When it comes to celebrating Mother’s Day in style – not many women can top the Chute family.
Grandmother Gloria, Mum Samantha, and daughter Becci have racked up millions of air miles, and celebrated Mother’s Day in cities around the world including New York, Hong Kong and Los Angeles as part of their jobs at Virgin Atlantic.
Together, the glamorous globetrotting trio are the airline’s longest serving family having clocked up 30 years of service together. Over that time they’ve met Sir Richard Branson on countless occasions, climbed Table Mountain and had Christmas in Cuba.
It all started when Samantha decided to become cabin crew in 1990. After spending three years jet setting across the world, Samantha changed career and hung up her uniform when she had her first child, Becci. From then on she spent the next nine years in the Virgin Atlantic head office working in marketing and the Flying Club team.
Samantha said ‘my stand out moment was finally meeting Richard. Back in the ‘90s he used to try and attend every Wings Ceremony [Cabin Crew Graduation]. But he was away when I got my wings and I was devastated not to meet him. Somehow we managed to get him to come another day and so I got my first picture with the boss.’
Samantha turned out to be some sort of Virgin Atlantic recruitment guru as in 1997, when she saw an opening in the staff travel team she encouraged her mum Gloria Keens to apply. Gloria had just been made redundant from her job of 20 years and wasn’t sure she had the experience to work in travel. But after encouragement from Samantha, she applied and never looked back.
Gloria said ‘From day one I loved it. I was a bit nervous of course but I felt right at home straight away. I worked at Virgin Atlantic for 13 years and I can truly say it was the one job of my life.’
And last but by no means least, along came Becci. You could say her card was marked with a big fat boarding pass right from the start. From a very young age Becci had decided that being cabin crew for Virgin Atlantic was the life for her. Seeing her mum in uniform and hearing stories of travelling the world were all too tempting.
At the tender age of 16 came to Virgin Atlantic on a school trip. The uniform team dressed her up and let her have a taste of crew life and that sealed the deal.
On Becci’s 18th birthday she had her interview with Virgin Atlantic and in October 2011 she got her wings and joined our cabin crew team.
Becci’s first flight
Since joining Virgin Atlantic Becci has become a regular on some of our most exciting projects. She’s flown on inaugural flights, launched new products and even been the star of the Virgin Atlantic Fantastic Beasts competition.
And like her mum, Becci’s highlight is meeting Sir Richard Branson
Becci said ‘It was one of my first flights and we had Richard onboard. I went and sat down by his seat and told him the story of how my mum had been cabin crew and that we’d actually met before. I showed him some pictures I had on my phone and before I knew it we were walking down the plane to reenact the picture!’
And it doesn’t stop there. Becci has a younger sister Layla who is waiting in the wings. Layla has a few years yet until she can put on those famous red shoes but from the photographic evidence, it looks like she may well be wearing a red uniform in the future.
To all the mums out there… we hope you have a fantastic Mothers Day. You deserve it.