Saturday, January 23, 2010

United Airlines flight attendants work without pay on Haiti relief flight

by B .N. Sullivan

United Airlines logoFive United Airlines flight attendants have volunteered their time and services, working without pay on earthquake relief flights between Chicago and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The flight attendants are representatives their union, the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA). The outbound flight took aid workers and supplies to Haiti. The return flight brought earthquake survivors to the United States.

"We donated our work as flight attendants on the relief flight flown by United Airlines to help call attention to the importance of supporting the relief efforts organized by the American Red Cross," said Greg Davidowitch, president of AFA-CWA at United Airlines. "We encourage United Airlines passengers to join us in supporting the American Red Cross.”

Chicago based Flight Attendants Meg Mikesell, Paul Antuna, Kathy Browne, Tony Retkowski and Gerald Sermana recounted their experience when they returned to O’Hare International Airport:
“We were able to take part in the evacuation of orphans, families and elderly Haitians, all of whom were weary from their very horrendous experience. From darling little children to the kind woman you could imagine as your grandmother, all of these people were amazingly grateful,” Retkowski said. “I am unable to contribute a lot of money, but I was able to give my time. I hope my contributions inspire United’s passengers and others around the world to give all they can for these beautiful people. The experience of letting someone know they are cared for is an incredible reward.”
The flight attendants' union is supporting the American Red Cross with direct donations. The United Airlines Foundation has promised to match up to a total of $50,000 in donations to the American Red Cross.