As the face of our airline, flight attendants are the front-line caregivers, working to ensure every customer is safe, comfortable, and provided the absolute best in customer service.
With flight schedules reduced due to the COVID-19 crisis, one Endeavor flight attendant is translating these skills to help out on the front lines of the medical field. As an administrative assistant at a hospital in North Bergen, NJ, this New York City native is committed to doing all he can to lend a helping hand.
“I’ve temporarily exchanged my flight attendant uniform for scrubs to help my community,” said Jose Portillo, who is based out of Endeavor’s hub at LaGuardia Airport. “In the air and at the hospital, I try to help others feel as comfortable as possible. I enjoy being on the front line of whatever is going on so that I can provide the best customer service to those who need it most.”
Portillo has worked at the hospital for four years, moving to a part-time schedule when he became a flight attendant. On his days away from flying, Portillo continues to find meaning in his hospital role, especially as a caregiver to Spanish-speaking patients.
“There are a lot of people who don’t speak the language, and they don’t understand what’s happening,” said Portillo. “I am there to help them understand the procedures, to explain the tests and results; it’s helpful to have someone who speaks your language and knows your culture.”
With a focus on safety and a heart full of compassion, serving others in times of need comes naturally to Portillo, who says he loves working with people and is proud to serve his community, in spite of the risk.
“If you don’t take the risk, who else is going to do it? You have to be a leader and show people that it’s ok to help others as long as you are safe and take the appropriate precautions,” said Portillo. “For me, I know that I have skills and knowledge that can help right now. If you have skills to contribute, find a way to help.”
In these challenging times, Portillo says he is proud to serve as best as he can, but he looks forward to getting back to flying. He believes his insight into the medical field will make him an even stronger flight attendant when the crisis is over.
“With my experience, I think I will bring a lot to our customers, both from a safety perspective and to help them feel more comfortable with the unknown,” said Portillo. “I miss flying, and I look forward to being back in the air again, serving and helping my customers.”