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This flight attendant’s goodbye to passengers completely wrecked me

Updated Oct 1st, 2020 2:39PM EDT
Airline layoffs
Image: John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx

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  • Tens of thousands of airline layoffs have begun, as the industry continues to be mercilessly battered by fallout from the coronavirus pandemic that’s served to eviscerate consumer demand.
  • One American Airlines flight attendant went viral this week for the heartfelt goodbye she delivered to passengers on her final flight. When she finished talking, everyone clapped and some went the extra mile to show her kindness.
  • The major US airlines have been working with the Trump administration to secure funding to help float them into 2021.

If you happen to be on a flight at some point today, you more than anyone else need to be aware of something if you aren’t already.

Today is a staggering, brutal day for the industry, with tens of thousands of airline layoffs set to begin. The underlying cause should come as no surprise, with the coronavirus pandemic having decimated consumer demand for flights. All of the major US airlines have been trying to work out terms of a bailout agreement with the Trump administration and Congress to essentially float themselves into 2021, when the hope is that a vaccine will help restore faith among consumers that it’s safe to fly again. In the meantime, though, thousands of employees across most of the airlines are being furloughed or laid off starting this week. Employees like Breaunna Ross, an American Airlines flight attendant who completed her final flight a few days ago and whose final address over the cabin speaker to passengers was — well, just watch it for yourself below.

A few days ago, she staffed her final flight that landed in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. In the video of her telling passengers goodbye — which she posted to her Facebook page as well as to Instagram — she explained that she was to be furloughed on October 1. The latest figure I’ve seen is that 19,000 American Airlines employees, like her, are losing their job this week. It is just such a devastating reminder about all of the awful costs associated with this pandemic.

At any rate, watch Ross’s goodbye. After she updated passengers with the usual information about the plane imminently touching down and where they could pick up their baggage, she began her personal farewell:

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kindness shown on today’s flight … I also want to personally thank each and every one of you for choosing to fly American today. This job was an escape for me after being unhappy with my job after graduating from college. It was a job that awarded me many opportunities. A job that I fell in love with. I have been to places I thought I’d never have the opportunity to go and places I never knew existed. I’ve met people from all walks of life and made friendships that will last the rest of my life…

“With so much happening in the world, you never know how small actions can impact the next person. Please be kind to one another, practice compassion with everyone and live with acceptance of yourself and others. Until I see you guys in the friendly skies again, please take care of yourself and your health. I hope all of you have a wonderful night and again, thank you for flying with us.”

Right before that video ends, you can hear passengers break into applause. Ross also posted a note to her Facebook page showing a handwritten message someone gave to her explaining that they donated to a charity on her behalf.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.