Garuda flight attendant honoured for going the extra mile - and barefoot - for elderly passenger

Two Garuda Indonesia flight attendants have been lauded for helping an elderly wheelchair user move from her seat to the exit door.
Two Garuda Indonesia flight attendants have been lauded for helping an elderly wheelchair user move from her seat to the exit door.PHOTO: TWITTER/FARCHAN NOOR RACHMAN

JAKARTA - Two Garuda Indonesia flight attendants have received awards from Indonesia's transport minister for going the extra mile for an elderly wheelchair user, The Jakarta Post reported.

The national flag carrier's VP corporate communications head Benny S. Butarbutar said the incident happened after the plane landed at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport last Saturday (Jan 7) afternoon after departing Kuala Lumpur.

As other passengers walked off the plane, the elderly female passenger, who was accompanied by a family member, remained in her seat awaiting staff to arrive with a wheelchair for her. The old woman was part of an umrah entourage.

Before the wheelchair arrived, junior flight attendant Vera and flight service manager Ninik Septinawati offered to help the elderly woman move to the exit door.

Removing her shoes, Ms Vera carried the passenger on her back from the rear seat to the exit door. The wheelchair arrived soon after Ms Vera had put down the passenger, Mr Benny explained.

"Their spontaneity in helping passengers who are in need of help is very important in the transportation sector," Indonesia's Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said as quoted on the Transportation Ministry's official Twitter account.

The awards are given to transportation providers who offer excellent service. Similar awards were given to Aviation Security teams at airports for their efforts in preventing drug smuggling.

"Please always continue to serve with (your) heart," Mr Budi tweeted.

Many Indonesian netizens have praised Ms Vera's action.

"This GA-821 @IndonesiaGaruda flight attendant is awesome. (Her action is) touching. I'm speechless," Twitter user Farchan Noor Rachman wrote.