Pilot gives heartwarming surprise tribute to parents onboard flight

March 12, 2019 - 5:44 PM
Pilots in a cockpit
Commercial pilots inside the cockpit of an airplane. (Creative Commons/File photo)

An airline pilot impressed Filipinos when he gave a heartwarming tribute to his parents who were onboard the airplane he was flying, saying that it was always his dream to command an aircraft for them.

AirAsia pilot Genesis Bernardo gave a flight briefing for his Taipei-bound passengers and dedicated a message to his parents Paul and Solly Bernardo.

The moment was caught on video by Genesis’ brother Joshua, who was assigned to record their parents’ reaction in a moment that he considered “a very precious milestone.”

Genesis thanked his parents for the unconditional love that they have shown him, as well as for bringing him up to be the person he is now.

“After so many years with flying in the airline, I have always dreamed of having you on board as my passengers. I would like to thank you for loving me unconditionally as your son and for teaching me to do my best in everything that I do,” he said over the speaker.

Genesis later on thanked his crewmates for making the “priceless moment possible” with their help.

What went before 

Joshua, Genesis’ brother, shared that his girlfriend and parents were supposed to go to Taiwan but he wanted to be onboard a plane which his brother would fly.

“Weeks before our trip, I was requesting my brother Genesis to get the scheduled flight so I can have (a) picture at the cockpit with him (a dream of the birthday boy). But the main reason was really for our parents to experience the flight with their son as the commander (a dream beyond the wildest),” Joshua explained. 

“Going back to the scene where everyone inside the plane were [sic] settling down, my brother texted me and asked me where are we seated. I didn’t have any clue or anything and I didn’t know he was already inside the cockpit,” he shared.

Genesis texted him to prepare his mobile phone for recording, which Joshua did not have any idea about.

Nevertheless, he obliged and then Genesis spoke to the passengers to give the standard flight briefing and the surprise message.

“Never miss every moment with your family. Make time for them. Make them proud. It will be the greatest gift you can give. They are your biggest treasure in life,” Joshua said.

One of the busiest jobs 

Commercial airline pilots have one of the most hectic schedules in the industry. Most of them are always away from home and there are times they would skip holidays with their loved ones for a flight.

According to Air Canada Pilots Association, a commercial pilot’s life includes “significant time away from family and friends.”

“This includes holidays, which can be some of an airline’s busiest times for transporting passengers, which translates into a higher demand for pilots to operate those flights,” they noted.

A German commercial pilot attested that one of the job’s greatest consequences is the loss of regular family time.

“You are not home. About half of the month I am not at home, so I can not attend all family and friends events. It is not possible to attend weekly courses (like a language course),” he shared.

This was backed up by a professional pilot, who wrote in a blog:

“If a pilot gets two assignments back-to-back with insufficient time in between to return home, he or she could be gone for weeks at a time.”