was a tense vibe — the crew were on edge, some passengers were definitely more nervous than normal… Once I was actually onboard, and looked at the crew door, it was all too easy to imagine how horrific the time before that crash would have been.
I was thinking about what kind of a response a company should make to something like this. Do you ask everyone to carry on as normal? With utmost professionalism and a stiff upper lip?
Then, our pilot came out and made almost his normal pre flight speech, except he did standing in the front row. He spoke (at length, in 3 languages) about how it was a difficult and strange time for him and for all the cabin crew, how they still all love doing their job, and how they’re thankful that they still have passengers coming onto their planes. Mostly though, he said he just wanted to come out and stand in front of everyone, and let all the passengers on his flight have a moment of eye contact with him, and for us to meet him and for him to meet us.
I can’t know, of course, if making that speech was a personal decision, or if it was something that was agreed on, but anyone listening could tell it was a difficult thing to do- to stand in front of 150 more-nervous-than-they-really-needed-to-be people and say “everything’s going to be fine, because I am going to look after it,” and I can’t help but have enormous respect for him.
So, well done that man.
It’s not the only example of a Germanwings pilot who has gone above and beyond to comfort passengers in the days following the tragedy. One passenger posted about a pilot who greeted every person who boarded the plane, told passengers that he had double-checked the aircraft, and said he had a family and kids he also planned to return home to that night (via Time).
In another case, a pilot flying the same route as the ill-fated Germanwings flight hugged each passenger who boarded his plane, and gave an emotional speech before takeoff.
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