The staff knew that the people on board will not have everything they need, and so they bought basic necessities and a few gifts and toys out of their own pockets.
A few staff on Delta Airlines on an emergency flight out of Germany, carrying a group of children fleeing Afghanistan, decided they had to do something to help these poor kids. The crew knew that the situation in Afghanistan was a bit dicey, with the Taliban taking over, and knew that not everyone on board will have everything they need.
According to PEOPLE, the flight attendants bought basic stuff out of their own pockets. Pilot Alexander Kahn said the staff purchased items "on their own initiative" the night before the trip. "Spending their own money, they purchased diapers and wipes and candy and balloons and coloring books and other things they knew the evacuees were going to need," Kahn told CNN.
Kahn also said the staff was aware the people fleeing the country would need all the help one could offer. "We knew these evacuees were coming with no opportunity to prepare and to take things that you and I would prepare for an international flight," said Kahn.
The pilots praised the flight attendants for their "incredibly professional" attitude and "exemplary service" during the flight. Kahn added that the pilots were moved by the gesture and offered to reimburse their expenses but the flight attendants refused any compensation.
Delta Flight Attendants Personally Purchase Special Items for Afghan Children on Evacuation Plane https://t.co/iggot0Ywxm— People (@people) August 28, 2021
Ever since the Taliban descended into Kabul, more than 100,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan, reported AP.
The crew on Delta, for the emergency evacuation, was stationed at the United States' Ramstein Air Base the night before and that's when Pilot Kahn knew "how special this operation was going to be."
As for Kahn, this was an extra special operation. He is the son of a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to the United States after being liberated from the Buchenwald concentration camp. He recalled that his father had migrated to the US with nothing but 'the clothes on his back,' just like so many others who fleed the country.
@delta airlines flight attendants bought diapers and wipes and essentials with their own money to give to the Afghan families they flew from Germany to the US. Airline also bought toys for the children. For traumatized people a kind welcome means so much.— Katty Kay (@KattyKay_) August 27, 2021
They had no other family or English skills. "[My father] came to the United States not much different than the people that are coming to the United States now," said Kahn, referring to those escaping Afghanistan. "I was able to put myself in their position and realize that they're starting a new life," said Kahn. "This is going to be a frightening experience for them. But it has the potential to be an excellent experience for them."
Kahn can't help but be proud of his team's efforts in transporting the evacuees to the U.S. from Germany. "The American people have always come together and helped when it was time to help, and the military community overseas has always come together when it was time to help," he said.
"This is what military families are all about," he added, "and this is what the American people are all about."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Chip Somodevilla