An American Airlines flight attendant met six rare baby flamingos who hatched from eggs she helped save in an unusual request midflight — including the chick named after the hero attendant’s granddaughter.
The airline worker named Amber was working aboard an August flight from Atlanta to Seattle when a passenger requested help, American Airlines said Monday.
“A passenger rang the call button and asked if I would help keep some eggs warm,” Amber said. “I was glad to help.”
The passenger was a zoo official who was transporting six rare Chilean flamingo eggs from Zoo Atlanta to Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. The incubator that was keeping the eggs warm — and the flaminglets inside alive — stopped working midflight.
Amber, who’s worked as a flight attendant for 10 years, quickly grabbed some rubber gloves and filled them with warm water to incubate the eggs while other passengers seated nearby offered their coats and other items of clothing.
Amber and her fellow crew members continuously checked on the eggs and routinely replaced the gloves as the water inside them cooled during the flight.
Thanks to the flight attendant’s quick thinking and attentiveness, all the eggs survived and hatched healthy and fluffy gray flaminglets.
Months later, Amber got a surprise call from the Woodland Park Zoo inviting her to meet the baby birds she helped save.
“I was honored and so happy that the chicks had hatched — all six of them!” she said.
But that wasn’t the end of the surprise. Zoo officials named one of the babies after Amber’s baby granddaughter, Sunny, as a way to honor their life-saving flight attendant.
Amber and little Sunny were given an exclusive tour of the Seattle zoo complete with a “meet and greet” of the six fuzzy flamingo chicks — Sunny, Amaya, Rosales, Gonzo, Bernardo and Magdalena, who was named in a vote by the zoo’s social media followers.
“Having baby Sunny meet flamingo Sunny was just wonderful,” Amber said. “I am excited to see them both grow up.”
The feathered siblings — who will get their signature pink color with age — were the first hatchlings of the species at the zoo since 2016. The new additions bring the zoo’s flock up to 49.
“We are forever grateful for the heroic measures Amber took to help keep our precious flamingo eggs warm and viable,” said Gigi Allianic, from Woodland Park Zoo. “This means the world to our zoo family. They would have been lost if you hadn’t gone above and beyond for us.”