A plane travelling between Denver and Orlando touched down with one more passenger than it had taken off with after a mother unexpectedly gave birth thousands of feet above the midwest prairies.
Flight attendant Diana Giraldo stepped up to help the mother who went into labour in the middle of a Frontier Airlines flight, the company said in a Facebook post on Tuesday without disclosing the specific date the unexpected delivery took place.
Ms Giraldo took the mother into the plane’s back lavatory to assist in the delivery where the baby was safely welcomed into the world, something that the captain of the flight says was only achieved by the flight attendant’s “exemplary” and “calm” demeanour.
“Diana again went above and beyond after the completion of the flight to coordinate our return to Orlando,” Captain Chris Nye.
Though flight attendants are trained on numerous livesaving skills, the task of delivering a baby, while not unheard of (they’re quick acting skills have been called upon to assist in other noteworthy deliveries, including some transatlantic flights and even over the Pacific Ocean), is remarkably rare.
While there’s no official data kept by medical associations, airlines, or international bodies, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), one study conducted by the medical support firm MedAire found that the likelihood of a skyborn – what bundles of joy who add a bonus passenger to the flight’s manifest are called – is about one in every 26 million passengers.
“The whole crew really did a great job,” Captain Nye added in the Frontier Airlines release.
The plane had been scheduled to touch down at Orlando International Airport, but ultimately a crew member suggested it make a premature landing at Pensacola Airport, approximately 400 miles away from the original destination.
A team of paramedics were at the gate waiting for mom and the new baby to get checked out as soon as it landed, Frontier said in its release.
“This was a job well done, and I was happy to see everyone working together to successfully deliver a newborn on an aircraft,” Captain Nye said.
The mother told the airline that she gave the baby the middle name of Sky to commemorate its first moments on Earth.
Frontier also noted the thematic importance of the specific jet the mother delivered her child on, which features an illustration of a wolf and her baby pup called Luna and Lilly on its tail.