A rare occurrence of a young woman giving birth during a Cebu Pacific flight has lead to a special gift for her little girl as she was promised 1 Million Miles from the airline following a tradition for such cases.
Babies being born inflight is not an uncommon, even though somewhat rare occurrence. In April we wrote about the birth of a child on board a Jetstar flight (see here) and then there was the controversial case of the Taiwanese lady who flew to the U.S. to give birth (access here) with the baby actually being born on a China Airlines flight.
This particular case saw the mother go into labor 2 months early and reportedly the entire birth process was rather quick.
You can read about it in New York Magazine (access here).
Save for the copious amounts of tomato juice, flying isn’t exactly the most pleasant experience these days — but travelers on a Cebu Pacific Air flight from Dubai to the Philippines got a rare good surprise when a baby was unexpectedly born mid-flight.
Missy Berberabe Umandal, one of those passengers, shared her account of the baby’s birth on Facebook. After the woman began to have contractions mid-flight, two months earlier than expected, flight attendants brought her to the front of the plane to give birth. “We only heard one semi-loud screech, and a few seconds later, there were tinier, cute screeches, and it was when we knew the baby was born,” Umandal wrote. “Luckily, she only had to push ONCE. Moments later, the woman got up to go back to her seat, baby in arms (mighty strong, I might say).”
Both flight attendants and passengers pitched in to help, handing out infant clothes and washing the baby, who Umandal believes was named Haven. The flight was diverted in India so that the mother and baby could receive medical attention, and though it ended up being 18 hours of travel instead of 9, Umandal says there were no complaints.
All in all, it was a lucky delivery — and even luckier for the baby, who will receive a lifetime of free flights from the airline.
That diversion to India must have been rather costly for Cebu Pacific (a budget carrier) so I’m surprised to give out anything after the fact but of course this is good PR that costs them little.
In fact, the aforementioned passenger who reported about this all on her personal Facebook page (see here) mentioned that the airline awarded the child 1 Million of the carriers frequent flyer points which she says lasts for ‘a lifetime worth of flights’ which I highly doubt.
This CNN article reveals that some airlines have done that though.
Very few airlines are known to have granted a newborn free flights for life.The only carriers to have done so are Thai Airways, Asia Pacific Airlines, AirAsia and Polar Airlines. Virgin Atlantic granted one baby free flights until the age of 21.
Some airlines have been giving out the tradition of awarding sky-born babies free flights for life but those are rare, yet it’s very nice that Cebu Pacific does something for the mother and the young girl.
There has been no media release from Cebu Pacific about the exact circumstances of this story so all of it is based on that report from one Filipino lady who was on the same flight. The website for the Frequent Flyer Program GetGo isn’t very practical, to see how many miles you need you have to sign up for the program and then might investigate futher how much a flight booked with miles costs but as mentioned before I highly doubt even a number of 1 Million will last a lifetime or even close to that.