Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Honourary Allegiant flight attendant wows passengers on flight to Orlando

Make-A-Wish® kid Stephen "S.J." Awwad asked to hand out snacks to passengers on his flight to Florida

It's not unusual for Allegiant flight attendants to make passengers smile,  but a recent honourary addition to the budget carriers staff raised few more than expected on a recent flight from Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids Monday, bound for Orlando.

For his trip to his favourite Orlando-based theme park, Make-A-Wish® kid Stephen "S.J." Awwad, 5, had one tiny request: could he also hand out snacks to his fellow passengers during the flight to Florida?

Yes, he could, Allegiant representatives said, so that's exactly what S.J. did and wowed the other passengers on the flight in the process.  

In a grand send-off at gate A2, with airport officials and Make-A-Wish Michigan representatives there to see him off, as S.J. was named an honorary Allegiant flight attendant. A crew member presented S.J. with a kid-sized version of the crew uniform, complete with an orange tie, yellow shirt and blue sweater vest. He also received his very own customized wings pin with his nickname and the words "flight attendant" etched in the metal. 

During the flight, S.J. walked along the aisle of the aircraft with a flight attendant and handed out complimentary snack-packs of pretzels. Passengers were delighted with the in-flight service.

S.J.'s wish was to spend a week with his family at Walt Disney World® Resort. Handing out snacks during the flight was a "wish enhancement," just a little extra something that Allegiant was thrilled to be a part of, said Hilarie Grey, the airline's managing director of corporate communications. She also oversees Allegiant's corporate giving initiatives.

Since 2012, Allegiant has partnered with Make-A-Wish, helping to fulfil the wishes of more than 1,800 children. The airline is currently a Wish Champion, recognized for making $1 million in annual contributions. It is also the only domestic carrier to feature an aircraft with a Make-A-Wish themed livery.

"Many of the kids we fly to their wish destinations are travelling to Florida," Grey said. "But this is the first time a Wish kid has asked to serve snacks to passengers in flight. We found out from Make-A-Wish that S.J. loves anything to do with flying, so we not only wanted to say 'yes,' but aimed to make the experience extra special."

A special thank you to Disney for their donation of theme park tickets and other perks for each of the wish families, including SJ and his family, as part of their 39-year relationship with Make-A-Wish.

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