Things got emotional on a Larnaca-Bristol flight last week when passengers, who had been left stranded in Cyprus, passed the collection plate in a “bloody generous” whip-round for the flight attendants.
According to British media, Thomas Cook workers and flight attendants had volunteered their time to get stranded holidaymakers back home to the UK, following the collapse of the airline last week.
A video was taken on board a Cyprus flight to Bristol showed an emotional flight attendant, who was still wearing her Thomas Cook uniform, getting on the PA system to tell passengers that flight attendants were proud to wear their uniforms.
“We’re ever so proud to bring you back to East Midlands still wearing our Thomas Cook uniforms, and we’re wearing them with pride,” the stewardess said.
The flight was a no-frills journey back home on a former Thomas Cook plane, as part of a much larger rescue operation, the largest peacetime repatriation effort in British history codenamed Operation Matterhorn.
A social media post by one passenger said the crew was not being paid but had volunteered to get people back, adding that there was no food or trolley service.
The flight attendants were said to have scraped together enough coffee and tea bags for passengers, prompting some of them to break into applause and organize a small collection for the crew prior to disembarking.
“The passengers on the plane were so bloody generous, and the crew had something for their troubles,” the social media user wrote.
Thomas Cook ran hotels, resorts, and airlines for 19 million people a year in 16 countries. The company reportedly had 600,000 people abroad when it went under, putting pressure on governments and insurance companies to coordinate a huge rescue operation.