Flight attendants had a stressful month as the government shutdown dragged on, and now there's further sorrow within their ranks. USA Today and the New York Post report that Emile Griffith died during a Hawaiian Airlines flight Thursday from Honolulu to New York, causing the plane to be diverted to San Francisco. Medical professionals on board tried to assist the crew in resuscitating Griffith, but to no avail; he was pronounced dead upon arrival in California. NBC News reports that Griffith, said to be a 30-year veteran of the airline, apparently suffered a heart attack, per a San Francisco International Airport rep.
One passenger live-tweeted the incident, noting "so many doctors came forward they had to make a second announcement" informing passengers they didn't need any more assistance. The tweeting passenger also noted how annoying it was that the airline kept playing ukulele music over the PA as the emergency was ongoing: "It's not making anyone calmer." The airline has made counseling services available to all passengers on Griffith's flight and will also be offering compensation. In a statement to USA Today, Hawaiian Airlines thanked those on board who tried to help Griffith and noted that "Emile both loved and treasured his job at Hawaiian and always shared that with our guests. Our hearts are with Emile's family, friends, and all those fortunate to have known him." (Read more Hawaiian Airlines stories.)