Monday, January 20, 2014

With Mama to Montreal (My sky-high life)

Friends and family members of cabin crew staff often have the view that our job is more like a holiday than real work and that all we do is enjoy ourselves and have no idea of what stress means. Although it is exciting to discover new destinations, our job is certainly not about just taking it easy.

By Kristina Roder, Cabin Crew Member

When I was recently assigned to a Montreal rotation that included a two-night stay, I immediately asked my mother if she would like to accompany me. Since parents of staff enjoy travel at a reduced fare, a weekend trip to Montreal really sounds attractive, right?

My mother accepted my invitation. Even though her dream destination is Hong Kong, I wanted to see how she would cope with a relatively short flight to Montreal before letting her sit in a jump seat on a flight to the Far East for 12 hours. The low fare is available on a standby basis, which means that a seat is not guaranteed. You take what you can get. And a jump seat is better than no seat, which would mean not flying at all.
The predicted availability on the outbound flight, however, was poor, which prompted me to “sign up” for duty in the Economy Class galley. I thought that if my mother was given the jump seat then I would at least be able to brief her on the procedure and attend to her en route. Personally speaking, I find daytime flights in Economy Class much more demanding than in Business Class, where passengers often prefer to sleep between meal services. There is always a lot going on during a daytime flight in Economy, which is fun but much more tiring. But as it turned out, my mother was in luck on the flight to Montreal and was even able to travel in Business Class. So while I spent the seven hours of the flight organising and serving, my mother was pampered by my colleagues.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

SWISS on Instagram (FlySWISS)

This month on our Instagram account: A320 Captain Manfred Simon takes you along into his world as a SWISS pilot and Deputy Fleet Chief and shows the challenges and advantages of this fascinating job.

Manfred Simon, Captain and Deputy Fleet Chief

Hello Swiss community and a happy new year to all of you. I wish you all the best in 2014. My name is Manfred Simon and I am working as A320 Captain and as Deputy Fleet Chief A320 in the fleet office. I spend about 50% of my time in the aircraft flying on our short-haul network and the other 50% in the fleet office. It’s a pleasure for me to show you some insights of my job in the cockpit and in the office. Winter operations is quite a challenge for the pilots. At the end of January I’m scheduled for a trip to Moscow, which will show you how hard the winter further north can be.

My career as a pilot started 25 years ago with Swissair. I’m still convinced that it is a huge privilege to work as pilot in a company like SWISS. What I like most on our short-haul network is the pace of the operations, the challenging conditions and of course the night stops together with my crew. On the other hand, when I’m working in the office, I see how many people are involved in a safe and reliable and of course profitable airline. It needs a lot, to get an aircraft airborne.

I live close to the airport in Zurich, together with my wife and our two sons. In my free time I like to cook, which gives me a good balance to our working environment. Hopefully I can provide you with some new aspects and snapshots this month. And now, see you on Instagram! Thank you for following @FlySWISS.