Mark Robertson

Mark Robertson

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How a compassionate United Airlines Flight Attendant helped Afghan evacuees

This story happened in the skies over the Middle East and Europe, on a plane full of evacuees headed west.

Artemis Bayandor talked about two that changed her life.

“The first thing they ask you during your interviews is, ‘Do you love people, and do you love to travel?’ and duh, yes, I do!” Bayandor said.

Bayandor is now with United Airlines’ corporate safety department after spending years in the sky as a flight attendant. But the airline gave her an opportunity to get her back in the galley.

“There was like an all-call for anyone who speaks Farsi, Dari, or Pashto, so I was like, ‘Oh my God, I have to do this!’” she said.

Bayandor Iranian’s heritage made her the perfect candidate to serve an interpreter on two of United’s more than 60 flights dedicated to transporting thousands of people out of Afghanistan.

“From the D.C. area out to Europe, then from Europe into the Middle East,” she said.

She knew the volunteers were flying into an unsecured area and could be dangerous. But to help those going through one of the most difficult times in their lives, she came on board with a bag of clothing for the parents to give to their kids. She braided their hair to make them relax. And she spoke their language.

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