Alaska Airlines' all-female crew grants wishes with 'girl power'
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is one of Alaska Airlines’ most beloved and longstanding partnerships. The Foundation aims to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition, and each year, more than 500 “wish” children and their families fly with Alaska to fulfill them. With custom goodie bags to announcements sung to Disney melodies, Alaska helps to make the experience an unforgettable one for every passenger.
As luck would have it, On October 28, 2017, the Alaska’s Make-A-Wish flight was operated by an all-female flight crew, including two flight attendant trainees. The crew set an outstanding example of confidence, passion, and professionalism, resulting in a demonstration of “girl power” that passengers wouldn’t soon forget.
Even the flight attendants-in-training, Sarah and Maddie, embodied the highest bar for excellence, says Flight Attendant Shirley Cohen, “The two trainees were fantastic. They were kind, top-notch gals — hard-working, and open to learning.”
The crew’s example was especially impactful for one passenger that day. Penelope, affectionately dubbed “Penny”, is a five-year-old leukemia patient who boarded the flight from SEA to SNA with her family for a long-anticipated trip to Disneyland.
Penny was immediately enamored with the flight crew, all of whom succeeded in making Penny’s first flight with Alaska airlines a trip to remember.
“They made a big fuss over her, and the pilot even gave Penny her own pilot hat [and] let Penny sit in the pilot’s seat,” Penny’s mother Abbey recalls, “Her cousins Livie and Kaylee were also treated like princesses!”
Penny was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in September of last year. One of the most common types of childhood cancer, ALL strikes children most often between the ages of two and four. While Penny’s chances are good, she lives with the real possibility of relapse and life-altering side effects. Penny doesn’t let it get her down, though, and her cheerful outlook and disarming personality promptly endeared her to the flight crew.
As testament, Shirley notes, “We all fell in love with her. It was a privilege to work the flight to take her and her wonderful family to Disneyland.”
At the end of the day, admiration abounded on both sides of the aisle. From Penny’s strength to fight ALL to the flight crew’s leadership example, the October 28 Make-A-Wish flight was a great day for “girl power” at Alaska Airlines.