At a time when some airlines are facing heat for being racist or insensitive towards their passengers, a United Arab Emirates-based carrier is receiving heaps of compliments from all around the world for putting its customers' needs first.
An Etihad Airlines pilot delayed an international flight over the weekend so that an elderly couple on board could rush to the bedside of their dying grandson.
The Australia-bound jet was taxiing on the runway at Manchester Airport when the passengers received a text message from their son-in-law, informing them his child was in intensive care unit and that they should come as soon as possible, according to a Facebook post by their travel counselor Becky Stephenson.
The couple alerted the cabin crew who notified the pilot, leading him to turn the plane around at the last minute and return to the gate, allowing the couple to disembark. The cabin crew immediately unloaded their baggage while the airline employees collected their car from the parking lot.
The grandparents, who had been heading to Australia via Abu Dhabi, went straight to the hospital see their grandson, who unfortunately died the following day.
“I only heard about what had happened this week because I was away on an educational,” Stephenson wrote on the Travel Gossip Facebook page. “I sent a message to Etihad’s sales manager to praise the staff and popped what had happened on Travel Gossip, but I had no idea it would get so many likes and comments.”
Moreover, the airline has even allowed the passengers to reuse their tickets on a future flight.
“It was such a sad thing that happened to my clients, but it was lovely that Etihad was able to help in the way they did,” the counselor continued. “They were on their way to Abu Dhabi so if they hadn’t been able to get off the plane they may not have made it back in time.”