Thursday, September 19, 2013
My last familiarization flight is over: I’m now a fully-fledged cabin crew member, able to fly to any point in our network and serve in either the SWISS Economy or the SWISS Business.
It’s taken some intensive training to get me this far. A basic course lasting several weeks, followed by eight months of short-haul deployments. Then another two weeks of long-haul training, combined with eleven training and familiarization flights. In all that time I’ve been halfway round the world several times, and criss-crossed Europe all over, too.
As with so many of my fellow trainees, the Business Class galley was a workstation for which I had a particular respect. There seemed to be so much to organize and coordinate, and so much to serve and remove, that I did find myself wondering: will it all fit into these trolleys? And what if I forget some detail: will the whole cabin service grind to a halt?
Then you’re actually assigned there and realize it’s not that bad after all. Most of the steps in the process are pretty self-evident. And if you do forget or aren’t sure of something, you can always ask your fellow crew members. The teamwork here really helps us all to conduct our inflight service as smoothly and swiftly as possible.
The personal contact on board is something our passengers really appreciate. By the end of a long-haul flight we’ll often not only know what drink a particular customer prefers: we’ll also have been given a great tip for a fine restaurant, a wonderful shop or a little-known sight at our destination. I really love these chats!
It’s just over a year now since Day 1 of my basic training course, and no two working days have ever been the same. Different teams, different passengers, different cultures, different destinations: they all make what is essentially a highly-regulated job into an amazingly varied and interesting profession. Now, as a fully-qualified cabin crew member, I can take off all over the world. And I’m hugely looking forward to doing so, and to all the challenges large and small that I’m sure my travels for SWISS will bring.”
My blog: A cocktail a day