As a flight service manager at Virgin Atlantic, Faye loves seeing happy passengers leaving the plane and prides herself on acting as nurse, firefighter or policewoman to defuse any situation in the skies.
My daily duties involve. . .
No day is the same. Our duties include delivering the personalised customer service for which Virgin Atlantic is renowned, but it’s not all about ‘Tea or coffee?’ and ‘Chicken or beef?’ In the air, we have to be extremely adaptable. We could be taking on the role of nurse, firefighter, police officer or pacifier – it is down to us to manage any situation as we can’t phone the emergency services from 35,000 feet. You have to juggle multiple situations at once – like a swan, paddling fiercely under the water, while gliding across the surface.
I start the morning with . . .
A hot shower – I don’t feel awake without one and, as cabin crew, we have some pretty early mornings. This is followed by a coffee while putting on my make-up (including the signature red lipstick) and styling my hair into the obligatory chignon.
The first thing I do when I get to work is . . .
Meet my fellow crew. I am always excited when I get to work – I’m flying to an amazing destination while meeting new people. The majority of the time I don’t know the crew that I’m flying with so I’m always keen to meet them. As the onboard manager, I’m in charge of the pre-flight briefing so we head up to the crew room for that – I provide an update with any destination-specifics, safety and security information, and what I expect from the team.
I’ve been in my job for . . .
Eleven years. I’d finished my A-levels at college and my mum suggested applying as cabin crew for Virgin Atlantic. I was unsure as I was 19 years old and a little nervous to be starting such a different but exciting job. Almost 12 years on and I’ve never looked back – it is the best decision I’ve ever made.
I became cabin crew because . . .
I wanted to see the world and experience something completely different. I wanted worldwide opportunities – from hiking the Hollywood hills, seeing the Taj Mahal and sunbathing in the Caribbean to going to the top of the Empire State building.
My favourite destination is . . .
The Caribbean: I love the sea and sun. After leaving a gloomy Gatwick, it’s an amazing feeling to know we’re touching down in a beautiful paradise where I can relax on the beach for a day or go swimming in the warm, crystal-clear sea. I also love the relaxed way of life in the Caribbean after the hustle and bustle of the UK.
The most rewarding part of my job is . . .
When the customers leave the aircraft so happy and excited to be going on their holidays. We’re encouraged to bring our personalities to work at Virgin Atlantic
and I try my best to make flights enjoyable
and offer a personalised service to every customer.
The most common thing I’m asked is . . .
‘Have you met Richard?’ And I am lucky enough to say I have.
The worst thing that happens at work is . . .
When children fall ill on board – it’s always so distressing for the crew. I had one little girl who had really bad earache. We tried our best to keep her comfortable until landing and helped out her mother with whatever she needed throughout the flight.
To relax I like to . . .
Take a long bubble bath with a good book and a glass or two of prosecco.
The one thing I would take to a desert island . . .
Of course I have to say a fully-crewed Virgin Atlantic aircraft, so I could fly home in style to my family and little dog, Eric.
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