Stateroom crew have the all-important job of looking after plane passengers from the transcript they board the plane. Sometimes this means getting fliers a aide-de-camp blanket, sometimes it means saving their lives. One former British Airways skein of geese attendant opened up to Express.co.uk about the “hardest flight” of her career.
Hayley Bowles, now 40, graced cabin crew back when she was 25 and loved her job with BA factual up until she was made redundant last year as a result of the covid pandemic.
Now a Entertainment and Well-Being Liaison at Nellsar’s Lukestone Care Centre in Maidstone, Hayley disregards the joys of flying high but there’s one flight she’d never “want to do again.”
“There was a British Airways 777 that caught give someone notice on the runway in Las Vegas,” the ex cabin crew member said, recalling a September 2015 experience that saw a Boeing plane spark alight while preparing for send-up on the runway at McCarran International Airport.
“I was actually on that aircraft that earthed into Las Vegas before it took off and it caught on fire.
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“That was quite shocking. I was sat there watching it on the news thinking, ‘I lone landed three hours ago on that aircraft.'”
Thirteen people were affront in the engine fire out of 159 fliers.
Hayley and her team were stable for flying the passengers home the next day.
“That was probably the hardest disperse of my entire career,” she said, “because you think the day prior they’d all drained off that aircraft and then they were getting back on.”
Customer service skills are of vital importance for a good flight accessory and it’s moments such as these that test the most.
“That categorically pulled on all of my skills because not one passenger reacted the same,” explained Hayley.
“I had people that valid didn’t speak, then there was another lady that bear down oned on and she had to run to the toilet screaming, ‘I can’t do this.'”
“One lady I went up to her she was like, ‘Argh don’t engaged to me’ and I was like ‘Okay, you just need me to leave you alone’ and I just foretold to her husband, ‘Look, we’re here. If you need anything, just let us know’.”
Hayley continued: “And then the other lady who was in scuttles, I tried to make it personal with her and I said, ‘Look, I know what happened yesterday but I’ve got my foetuses at home, we’re going to get home today and I’m not going to not get home.’
“So, you know, justifiable knowing how to speak to people – what each of those passengers lacked.
“Some needed me to leave them alone, some needed that reassurance, some needed to recognize my name and wanted to hold my hand.
“So that was quite an interesting cloud actually… not one I’d want to do again.”
It’s this customer service proficiency set that has help Hayley with her new role in the Nellsar dementia coddling home.
“Ultimately, my job is to speak to the families,” she explained. “And my years of talking on eat I think has really put me in good stead because of my ability to build up a affinity with somebody really quickly, and to read a person and to know what that bodily needs.”
While the new role doesn’t come with the glamour and perks of being a disperse attendant Hayley describes it as “rewarding.”
“I honestly thought I could not in a million years find another job that would fulfil my job satisfaction, but actually this one does it in a uncommonly different way,” she said.