Find out why the Christmas season is so special for our crew and which moments they love to remember!
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!
Christmas - the celebration of love, peace and contemplation. Year after year, we look forward to this special time, which could not be more beautiful. All the stress and hustle and bustle of our everyday lives fade into the background, at least for a short time, and we devote ourselves to the really important things in life. But it is not just on the ground that we experience many magical moments at this time of year, but also and especially above the clouds. This season is particularly special for our crew, as they always try to spread some joy and happiness to our passengers and also experience a lot of gratitude. In the following, they reveal to us which personal Christmas stories and experiences they love to remember.
The Little Man
1. Christmas Story
Flight Attendant Viktoria:
It was a regular flight from Moscow to Vienna. Our plane was well booked that December afternoon and everyone was already in the Christmas mood. And then there was him - our special little man! He was six years old, a Russian citizen, and traveling all alone to spend the Christmas holidays with his grandmother in Austria. Until the start, he showed himself brave and bright. A short time later, however, passengers called us for help because our little guest was crying frightfully. Thick tears rolled down his cheeks and his fear was unmistakable...
We brought him to us to the galley and tried to calm him down, despite language barriers. After a few minutes, he visibly felt better, as the tears became less and less. During service, however, I had to be represented by my colleagues, as our little solo traveler began to cry again and again as soon as I moved away from him. During the flight, he had calmed down enough to eat cookies and played a game with me. For the landing, we put the little passenger in the last row so that he could be as close to us as possible. For my colleagues and me, it was like a little Christmas miracle - despite the language barrier, fear and unfamiliarity, we managed to put a smile on the face of our little Russian passenger!
The Freezing Rain
2. Christmas Story
It was a few years ago, but I still remember this flight quite well. We were on our way to Hamburg the day before Christmas. The outbound flight was calm and trouble-free. Once we arrived in Hamburg, however, it started to rain lightly during the turn around, which quickly became heavier and eventually turned out to be freezing rain. The storm stopped all the air traffic at Hamburg airport and it was impossible to take off for the return flight. No one knew what would happen next...
As we could not do a lot, we had to wait and spend some time at the gate. We explained the situation to our passengers and found out that a significant number of them were on their way home to Pristina, Tirana or Sarajevo. They were afraid of missing their connecting flight. In general, we all became afraid that we would not get home in time for Christmas. As time passed by, the weather didn't get any better and the end of our permitted working hours was getting closer and closer. One further problem: we were not the only one stranded. Even if the weather improved, it was not guaranteed that we would be able to continue our flight. However, we were helped by a friendly tower controller who gave us the number of the responsible weather expert in Frankfurt.
This friendly gentleman, in turn, was able to give us precise information about the end of the freezing rain within a few minutes. With this information, we were able to prepare boarding, take-off and de-icing of the aircraft with precision and were thus able to take off from Hamburg at the earliest possible time. During the flight, we informed the station in Vienna about the connecting flights of our passengers and finally, all of them managed to travel home to their loved ones on the same day. In the end, this was just possible because everyone helped to guarantee a smooth handling. I had never seen so many happy faces before as I did when I got off the plane in Vienna, and I had never heard "Thank you" and "Merry Christmas" so many times before and in so many different languages!
3. Christmas Story
Flight Attendant Sabine:
I always carry my own personal Christmas miracle with me. I still remember it as if it was yesterday! Back then, I took off together with my crew shortly before Christmas to the southwest of France, to Lourdes. A situation that I have rarely experienced, especially on this route, was a plane filled with priests and nuns. The flight was quiet and extremely pleasant. During the service, one lady in particular caught my attention. A nun. It seemed like she was looking for something to do during the flight and was knotting something in her hands....
At first, I thought she might be crocheting a small hat, but since no tool was visible, her occupation remained a mystery to me until the end. She was exactly in my field of vision and I could not turn my fascination away from her. Every now and then she also looked at me and smiled. When we landed and the deboarding of our passengers began, it was a big request to me to be able to say goodbye to this special lady. She took my hands and placed a rosary she had knotted herself in there with the words "May God take care of you on all your flights". I was so touched, ever since then this rosary has accompanied me on every flight!
4. Christmas Story
Flight Attendant Julia:
I personally love the Christmas season! So many great things happen at this time of year - both on the ground and up in the air. People are usually more reflective and can leave the hustle and bustle of the year behind, which brings me to my own personal Christmas story. It was a night flight from New York City to Vienna on December 23. The mood of the passengers was excellent and most of them seemed happy and relaxed. Everyone was looking forward to the return flight, and some guests made themselves really comfortable as soon as we reached the flight altitude.
But one child was crying terribly and simply couldn't calm down. Without further ado, I rushed to the child to find out the reason for her tears. Once there, I noticed that the poor child was not the only one crying, but also her mother. I asked her what was wrong and how I could help them. The woman replied, "I forgot my child's favorite blanket at the airport and she just can't fall asleep without it!" At first glance, this may not seem too bad, but for this little family, the world fell apart. In any case, I wanted to help them and tried to convince the girl of all the blankets available. Unfortunately, without any success...
I also began to despair and asked the child what makes the blanket so special. "My blanket is very soft and has plenty of fluff", the girl replied. So she particularly missed the "softness" and "fluffiness" of her blanket. I pondered how we could find something "fluffy" with the limited possibilities and then it came to me abruptly: cotton! I quickly grabbed some cotton wool from my hand luggage and handed it out to the child. Within less than two seconds, the child didn't even think about the blanket anymore! I will never forget those bright and peaceful eyes of the child. The mother was very relieved and even had tears of joy in her eyes. She took my hand and said, "You are a true angel. Merry Christmas!"
Thank you for sharing your personal Christmas highlights and heartwarming stories with us! For us, you are the true heroes and angels of the Christmas season!
Austrian Airlines Wishes You a Merry Christmas
We hope that you enjoyed the stories of our crew and that you are now ready for a peaceful Christmas. We wish you happy holidays and look forward to welcoming you back on board soon!
Header: © Gregor Marboe | marboe digital e.U.