IAM Honors Heroic Flight Attendant

Sandra Hinojosa is presented with the IAM Excellence in Safety Award at the District 142 Convention in Orlando, Florida. From left to right: General Vice President Sito Pantoja, District 142 President Tom Higginbotham, award recipient Sandra Hinojosa, JATSC Chairman Ron Miller and JATSC Coordinator Stephanie Starks. 

To honor her heroism and quick response to avert a potentially catastrophic event, the IAM Joint Air Transport Safety Committee (JATSC) presented IAM member and Express Jet Flight Attendant Sandra Hinojosa the Excellence in Safety award today at the bi-annual District 142 Convention in Orlando, Florida.

Hinojosa was the sole flight attendant on United Airlines flight 6187 from Sioux Falls to Denver on August 4, 2013 when she noticed smoke billowing in the galley of the Embraer 145. Upon closer inspection, Hinojosa saw flames. She then quickly pulled the breaker, called the Captain to inform of a fire onboard and instructed to land the aircraft. Sandra then grabbed the Halon fire extinguisher and put out the fire.

As the oxygen masks dropped, Sandra noticed a passenger who damaged his mask. She quickly proceeded to administer oxygen to the passenger from the portable oxygen bottle.

“Sandra is an example of the importance of the flight attendant profession to the safety of every person who steps aboard an aircraft,” said General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “I thank Sandra for her courage under pressure and the JATSC for recognizing her and all the valuable work done on behalf of all IAM members.”

Born and raised in Chicago with family in Mexico, Sandra began working as a flight attendant two years ago because of her love of travel. She is married with a son and currently lives in Chicago.