Friday, November 30, 2012

SWISS on Instagram (@FlySWISS)

Danny Meier, Quality Assurance Technical Division

Hi guys, it’s Danny from Zurich.

I have volunteered to take over responsibility for SWISS’s Instagram Account for the month of December and hope I can upload lots of pictures for you to enjoy.

My career at SWISS started in September last year. My job is to make sure that all of our aircraft engineers hold a valid license and authorization allowing them to perform maintenance work on our fleet, whereupon the aircraft are released back into commercial service in accordance with valid laws and regulations.

Although I have little experience with Instagram I am really looking forward to posting some nice pictures, as I already have a few cool ideas, especially now that the festive season is just around the corner. I will also try to post an exciting picture or two when an aircraft is in for a maintenance check as I was a mechanic before I started in my current position. Coincidentally, our current SWISS Blog is about Swiss Maintenance, starting next week.

I hope you are looking forward to seeing new pictures of SWISS and its environment just as much as I am.

Thank you for following @FlySWISS,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

When you wish upon a flight (My sky-high life)

Lilia Mironov, Cabin Crew Member

We have a new planning system! Starting with our November schedules the new planning system has superseded the Preferential Bidding System that we’ve had for ten years.
Everyone was getting very nervous around the 23rd of October, anxious to check their November schedules created by the new planning system.

“Hysteria” erupted when the schedules were not published on the normal roster publishing date, the 23rd, but on the 25th instead. The first roster publication out of the new planning system took two days longer until everything was finished. I’m not making fun of my own kind; I am one of the impatient schedule addicts who keep checking every three minutes on their smartphones in the supermarket queue or on the tram to see if that darn next month’s schedule is online yet. It’s a huge thing in our lives, taking place every month. It’s such a phenomenon that even people around me, family and acquaintances have started asking me on the 23rd of each month: "Is it out yet?"

And when the schedule is finally online and one doesn’t have the desired Honolulu-Papeete layovers, the lamenting begins. What, only one Hong Kong flight? But twice New York? And what do I do in Sao Paulo? I don’t even eat meat!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Layovers in Athens (My sky-high life)

As a flight attendant, you develop preferences for certain destinations after you seen all of them at least once. This is due not only to the appeal of a particular city but also the experiences that connect you to it. Upon publication of our monthly flight plan I am always pleased to be assigned to a night-stop rotation to Athens!

Kristina Roder, Cabin Crew Member

Although Greece is currently synonymous with the European economic crisis, we continue to operate several flights daily to Athens from Geneva and Zurich. Every night, four crews are stationed in Athens: one for each of the late-night flights from Geneva/Zurich and the same for the early-morning flights back to Switzerland. As a destination Athens is generally very popular with the entire crew, not just me alone. Not only do we have the pleasure of staying overnight at the luxurious Hilton, we also look forward to the sunshine that at this time of year is on the wane in Switzerland. If we land during the afternoon we go out for a Greek meal in the evening – there is no shortage of restaurants serving delicious specialities. Authentic establishments abound near the hotel as well as in the well-maintained old town. Athens is nothing like the scruffy, arrogant place portrayed in the media. People are open and cheerful, and the city has many attractive areas to visit.

After arriving on the night flight, the crew usually meets at a bar behind the Hilton or on the Hilton’s rooftop terrace. In the morning we enjoy the sumptuous breakfast for which even notorious late-sleepers have been known to set their alarm clock. Afterward, it’s pleasant to either read a book beside the swimming pool or to explore the city bit by bit.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Love is in the air (My sky-high life)

It’s common knowledge that people tend to find love either at their place of work or at university. Shared interests and life circumstances are a bonding factor. This topic has been the source of many studies and reports exist on this topic. I too have my own "Manhattan Love Story" and have battled numerous clichés in the process. But isn’t that something quite natural?
(Editor’s note: The 2002 movie "Manhattan Love Story" starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes is known in the English-speaking world as "Maid in Manhattan".)

Janine Werner, Cabin Crew Member

There are of course many rumours and clichés about commercial aviation and relationships at work but in the end neither more nor fewer than in other fields. People find each other through common interests and experiences, and this goes for the world of air transport, too.

People outside the world of flying often have difficulty understanding our limited social life. We cannot plan two months in advance, attend every birthday or make a movie date for the weekend. Even after our working day is over we are not at home, unable to enjoy dinner with our families. For many of us, therefore, the crew on rotation becomes something of a substitute family. We talk about private matters and share with each other our everyday troubles. We are often together for several days in a row, sometimes in distant lands with a culture completely different to our own in which we support one another and keep each other grounded. Consequently over the years, many friendships have developed among workmates. And in some cases such a friendship has evolved into a love relationship. We feel that our colleagues and friends understand us best and know how we’re feeling because they have the same lifestyle and the same problems. In this way we are one big family. We are often away from more than at home. On a rotation to Los Angeles, for example, we are home away for four days and home for only three.