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Long-time flight attendant and CUPE member Charlotte Treddenick ended her 39-year career with a bang, by helping a woman give birth at 30,000 feet.

On Treddenick’s last day of work, December 6, she and 200 others were traveling on a 17-hour Air Canada flight from New Delhi to Toronto when a passenger went into labour shortly after take-off. There was no doctor on board, so Treddenick and the other flight attendants sprang into action. They made a bed in the back of the aircraft using sheets, blankets and pillows.

She was lying on the floor, giving birth, on landing, says Treddenick. We had a beautiful birth healthy and the little lady was born right into my hands.

Treddenick says the entire aircraft burst into applause after the baby was born. Paramedics met the flight when it landed in Toronto, and both mother and child are doing fine.

“It was so much easier than having your own,” says Treddenick, the mother of two grown children.

Treddenick’s quick thinking and hard work is a great example of the important role that CUPE flight attendants play as safety professionals, especially on long-haul flights. They have to be prepared for anything when theyre a mile high and Treddenicks story proves that they are.

“It’s a wonderful way to end a long career,” she says, adding it’s the best Christmas gift she could ask for.

Because the baby was born on an Air Canada flight, she will automatically be granted Canadian citizenship.