Flight Attendant’s Last Flight Was Piloted by Her Daughter

Aug 1, 2018

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An Air India flight attendant’s final flight this week was made extra special because her daughter was in the cockpit — as the first officer.

“So happy and honoured to be able to pilot the one flight that mattered,” Air India pilot Ashrrita Chinchankar, 31, wrote on Twitter Monday. “It was my mum’s dream to have me pilot her last flight as an air hostess with Air India. As she retires after her glorious 38 years of service, I will be carrying on with her legacy.”

Ashrrita Chinchankar and her mother, Pooja, were assigned to Flight AI604 from Bengaluru (BLR) to Mumbai (BOM), an arrangement Ashrrita specifically requested. Pooja Chinchankar spent those last two hours as an Air India flight attendant cheered by passengers, posing for photos and shyly beaming for a video her daughter posted to social media. Ashrrita’s original post and the subsequent video quickly went viral.

“I was pampered. None of the cabin crew members allowed me to work,” Pooja, 58, said.

She added that she was especially proud of her daughter for overcoming the sexism that was rampant in the industry when Pooja first joined the business, in 1980. Her daughter started flying for Air India in 2016.

“During our time, it was considered abnormal for a woman to become a pilot,” she said. “A lot has changed since then—there are equal opportunities for women in this field now.”

According to Ashrrita, her mother plans on spending the first couple of months of her retirement traveling.

The heartwarming story was a rare piece of good news for the airline, which has had its share of humiliating headlines in recent months.

Photo by @caramelwings/Twitter.

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