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A Family Affair: Launching our Dreamliner Fleet

By: Maxine Sheppard

October 6, 2014

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We all have big dreams when we’re kids, but sometimes life gets in the way and we don’t always get to see them come true. That can’t be said for Virgin Atlantic Cabin Service Supervisor, Greg Dawson. Greg knew from the age of 9 that he was going to work for Virgin Atlantic:

“I grew up in South Africa until I was six years old before moving back to my home town, Prestwick, in Scotland. The airport is a big part of the community there and my dad worked for an airline maintenance company, so I was always around the industry and influenced by it. My dad knew I wanted to work for Virgin since I was a kid and getting promoted to Cabin Service Supervisor has been the biggest highlight of working here.”

Greg’s one of the 200-strong core cabin crew that’s been carefully selected to make sure our customers enjoy their flight on our new, state-of-the-art Dreamliner fleet . The 16-strong fleet of Boeing 787-9 aircraft is being launched with “˜Birthday Girl’ this October.

“It’s really exciting because we’ll have changes to some of the cabins and a new suite in Upper Class, even new seats, and there are going to be service changes in each cabin as well. It’s really about making sure all our standards are integrated into our service in the new aircraft fleet as smoothly as possible. Every single crew member will be new to these flights and aircraft, so it’s about making sure our cabin service is consistent and up to Virgin Atlantic’s high standards.”

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Greg Dawson

Every Virgin Atlantic flight has two Cabin Service Supervisors looking after passengers’ needs – in the Upper Class cabin and the Premium Economy and Economy cabins. We’ve always considered customer experience a top priority, and it’s the job of all our cabin crew to ensure that our service standards are maintained to the highest level. Being a Cabin Crew Supervisor comes with real responsibilities – cabin crew look to you for guidance, but it’s also up to you to make sure all customers are happy with their experience. Greg knows this all too well:

“When I get on the tube in my uniform, I see people looking at me. I think it’s a glamorous job and it reminds me that, although I fly up to six times a month, some people have saved up for a couple of years to fly with Virgin Atlantic and I always have to make sure they get the best experience possible.”

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The anatomy of a 787

Yet, for Greg, there are a couple of extra reasons why the launch of the 787 is such a special event:

“It’s amazing to know that my dad’s working on parts of this plane in Melbourne, Australia. He works for Boeing and they’re building the flaps on the wings for the entire 787 fleet. To know that he’s worked towards building the aircraft I’m flying on is quite special, considering he lives 24 hours away on the other side of the world. He’s always sending me t-shirts with the 787 on it – he knows how much of a plane geek I am.”

And indeed, a plane geek who’ll be celebrating 12 years with Virgin Atlantic this year:

“I still love every minute of it. It’s just such a cool company to work for. They really look after us – the staff travel benefits are fantastic and you really feel like you’re part of a family at Virgin Atlantic. I can’t really put it into any better words than that. I get to travel the world with lots of really nice people who are some of my closest friends, so I’ll be celebrating that on this brand new aircraft. I’m going to be so proud to be on that plane.”

Greg’s worked for other airlines and even done a stint with Virgin Blue – our Australian sister company – but says nothing compares to working with Virgin Atlantic: “

“There’s a camaraderie here that I’ve never experienced at other airlines. It’s inherent in the culture of the company and you notice it the minute you start training. We’re quite a small airline and it’s so nice to know the people at the check-in desk when you fly, but then as you go through the company, you meet people at the base, and they remember you by name too. Everyone says hello to everyone – no matter how many times you see them in a day. It feels like you’re part of a family.”

Visit our careers website to read more about life at Virgin Atlantic .

Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the co-editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.