Flight attendant breaks down during final flight as employees furloughed

More than 32,000 employees have been furloughed by American Airlines and United Airlines.


A flight attendant for American Airlines gave an emotional farewell speech to passengers onboard her final flight. 

Breaunna Ross, 29, was travelling from Jacksonville, Florida, to her home city of Dallas, when she lost her composure while making the routine landing announcement during her final shift on September 27.

“As all of you know, the airline industry has been impacted greatly by this global pandemic,” she told passengers while wearing a mask. A colleague filmed her speech and shared it on Facebook

“For myself and one other crew member on our flight today, this means we’ll be furloughed Oct. 1, and unfortunately, this is my last working flight before that day comes,” Ross continued. “I will never forget seeing your faces today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the kindness shown on today’s flight.”

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Ross has been working for the company for 2.5 years. She joins the more than 32,000 employees who have been furloughed by American Airlines and United Airlines, after talks for a $25 billion coronavirus aid package failed in Washington, CNBC reports.

American’s CEO Doug Parker told employees that the airline “will begin the difficult process of furloughing 19,000 of our hardworking and dedicated colleagues.”

In a message to staff, United said “We implore our elected leaders to reach a compromise, get a deal done now, and save jobs. The company will reportedly cut more than 13,000 jobs. 

“I am extremely sorry we have reached this outcome,” Parker wrote. “It is not what you all deserve. It is a privilege to advocate on behalf of the hardworking aviation professionals at American and throughout the industry, and you have my assurance that we will continue to do so in the days ahead.”

Parker said American will reverse 19,000 furloughs and recall workers if Washington provides federal aid for airlines.

Flight crew members are hitting up social media to share reactions to the furloughs. Ross’ video has more than 130,000 views on Facebook. 

“This job was an escape for me after being unhappy with my job after graduating college,” she said. “It was a job that awarded me many opportunities, a job that I fell in love with.”

In the clip, she also thanked her employer and co-workers.

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“To my family at American Airlines, thank you for taking a chance on me two and a half short years ago,” Ross said. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to see this big world. To my amazing crew, I wish each of you the best of luck. We were told in training to be like palm trees, and this is the perfect example: We may bend, but we never break.”

The airline industry has taken a hit amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. American Airlines has reportedly lost $5 billion this year, while United Airlines lost $3.3 billion. Every airline has been negatively impacted by the pandemic and facing a grim financial future. 

“We are real people,” said Ross in the viral video. “I personally have no kids and am not married, but I know so many of my coworkers who are … Who just bought homes. Who have small children. Who have children in college they have to support. We are a strong group of people and I know everyone will get through this.”

Many passengers reportedly thanked Ross on their way off the plane. In a message on Facebook, she said an individual gave her a handwritten note claiming she inspired them donate to the Make A Wish foundation.

“I don’t know your name, but I know a child’s day will be made better because of you,” the note said.

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