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She'll go far: baby girl born on plane is given 1m air miles

The Guardian logo The Guardian 19-08-2016 Oliver Holmes in Bangkok

A Cebu Pacific plane: Nurses onboard the Cebu Pacific flight helped deliver baby Haven, who has been rewarded with a hefty loyalty bonus. © EPA Nurses onboard the Cebu Pacific flight helped deliver baby Haven, who has been rewarded with a hefty loyalty bonus. A baby girl born on a flight halfway from Dubai to Manila has received a birthday present: a million air mile points.

The Philippine carrier Cebu Pacific said the baby, named Haven, was the first to be delivered on one of its planes.

Haven’s mother went into labour on Sunday, four hours into the flight and five weeks before her due date. Cabin crew found two nurses who helped with the delivery.

The lead cabin crew member Mark Martin said two flight attendants were also trained as nurses.

“To baby Haven,” he said. “You are God’s miracle at 36,000ft and we’re blessed to have been an instrument in your safe delivery. You will always be my most memorable passenger.”

Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific’s chief executive, said that to celebrate the birth, Haven would receive one million GetGo points, part of the airline’s air miles reward programme.

Flight crew welcome baby Haven to the world.

The flight was diverted to Hyderabad, India, the airline said, to ensure the mother and baby received medical assistance for the premature birth.

Another passenger on the flight said she did not mind the delay. “It only happens in movies, and we’re lucky to witness this miracle,” Missy Berberabe Umandal wrote in a Facebook post.

Baby Haven born on Cebu Pacific flight: Baby Haven, shortly after being born aboard the Cebu Pacific flight. She has been rewarded for her unexpectedly early appearance with a hefty loyalty bonus. © Missy Berberabe Umandal/Facebook Baby Haven, shortly after being born aboard the Cebu Pacific flight. She has been rewarded for her unexpectedly early appearance with a hefty loyalty bonus. Umandal said that when the mother started having contractions, the crew took her to a more spacious area in the front of the plane.

“We only heard one semi-loud screech, and a few seconds later there were tinier, cute screeches, and it was when we knew the baby was born,” she said.

“Moments later, the woman got up to go back to her seat, baby in arms (mighty strong, I might say). There were two other babies with us in the front row, and one of the passengers had a suitcase full of infant clothes and necessities, which could not have come at a better time.”

The flight attendants washed the baby with mineral water and the plane made an unscheduled landing, doubling the flight time to 18 hours. “But no complaints,” the passenger said. “Everyone in that plane was blessed.”

A customer would have to spend 5m Philippine pesos (£83,000) on Cebu Pacific flights to earn the same number of points awarded to Haven. The points can be redeemed on all domestic and international flights.

The company told the Guardian that some internal flights could be booked for as few as 100 points. A trip from Manila to Dubai would use up about 25,000 points, depending on the season.

The baby’s points have no expiry and may be shared with her family, Cebu Pacific said. Cebu Pacific is the country’s largest airline with flights to 36 domestic and 30 international destinations, spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and US.

In April a woman who gave birth to a baby boy onboard a Jetstar Asia flight named her son after the Singapore-based airline.

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