You know how you enter a plane and you don't really see who's flying it, just the air-hosts/hostesses? Well, a pilot of a Germanwings plane did something yesterday on a flight from Berlin to Paris that many have hailed as commendable, following the crash of a plane by another Germanwings pilot, Andreas Lubitz. Since the incident, Germanwings passengers have been left fearful and anxious.
According to one of the passengers on the plane, Roche Kelly, who told the story on Facebook, he said the unnamed pilot wanted passengers to put a human face to the man who was flying them and so he came out to speak to the entire plane before they flew, so everyone could look him in the eyes.
Kelly described the emotional moment the pilot took it upon himself to speak to passengers in three different languages about the upcoming flight, promising to get them to their destination safely. Find what Kelly wrote after the cut...
"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."