Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Flight attendants honored for response to the Christmas Day 'underpants bomber'

by B .N. Sullivan

AFA-CWA logoThe flight attendants who dealt with the infamous 'underpants bomber' on Northwest Flight 253 this past Christmas Day have been honored by their union. The Detroit-based flight attendants were given the prestigious C.B. Lansing Award for successfully thwarting the terrorist attack on December 25, 2009. The award ceremony took place earlier this week at the annual board meeting of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) in Las Vegas.

Quoting from the AFA press release about the award:
“A catastrophe was averted on Christmas day because of the professionalism of the flight attendants on Northwest flight 253,” said Patricia Friend, AFA-CWA International President. “Their quick responses were nothing short of heroic as they identified and mobilized the necessary resources on board and saved the lives of 290 passengers and crew. They exemplify what it means to be a flight attendant in 2010, a front-line safety and security professional.”

The C.B. Lansing Memorial Award was established following the tragic and heroic events aboard Aloha Airlines flight 243 on April 28, 1988 when Aloha flight attendants faced a sudden and serious aircraft incident. C.B. Lansing did not survive the incident; however her fellow flight attendants persevered, rendering life-saving first aid in-flight as they planned for an emergency landing.

“On the eve of the anniversary of the heroism of C.B. Lansing and the Aloha crew, we honor our fellow flight attendants for their service to the flight attendant profession and once again reminding the public of our true mission,” said Friend.
AFA notes that the C .B. Lansing Award is not an annual presentation; rather it is "presented to a crew or crewmember who displays heroism beyond the call of duty."

There have been seven prior recipients of this honor in the history of AFA-CWA.