British Airways staff surprise passengers with first class upgrade
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Cabin crew have much responsibility during the course of a flight and it can be an exhausting job. However, there’s much to love about the role of a flight attendant. Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to former British Airways cabin crew member Hayley Bowles about why this is.
Now 40-years-old, Hayley became cabin crew when she was 25 and loved her job with BA right up until she was made redundant last year as a result of the Covid pandemic.
Although she says she is enjoying her new role as Recreation and Well-Being Liaison at Nellsar’s Lukestone Care Centre in Maidstone, Hayley misses the joys of flying high.
One huge benefit of the job at BA was the travel.
“Over the years, I have enjoyed the perks of the job I must say,” said Hayley, explaining she mainly did the longer long-haul flights which “took me to faraway places which was really nice.”
“I had some great adventures…I’ve done so many amazing things,” the ex flight attendant enthused, recalling ziplining abroad, exploring Mexico and caving in Bermuda to name a few thrilling experiences.
“Just the opportunities that cabin crew gave me to see, places that I would never be able to think of going in my wildest dreams as a single mum.
“I’m so grateful for all the opportunities that my downtime down route gave me to do.”
Adjusting to life with no travel amid Covid has been tricky, however.
“I very much miss flying, I very much miss the travel, just meeting different people, different cultures and just, you know, all that comes with it. I do miss it,” Hayley admitted.
“I don’t think you can beat the travel and the going away.
“They say that aviation and flying, you either love it or you don’t, and if you love it, it gets into your blood, and I do feel that when you’ve done it for so long.”
Travel perks also saw Hayley able to take a plus one away with her on staff travel.
“Very often when I was with my partner he would come because he could work from his laptop, he would very often come on my trips, which was really nice,” she said.
“I’d normally go to Finland, to be honest, I’ve got friends there so I liked to go and see my friends in Finland.”
Another perk of the job of a cabin crew, said Hayley, was working with “different people every flight. That was really nice and refreshing.”
“The dynamics on the flight would always be so different because you’d have a different mix of 12 people.”
“You’d always have the right balance of crew to make that flight work and the sense of teamwork was just brilliant… it was always a pleasure, really.”
Hayley explained it was “quite hard” to now work with the “same faces” every day in her new job as at BA every flight meant new colleagues.
“I can’t think of any other job where that would happen,” she said.
Despite not working with the same people, crew would get very close during trips.
“Beleive it or not, for the duration of your trip, you were a family,” said Hayley.
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