“Some People I Will Never Forget”

I sometimes ask myself how many people I’ve welcomed on board since I started flying years ago. I’ve met some amazing people – especially on the longer flights – sometimes entering into meaningful conversations extending beyond “How was your trip?” or “Would you like chicken or pasta?” Here are two examples of my encounters, with Vida (87) and Quinn (5).

KL702 Buenos Aires – Amsterdam

Almost a year ago, I met Vida, who was born on 29 February 1928. Secretly, Vida always wanted to be a KLM cabin attendant. She applied, but never made it through the selection process and ultimately found work as a secretary.


On board, she shared her dream of becoming a cabin attendant with me. I decided to make her dream come true during the flight – at least in part. We took a few snapshots of Vida, one of which shows her in the galley wearing my uniform jacket and scarf. When a friendly passenger asked for another glass of wine, I said: “Yes, with pleasure, we’ll be right back.” Vida had great fun serving the glass of wine, grinning from ear to ear.


As proud as a peacock

As a surprise, I sent the photos taken on board as a postcard. She always carries this card in her bag and is keen to share her meeting with me with anyone who’s interested. She calls me regularly and she’s even visited me in Maastricht by train, together with her friend Jan (87).


When I called her on 28 February to wish her happy birthday, I asked her when you actually celebrate it, if you’re born on 29 February. She replied: “Really, child, throughout the weekend. It’s a two-day party! Pity you can’t be here.”

I didn’t hesitate and three hours later I was boarding a train holding a bunch of flowers and a present. And that’s how it came to pass that I celebrated her 87th birthday at her house with Jan and her family and friends. I didn’t even need to introduce myself; everyone knew who I was. We toasted our friendship and life in general. Viva la Vida!

KL810 Kuala Lumpur – Amsterdam

A day after the MH17 air disaster, I took to the sky with mixed feelings for a week-long stopover in Kuala Lumpur. I love my job, but also felt a sense of sorrow and was ill at ease, perhaps even a little scared.

The outbound flight went peacefully and professionally, and I received a home-made bracelet from a sweet eight-year-old girl. “Your lucky bracelet!” she said. I was moved and immediately felt better.

kuala lumpur airport

Peanut butter commercial

On the homebound flight, I met five-year-old Quinn. His friendly presence was immediately striking. He was travelling with his mother, stepfather, brother and mega Minion – a large cuddly toy. They too were visibly shaken by the events surrounding MH17 and were excited to be flying home.

“Yes, sweetheart,” I replied.
“I’m in the Calvé peanut butter commercial!”
“Wow, I thought I recognised you. May I get a snapshot with you just now?”
Full of pride, he answered “Yes” and that’s how it happened. With the super large Minion of course…

I exchanged email addresses with Quinn’s mother. On my return, I wrote to her: “It was great that you were in my zone. After all the sad news about MH17, it was a pleasure to welcome a child like Quinn on board. It gave me the strength and energy to bring my flight to a satisfactory conclusion. Here are the photos as promised!” I also had a look at the commercial again from the comfort of my living room and was thoroughly impressed by Quinn’s performance! The spitting image of a junior Van Persie :).


Mini Celebrity

“Fantastic photos! Quinn is really proud of them. We really weren’t looking forward to the return flight because of the terrible events surrounding the Malaysian Airlines flight. But, because of you and your colleagues, it turned out to be a calm and relaxed journey. Thanks for that and for your kind words!!” Her response confirmed the fact that despite my reservations about flying, we did our job properly as the flight crew.

Two short stories – from a series of many. Not only experienced by me, but familiar to numerous (ground crew) colleagues as well. Some even find true love on board, others make friends… Either way, flying makes me a better person.

Ps. For more travel photo’s follow me @dareshegoes on Instagram.

Posted by:   DareSheGoes  | 
Join the conversation Show comments


Wat schijf je mooie stukken. Ga zo door. Wij zijn al heel lang fan van jou. Hopelijk tot een volgende ontmoeting.


Dank je wel Philip! Lief wat je schrijft. :)

Au Kah Kay

You are so awesome! Vida is such a cool passenger for her age and it was such a nice gesture to have allowed her to realize her unfulfilled dream of being a KLM flight attendant during her flight.

I was in Norway on 17 July 2014 when MH17 was shot down. When I took KL835 for my return flight to Singapore on 27 July 2014, I was greeted at the concourse of Schiphol Airport by heaps of flowers – a very poignant sight.


You make me blush! Thanks for your awesome comment!

kind regards, Valerie


Wat een mooi verhaal, collega!
More please:-)


He wat leuk! Dank je wel collega! :)

Lolita M. Balboa

Great job! I wish I will be able to meet you on board. Of all my trips in Europe (8x), KLM is my carrier. I love your fantastic service and also the food. God willing, I want to celebrate my 60th birthday in May boarding KLM for Amsterdam. Very nice blog! Many thanks.


Dear Lolita!

First of all I would like to thank you for always sending me such lovely comments regarding my blog.
So sweet thank you very much. And yes I would love to meet you on board let’s make it an 60th Birthday to remember ;-)

Have a great weekend and thanks again…kind regards, Valerie

Tarja Bray

Your story brought back many fun memories from my flying years as an airline stewardess for Ansett Airlines of Australia. Airline itself is gone now but my memories stay with me. Such a rewarding career! Being a nurse before and now I have different kind of rewards but flying was so much fun that I never forget it! All the best to you and KLM!


Hi Tarja,

Great to read! Thank you for your memorable comment :)

kind regards Valerie


Prachtig verhaal vooral dat van Vida,om haar droom toch waar te maken. Ik ben een hele groote fan van de KLM en als ik vlieg (vooral naar New York) heb ik altijd mijn sweatshirt of t-shirt met FLY THE DIFFERENCE KLM en mijn KLM pet met al mijn speldjes en in de Winter ook een sjaal met FLY KLM aan. Ik heb zelfs in Februari 2011 in jullie blad Cabin Ready gestaan. Ook ben ik met diverse crews op de foto gegaan. Hopelijk heb ik U een keertje aan boord als ik weer naar New York vlieg.


Hoi Aletta,

Wat geweldig dat je zo’n fan van KLM bent. Ik hoop je inderdaad een keer te begroeten aan boord. Ik kan je door je bijzondere outfit niet missen zo te lezen ;-) en New York geweldige stad! Hopelijk tot dan.

lieve groet, Valerie


Dat zou hartstikke leuk zijn Valerie.

Mieke Reinnders

mooi verhaal Valerie en een heel mooie foto. Top!!!! Groetjes.


Dank je wel! ;-) xx


Wow this reassures me there are amazing people in the world. That whatever is going on you make the person in front of you feel very special.

This is why I fly KLM :)


Beautiful! Thank you Stephen!

kind regards,



Leuk om te lezen!


Dank je wel Kim!

renee chenault fattah

You have a wonderful blog. I will keep reading!


Thank you Renee :)


Ontroerend en zó jij! Herkenbaar in al z’n gevoeligheid en oprecht kijkend naar de mensen en de wereld om je heen. Bewondering voor de schoonheid die je ziet in ontmoetingen, zo mooi als jijzelf! X


Lieve Carola,

Tijdens onze 9 daagse Buenos Aires hebben we elkaar mogen ontmoeten als collega’s en jij kan dingen zo mooi verwoorden :) Je bent een Purser uit duizenden en ik hoop dat we elkaar nog vaak blijven tegenkomen. Dank je wel voor dit mooie compliment! xx Valerie


Lieve Carola,

Tijdens onze 9 daagse Buenos Aires hebben we elkaar mogen ontmoeten als collega’s en jij kan dingen zo mooi verwoorden :) Je bent een Purser uit duizenden en ik hoop dat we elkaar nog vaak blijven tegenkomen. Dank je wel voor dit mooie compliment! xx Valerie

Hakan Stenberg

Hi Valerie,
Great to hear abort the way you take care of your passengers and How you comfort there feelings. KLM should be very proud of you and the way you act during your job sessions. KLM is a great company to work with, I have myself earlier been employed with KLM Cargo dept in GOT for 15 years and despite of the fact that it was a tough job KLM was a very god employer and I really enjoyed IT. I really enjoy your blog and I am always Looking forward to your next issue. Hug Hakan


Thank you for this kind comment Hakan!

Thomas from Denmark

Wow, the story about Vida is inspiring. Tell me, have you ever flown to Aalborg?


Hi Thomas!

Thank you and Vida is an inspiring lady ;-)
And no I have never flown to Aalborg. It’s a KLM Cityhopper Destination so I don’t fly those routes.
Have a great Sunday!

Kind regards, Valerie


Hoi Valerie,

Echt genieten hoor, de blogs van je! (en de foto’s op Instagram) Ik kijk er steeds naar uit. Wellicht vanwege het feit dat ik altijd jammer heb gevonden dat het voor mijzelf nooit is gelukt om ook stewardess te worden. Ga zo door met je mooie verhalen! Groetjes.


Heeee Idette!
Wat leuk dat je nu hier dit leuke berichtje achterlaat.
Mooi dat je er zo van geniet zeker nu ik lees dat je ook graag stewardess wilde worden. Ik hoop dat ik je zo af en toe een beetje meeneem op reis en dank je wel ook voor je leuke comments bij instagram. Vlieg je zelf wel eens met KLM? Fijne zondag! Groet, Valerie

Dominique Esman

Hi Valerie,ik zit hier in YEG en heb het GROOT KOOR HOLLAND (181 man)hiernaartoe mogen vergezellen
Allemaal mensen zoals Vida,we waren compleet uitgeteld toen we hier toekwamen maar zo gelukkig!!
De dankbaarheid van deze oudere lieve mensen is overweldigend!!
Fantastisch dat jij de moeite neemt om deze verhalen met ons te delen,dit is wat ons zo bijzonder maakt
Even geen negatief nieuws maar recht uit het hart en daar zal de KLM op overleven
Fijne avond
Groetjes Dominique


Hoi Dominique!

Wat geweldig, 181 man, heerlijk dat je dit even deelt. Leuk dat je een berichtje achter laat en dat je mijn blog als collega zo kan waarderen. Wens jullie een mooie stop en geniet daar! lieve groet, Valerie


Aaaaah, vlieg je ook op Curacao. Wil ook met zoveel aandacht en liefde de reis maken….

Leuk hoor!!!


Dank je wel Bonnie! En nee niet heel vaak eigenlijk…;-)


KLM Brilliant great people just stay the way you are.


Thank you :)


Wow! wat een leuke verrasing om dit blog en verhal te ontdekken. Ik kom uit Buenos Aires en zat precies in het stoel bij de gang in de rij voor deze dame Vida op dat vlucht (zij reisde ook met nog een andere oude dame). Geweldig om te zien haar glimlach toen zij vanuit de galley kwam met de drankjes. En zij is 87!!! Inspirerend, iemand met vol fun voor het leven. Vida als naam (in het Spaans betekent Leven) is zeker meer dan toepasselijk.

En nog meer, ik heb door studie vijf jaar in het prachtige Maastricht gewoond. Ik dacht toen ik hoorde jij met Vida pratten ik herkende toch een leuke Limburgse accent dat bracht wel leuke herinneringen van mijn tijd daar. Sjoen Mestreecht ! :) Super leuk.

Gefeliciteerd met je blog en nog veel meer inspirerende reisverhalen. Dankjewel.




Wat een leuk berichtje Sebastian…Je was er gewoon bij!
Dank je wel en wie weet tot aan boord wens je fijne feestdagen ik vier ze in Sjoen Mestreech :)
groet Valerie


Dear Dare (v.)

What a pleasure it was to be passenger on 8 December’s flight KL0875 to Bangkok and enjoy you at work.

You have made this 11 hours flight a wonderful experience for those you where serrving., Thanks again for the change of seat that you managed to organise for me..

I love to meet nsprired people who enjoy what they do; it makes the difference in between ok and pleasure !

Alain Michael

I would like to tell you that I have read all of your posts. They are really beautiful and interesting. This one is truly touching. There are always wonderful people you never forget once you run into them, especially while flying away from your family. Thanks for sharing all your creative posts. They are inspirational and lively !!!

Best regards, .


How to fully ensure the efficiency and safety of an aircraft during flight?
Aircraft saves fuel how?
Plane flies without a trace. As?
Answer. Thank you.
Renato / Curitiba

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