She was becoming impatient. After 45 minutes of being seated, her plane hadn’t moved. No one knew what was going on, was there a problem with the engine? She immediately started getting nervous and then she saw the cabin crew huddle around a passenger. What was honestly going on? She needed answers, and she was going to get them.
For some people, getting on a plane can be a source of anxiety. After all, so many things can go wrong. An engine could malfunction, and you certainly wouldn’t want that to happen in mid-air. For others, it’s the fact that they’re locked up in a confined space. But she was startled by what was happening now. The cabin crew was focusing their attention on one passenger and it was starting to terrify her.
Plane rides are tedious to most of us, nerve-racking even, but what is worse than this is when you finally get on the plane and time passes by and still, it hasn’t even budged. Being stuck at the airport no matter what the cause is incredibly aggravating, little did Kristen know, something awful was happening.
When you travel, you’re supposed to feel safe. There are protocols in place to ensure everyone follows the rules. If someone doesn’t, the crew is always there to remind you that you can’t do certain things on a plane. Typically, nothing out of the ordinary happens. But when you notice something isn’t quite right, you worry. It’s not like you can just open the door and leave.
Kristen Wiley was excited to get home to her family, she was in the Seattle-Tacoma Airport when she boarded the Alaskan Airlines Flight 748. She couldn’t wait to kiss her husband and her three sons and hold them tight. As they started to get in their seats, as comfortable as plane seats can be, she began to relax. But then, minutes started to go by.
Mothers are willing to do whatever they have to do in order to keep their family safe. At the same time, it’s painful when she has to remain separated from her loved ones. So, she tried to relax, but she was anxious to be reunited with her family once again. And what she had just witnessed left her very concerned, and sort of glad her kids weren’t on board.
Alaska Airlines is the premier airline of the West Coast. It has hundreds of flights, endless adventures and thousands of memories already made. They recently celebrated 30 years of travel to Mexico, but that day, the flight was intended to fly through the U.S. But there was a problem, the plane wasn’t moving or leaving the boarding zone.
Most people’s greatest fear is to find themselves locked inside a plane with no way out. So, when there’s a problem or a delay, people start to come up with a million scenarios about what’s wrong. Now, the fact that the plane wasn’t moving didn’t necessarily indicate there was a problem, but her instincts warned her something wasn’t quite right.
It’s incredible to think that about 14,000 commercial flights are flying around the sky at any time of the day. The number of flights that depart from airports is increasing every year, it is said that when a plane touches down, the flight after it will touch down 5 minutes after. That makes it pretty close, doesn’t it? But still, what was happening to Flight 748 on that day?
The only thing she thought she’d have to worry about was her ears popping, some minor back pain, or even turbulence. But something about this whole situation had left her very unsettled. As time passed, she started thinking about her husband and kids. Would she ever get to see them again? This was her fear as she waited anxiously to find out what was happening aboard flight 748.
A lot of passengers were flying that day, and with them was Kristen Wiley. As she looked at her boarding pass to find her assigned seat, she couldn’t help but notice the number of people that seemed somewhat uncomfortable trying to stretch their legs. She let out a breath, soon she would be with her loved ones. Little did she know, it was going to be a long ride.
There’s nothing more annoying than flying on a plane packed full of passengers. Once the plane is in the air, everyone decides to stand and block the aisles. Imagine struggling to get through all those passengers on the way to the restroom. And how about those travelers who remove their shoes and put their stinky feet on the back of your seat? At some point, you start to feel claustrophobic and you just want the plane to land right away.
As people stored their belongings in the upper head compartments and took out their necessary things, she did too. She got out her phone, a book, and a bottle of water. Kristen looked at her watch, the plane was just about to begin its route on the tarmac and then she heard a voice through the speaker.
No matter how comfy an airline claims their planes is, the truth of the matter is that flights are uncomfortable, even if it’s just an hour-long flight. When flying is your only way home, you try your best to chill. But when she heard the announcement, she realized that this was not going to be an easy flight.
The cabin crew was indicating that they were going to take off momentarily and began to shut the doors. The door closed with a snap, and everyone on the Alaska Airlines flight knew, there and then, that they were going to get moving. Ten minutes started to go by, and then twenty…they still hadn’t left the gate. Kristen was trying to concentrate on her book, but then shivers immediately went up and down her spine.
The plane usually starts to move shortly after the announcement is made. But this time, nothing was happening, and everyone was starting to get worried. Even she knew that this wasn’t normal and unlike the plane, her anxiety was starting to skyrocket. But she did her best to stay calm. Nothing would have been gained if she gave in to her fears.
Flights can get delayed due to so many reasons, but still, we all get nervous because we literally have no idea what is happening. Passengers started to get agitated, they were supposed to be closer to home by now, but no one knew what was holding them back. After 45 minutes of waiting, Kristen noticed something strange. The cabin crew began talking between themselves in hushed voices. Kristen was exasperated, but then, she saw why.
According to a couple of professors and scientists, flying has gotten a lot more dangerous. But the fear is mostly related to human psychology, and with good reason. There are a number of things that could go wrong. The cabin could depressurize or an engine might catch on fire. There are tons of fatal scenarios, and that’s what keeps most people from flying. But we all know that the media tends to exaggerate disaster scenarios. She figured this was probably nothing to get worked up about. And then, just as she was starting to relax, she saw what was really going on, and it left her speechless.
From where she was seated, she could see the flight attendants gather around one passenger. Kristen had no idea what was going on, but it looked like this was the cause for the delay. A few minutes passed, and the plane’s security joined the conversation as well. What was happening? Were they in trouble?
Suddenly, a bunch of crew members surrounded this individual, which left her wondering if they’d been in danger the entire time. Then again, it might have just been a misunderstanding. Perhaps, they were giving the passenger some bad news. But that couldn’t possibly be the reason why the plane didn’t take off, right?
Kristen had become more and more nervous, she needed answers, and she needed them fast. She asked a flight attendant what was happening and that’s when she understood everything. But as soon as she did, she wrote a post on her Facebook informing everyone. Little did she know, people took notice for the reason that’s since gone viral.
Kristen couldn’t keep this to herself any longer. She had to let the entire world know what was really going on, and how Alaskan Airlines had reacted to this situation. In less than no time, her post was seen by thousands of people, but that’s not surprising. Folks on social media love these types of real-life stories and everyone was simply hooked on Kristen’s post.
Her Facebook post said: “We are currently sitting on a plane, with a 45-minute delay. Why? Because there is an elderly woman suffering from dementia, who is very upset and confused.” Kristen soon realized that it must be a terrible situation for the woman, the poor lady was utterly shocked and had no idea where she was or why she was on the plane, to begin with. But what the cabin crew of Alaskan Airlines did next made the 45-minutes worth it.
Fear, confusion, irritability… these are just some of the symptoms someone with dementia suffers from. Sometimes, it can get so bad that the person might not be able to speak or understand languages. In some cases, they can’t even recognize their surroundings. Just imagine being okay one minute, and then forgetting where you are the next. Fortunately, the airline crew were very understanding and supportive. So, they didn’t mind delaying the flight for a bit to help the woman out.
Only a few passengers could witness what was going on, and then a yellow-vested security guard appeared. He crouched down the aisle and began speaking with the woman. Kristen couldn’t believe the love and patience the cabin crew was showing the woman, and she continued to tell the story through her posts.
Living with dementia can be terrifying. Thoughts, responses, and feelings get jumbled. So, it’s important to tend to the individual’s emotional needs during this distressing period. Fortunately, the airline crew went above and beyond the call of duty. They were so accommodating to the woman’s needs, and Kristen was on hand to report the entire experience, which left folks on social media flabbergasted.
“The incredible staff of #alaskaairlines is extremely patient and compassionate, in what can only be a very scary situation for her. Explaining every step, cuddling her dog, working with her husband/caregiver to find the best solution.” They all tried to figure out what they could do. Dementia is such a severe disease because people who suffer from it never know when their condition will worsen. What could the cabin crew do to ease this woman?
A flight attendant’s primary function is to ensure that safety and comfort of passengers during a flight. But most people would have turned a blind eye to this particular situation. Fortunately, this crew didn’t. They weren’t just professional. They were empathetic, which is something we should all start doing on a regular basis.
Kristen was a first-hand witness to the kind words and actions that the crew of Alaskan Airlines. They were treating this woman with patience and most of all, they cared solely about her well-being. Kristen and other passengers were not getting mad because of the delay; instead, they were happy there were still kind and compassionate people out there.
The flight crew is the heart and soul of any flight. There will be at least two pilots who make sure the plane takes off and lands safely. Then you have the flight attendants who ensure all passengers are aware of the safety guidelines. They’ll even enforce the rules when necessary. But the crew has to deal with all sorts of scenarios. So, while most passengers might find themselves terrified with fear, flight attendants remain level-headed through an emergency. In most cases, this doesn’t involve dealing with dementia patients. But this crew did a fantastic job. It’s no wonder Kristen’s story went viral!