The CEO of Virgin Australia, Jayne Hrdlicka, paid a visit to one of the company’s baggage handlers after a random act of kindness was caught on film and went viral on social media.
The wholesome moment was uploaded on TikTok and saw Chad – a Virgin Australia baggage handler – taking a moment to talk to a dog named Cooper before he is loaded into the cargo hold.
@Virgin Australia 🇦🇺
“Virgin Australia baggage handler making sure this brave doggo is safely on the plane,” wrote @jacquifelgate on the on-screen text.
After the success of thee video, Hrdlicka visited Chad to personally thank him for the work he’s done.
“Ladies, form an orderly queue,” an Instagram post by Virgin Australia read.
“Our Perth dog whisperer, Chad has just scored himself Business Class tickets from our CEO to acknowledge his wonderful work,“ the post continued.
Hrdlicka commended his work and gave Chad a few trip ideas.
“That obviously gives you the ability to bring along a friend. I know you’ve been getting lots of offers from amazing women around the world,” Hrdlicka said.
“So you have the option, if you want.”
The original video – uploaded by user @jacquefelgate who is the Seven News Melbourne presenter Jacqueline Felgate- gathered millions of views late last week.
Felgate tracked down Chad after the video’s success and did an interview with him.
“What did you actually say to beautiful little Cooper in that moment?”
“I was just reassuring him and asking him if he was ready to board, just like the passengers get asked up at the gate,” Chad replied.
“I said ‘Coopy mate, you’ll be fine, hope you have a safe flight, we’ll see you on the other side’.”
Commenters praised Chad for his kindness under the video.
“The sweetest thing is that he wasn’t intending to have an audience, he was genuinely just being a caring human,” one TikTok user said.
“That’s so sweet! It must be so scary for them,” another added.
“This guy needs a raise!” another applauded.
Chad thanked everyone for their kind words and wanted to assure all pet owners that every pet that comes his way gets only the best treatment.
“I ensure every animal that I come across at work gets the royal treatment,” he wrote on Instagram.
“It is a scary environment for them. I try my absolute best to calm them, water them and give them some pampering before they are placed inside the aircraft.”
This news comes off the back of Virgin Australia’s ambitious new target towards net zero carbon emissions.
The airline unveiled the first phase of its fleet growth program which will see four new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft introduced to its network and F100 aircraft retired from service and replaced by Boeing 737-700s.
The four new MAX 8 aircraft, scheduled to start entering service from February 2023, will reduce emissions by 15 per cent per journey in comparison to current 737 NG aircraft. Each 737-700 will fly more passengers for a similar amount of fuel than each F100, resulting in 30 per cent less emissions per seat per trip.
Hrdlicka said the fleet program is part of a broader growth strategy which will see the Boeing 737 fleet, currently consisting of 737-700 and 737-800 aircraft, increase to 88 with the inclusion of 4 MAX 8 aircraft in response to increasing demand.