SIA stewardess widely praised for helping elderly diabetic woman on flight

PHOTO: Facebook screengrabs

A kind-hearted Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight attendant has won praise and admiration online after a passenger posted a photograph of her helping an elderly woman on a flight.

In a post on Thursday (May 5), Facebook user Ms Shazy Tan showed the stewardess, who has been identified as Ms Kren Choong Shi Qi, kneeling next to an old woman in the airplane cabin.

Ms Tan recounted being seated next to a 92-year-old lady, named Draga, on a 12-hour flight from Singapore to Frankfurt. She wrote that Madam Draga was on her way to Slovenia, where she grew up, to visit her sister.

Ms Tan said that the older woman faced many difficulties on the plane ride. She was unable to watch movies to pass time on the flight as she did not know how to work the entertainment system, and could not even turn on the light when she needed to inject insulin to treat her diabetes.

"I befriended her when she needed help with unlocking the tray as the clip was a little stuck. Saw her rummaging through her bag to figure out the glucose count machine," she wrote.

Ms Tan then observed during the flight that Madam Draga was visibly shaking, and found out that the older woman had accidentally injected too much insulin, causing her blood sugar levels to drop.

It was then that the stewardess, Ms Choong, approached the two ladies. Ms Tan recalled: "When I explained that we were trying to get Draga's sugar levels up, Karen (sic) suggested eating an apple. Draga could not bite into the hard apple and I was touched when Karen (sic) excused herself to grab a pair of gloves and a knife to cut the apple into bite sized pieces."

Ms Choong then knelt by Madam Draga's side to assist, and even offered to feed the older woman, who politely declined the kind gesture.

According to Ms Tan, Madam Draga was surprised by the stewardess care, and also slightly embarrassed as she did not want to be seen as a liability to the crew.

However, she added that Ms Choong continued to display concern for Madam Draga. She revealed that the stewardess subsequently told her to alert her immediately should the older woman's health deteriorate further, and even took note of their seats.

Commending Ms Choong's professionalism, Ms Tan wrote: "Karen (sic) did not have to do what she did. Yet, she took it upon herself to monitor Draga once in a while to see if there was anything else she could provide to make Draga's flight experience a better one."

Since it was posted online, Ms Tan's post has garnered over 8,100 likes, and has been shared over 1,600 times. Many commenters also praised Ms Choong's dedication, with some even calling on the airline to recognise her kind actions.

When contacted, an SIA spokesperson told AsiaOne that the Ms Choong would be recognised for her efforts.

The spokesperson also explained that SIA cabin crew members undergo extensive training in how to cater to different customer groups, including children, the elderly and mobility-challenged individuals.

"Training equips our crew with skills to better empathise with, and to understand and meet the needs of a wide range of customers. We are pleased that our crew member was able to anticipate and see to the needs of the customer on this occasion," the carrier added.

This is not the first time that Singapore Airlines' cabin crew has won praise for their good service. Last November, another flight attendant was widely praised after she was photographed helping to cut up a young child's food on the flight.