Behind the scenes of the VS7 – a day in the life of our cabin crew

It’s not just pie in the sky. See how our cabin crew serve afternoon tea above the sea, ice cream in the jet stream, a beer in the upper atmosphere and your sweet at 35,000 feet.

It’s just a normal day at work for cabin crew Emma Ashley, though with an 8-hour time difference it’s 32 hours long. It starts on a cold grey morning in London and ends with dinner outside on a glorious warm evening in California. During the day she serves more meals than a very busy restaurant, more drinks than a crowded bar and walks almost five miles. Of course, for most of Emma’s customers, the day is far from normal. Some are jetting off to the other side of the world for hard-earned holidays, others to visit precious family and friends or to seal important business deals. A few maybe even trying to get that big break in Hollywood. Whatever their reasons for flying, all our customers are trusting us to deliver them to their destination safely, on time and in comfort. It’s also an opportunity to enjoy our huge selection of inflight entertainment and sample our legendary service.  If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to make that happen, or been fascinated by what goes on behind the galley curtains, our latest video gives you a crew’s eye view onboard flight VS7.

Boeing 787-9 G-VDIA Lucy in the Sky

Boeing 787-9 G-VDIA Lucy in the Sky

Emma’s day starts at 8 am when she reports for her flight at Heathrow and makes her way to ‘the Gatehouse’, our crew check-in area. Here’s where flight service manager Mark Gallagher brings all the crew together and briefs them on the upcoming flight, and it’s often the first point that a crew will meet each other. Mark and his supervisor Emily make sure they have all the information they need, which includes flight times, whether any VIPs are onboard, special requests and any other service or safety updates.

Once in the air, the crew leap into action the second they’re released from their seats (normally a few minutes before the main seatbelt signs go off). Their job? To serve drinks and pretzels, lunch with wine, tea and coffee, another drinks round, a mid-flight hot snack, more drinks, ice creams, water and juice, afternoon tea, tea and coffee, hot towels, landing cards and landing sweets to the 233 people sitting in the Economy and Premium Economy cabins. All of this is delivered from the rear galley of the 787 in a tightly choreographed flow. It’s impressive to watch and fascinating to see how much work goes into making sure our customers have a delightful flight.

Emma wearing ‘crew cam’

At the end of the journey, as the aircraft descends into Los Angeles it’s time for the team to stow everything away, count the bar and duty-free takings, secure the cabin, finish their safety checks and strap in for landing. Then there’s time to spend a couple of days exploring Los Angeles, relaxing in the Californian sunshine and doing a bit of shopping before the flight home.

With many thanks to the team in the back galley: LtoR Hannah Buswell, John Hunter, Emma Ashley, Tim Davey and supervisor Emily Williams.

Thank you to Flight Service Manager Mark Gallagher for a fabulous flight and as always, thanks to our brilliant pilots, who delivered us to LA safely and on time: Captain Simon Alexander and senior first officers James Renney-Butland and Chris Scaccianoce.

If you’re interested in becoming part of our story visit our careers site for all the latest vacancies

About Dave Gunner

Dave is the co-editor of Ruby, the Virgin Atlantic Blog. He has worked at Virgin Atlantic for over two decades. In that time he has amassed some truly epic memories but never lost his fascination with the airline world. Dave's on a mission to bring you some great insights into our people, planes and planet.
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