Happy Halloween with our Training Team

By: Dave Gunner

October 31, 2016


Halloween isn’t, as many believe, a recent thing. It goes way back in time and is as shrouded in fog and murky mystery as the ghoulish celebrations that mark the occasion. The best guess is that Halloween evolved from the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. It’s thought people would light bonfires and dress up to ward off roaming spirits. These days, modern Halloween celebrations are synonymous with fun and dressing up. So, it was no surprise to see our amazing Training Delivery team dig out the dressing up box, the make-up kit and all their ghoulish medical training aids to bring a unique training session to some of our people.

Zombie Doctor teaching triage.

Zombie Doctor Christine Arthur teaching triage.

As you’d expect, safety training is something we take incredibly seriously. Every one of our crew must come into our training centre once a year and pass a rigorous test to maintain their flying status. Training Delivery are a dedicated team who put our crew through their paces year round. They’ve also developed a short course called Expect the Unexpected which is aimed at people who aren’t crew and involves learning all about what to do in the event of an aircraft emergency. It’s a serious and potentially life-saving message packaged in a fun way. The course includes a little bit of theory and some practice of evacuating an aircraft down a real 747 slide and surviving in a life raft. We won’t mention the league table which shows the Brownies being quicker than the Sussex Police at putting the cover on the giant life raft!

Our 747 training evacuation slide

Using the 747 Emergency evacuation slide

This year the training team went one better and offered the course to some of our office staff with a Halloween twist. What a spooktacular night it was too. With graveyard music, eerie smoke and our decorated training rigs, the guests were treated to a training session like no other with zombie cabin crew around every corner. There was a lesson in triage – the method of determining the priority of patients’ treatments based on the severity of their condition – before the highlight of the evening: a jump down the 747 slide and a life raft exercise.

Liferaft survival techniques hampered by zombie crew and brides

Liferaft survival techniques hampered by zombie crew and brides

Afterwards, there were blood coloured cocktails and spooky snacks for all.

Halloween Snacks

Halloween Snacks

The evening was a great opportunity for our training team to showcase their talent, for our office staff to learn some potentially life-saving skills and for everyone to raise money for our charity

A massive thank you to everyone in our training team who put so much effort into a fantastic and successful night. Special mention goes to Helen Howe and Dan Nicol for organising the event and Juliet Littlechild who did most of the make up.

Fancy getting trained by this lot? Visit our Careers site for our latest vacancies.


Zombie Crew


Chicken or Beef?

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.