The last days before the big holidays are numbered, some families are already sitting on packed holiday suitcases ready to go: This Friday, 13th of July, the time has finally come for students in NRW and it’s finally: "School's out!” With the beginning of the summer holidays in Germany's largest state, our flight crews are also preparing for the turbulent holiday season and the increased air traffic. Christina Kuboth, flight attendant at Eurowings, and Stefan Pützstück, A320 captain at Germanwings, told us last Friday how they personally experience the holiday hustle in their professional life. They also shared exciting details from their flying career with us.
Stefan, why did you become a pilot? How long have you been flying and what is it that appeals to you most about your career in the cockpit?
I have been a pilot in the Lufthansa Group for around 13 years and have been working in the flight deck with great passion right from the start. I started my aviation career at the age of 14 in a glider club and since then I have been fascinated by flying - both privately and professionally. I started as a young First Officer at Lufthansa in Frankfurt and have now been working for four and a half years as a captain at Germanwings in Cologne, very close to where I was born. One of my highlights, which I was able to experience again just the day before yesterday: the approach to the Greek islands - the incredibly beautiful view of Corfu. Just recently I also spent my private vacation there and can therefore understand the currently very well booked flights in this beautiful holiday region ;-)
Christina, what prompted you to become a flight attendant? How long have you already been working for Eurowings and what do you especially love about your job?
It's crazy how time flies! I will soon be celebrating my tenth anniversary as a flight attendant. So I am almost quite an old hand among our very young crews at Eurowings. After completing my training as a travel agent, I deliberately decided to send guests on holidays not always passively through the travel agency. The desire has matured in me to actively accompany them on the plane on their way on holiday or somewhere else and that's why I applied as a flight attendant - and I never regretted it. What still fascinates me most about flying in the cabin is the direct contact to our guests. Especially when we take our passengers to popular holiday spots such as Mallorca, Sardinia or Lisbon, as we do during the summer holidays, I enjoy exchanging with them on board and giving them more information about their destination, for example - they are always happy and that is a wonderful experience.
This week Friday the summer holidays start in NRW - all people want to fly to sunny destinations now. How do you experience the hustle as a captain, Stefan?
How do you experience that in the cabin, Christina? With regard to the current delays: What do you personally notice from the stress of the passengers and how do you react to it?
Of course, the holiday start automatically means long queues at our check-in counters, our planes are often completely booked out. Last but not least, passengers are naturally very much looking forward to their much longed-for holiday on Mallorca etc. - of course we as crews on board will also notice this. Being able to fly people to their desired destination - especially during the summer months in the direction of holidays - is a very emotional service and that's what I enjoy about my job. Personally, I can understand very well when our guests sometimes react angrily in the event of delays. It's only human, every minute of your holiday is sacred, I feel it the same way. From time to time we experience that our guests are informed at the gate relatively late about the changed departure time and therefore sometimes come on board in a rather bad mood. I try to cheer our guests up by transparent communication, e.g. detailed and appealing announcements on board during the cruise flight. Together with our charming cabin crews this usually works out quite well.
Absolutely, you're right, Stefan. Especially as a flight attendant, I often hear passengers' annoyance more or less unfiltered should one of our aircraft be delayed. Especially during the summer holidays this is annoying in individual cases, everybody wants to arrive as punctually as possible at the destination of travel. However, in the course of my ten years of work as a flight attendant, I have repeatedly experienced that the mood of our guests quickly recovers – so I think we can get started on the summer holidays!