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Virgin Atlantic cabin crew put Rylan through paces at 38,000ft

Virgin Atlantic cabin crew put Rylan through paces at 38,000ft

Rylan Clark soared to new heights this week as he took part in a high-altitude training session to learn how to deliver best in class service as a member of Virgin Atlantic’s cabin crew.

The award-winning television presenter, radio DJ and number one bestselling author’s career plan b was to become cabin crew, so Virgin Atlantic put Rylan’s skills to the test, as he donned the iconic Vivienne Westwood uniform for an in-flight training session at 38,000 feet, joining the team in Economy on a flight from London Heathrow to Miami. Rylan welcomed customers onboard, put his height to good use by helping to stow hand luggage in overhead lockers, added his flair to the safety demonstration, mixed G&Ts from the drinks trolley and handed out refreshing ice lollies mid-flight, as well as kids packs to keep little flyers entertained.

Following a pre-flight briefing, cabin crew members, Ombi Barham, and James Cooper taught Rylan how to deliver the airline’s thoughtful touches and personalised service that make Virgin Atlantic Economy special, whilst testing him to see if he can make the grade. 

All the inflight action was captured in a film released today which sees customers revel in surprise and amusement as Rylan directs them to their seats, has a go at making an announcement over the PA - even adding his signature style to the drinks service and providing some surprises with mid-flight ice lollies.

But like any new starter, there was room for development, with crew catching Rylan taking a sneaky unscheduled snack break to enjoy the Mile High afternoon tea, which is complimentary for all Economy passengers – and getting caught up with families enjoying the Virgin Atlantic kids’ packs.


And it seems Rylan might have some more work to do to cut it as Virgin Atlantic crew, as while he scored top marks on enthusiasm and delivery, he couldn’t quite match the unique ‘red spirit’, passion and dedication of Virgin Atlantic’s people.

Rylan commented, “I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of being cabin crew, so to have the opportunity to try and get my wings with Virgin Atlantic, and be taught by the best in the business, was literally a dream come true.

“If you’ve flown Virgin Atlantic before, you’ll know how amazing the crew are and how hard they work to make everyone feel special. Now I know how to serve a signature Mile High Tea, I know who’ll be getting a copy of my CV if the TV career doesn’t work out!”

Ombi Barham, Flight Service Manager at Virgin Atlantic comments, “It was a pleasure having Rylan onboard to test out his service skills and see if he can embody our unique red spirit. We want all of our customers to feel special when they fly Virgin Atlantic - no matter which cabin they’re in - and Rylan really did go the extra mile to do that. He brought the energy, warmth and fun that our customers know and love.” 

The film comes as new research finds 66% of travellers say the onboard experience can make or break a trip, with a positive in-flight experience driven most often by warm and welcoming cabin crew (75%), good food and drink (61%), and small, personal touches that make people feel special (41%).

A further 49% believe their holiday starts the moment they arrive at the airport, with 80% saying a great flight means they enjoy their holiday more and 90% saying a great flight makes them feel more relaxed.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer, Virgin Atlantic commented, “A journey truly comes to life the moment our customers step on to the plane, and we want to make sure that everyone enjoys a special experience, no matter what cabin they’re travelling in. Our customers tell us the thing that sets Virgin Atlantic apart is our people and our cabin crew are experts at making all on board feel special. Rylan has that natural warmth and amazing personality that our crew are famous for, and with a little more training I’m confident he’ll earn his Virgin Atlantic wings.”

Virgin Atlantic Economy offers three ways to fly - Economy Light, Classic and Delight. Economy Light offers hand luggage only, Economy Classic includes 23kg baggage allowance, plus hand luggage, while Economy Delight offers Premium check in desks and priority boarding, plus extra legroom on board. All Economy services include not only delicious food and drink but also little touches such as afternoon tea, organic ice lollies, kids packs as well as entertainment and irresistible personal service.