Dani Flowers , Cabin Crew
Tell us about your 'department': What does it do/Why work in this area?
I work for Mt Cook as cabin crew. We fly regionally from Auckland to Invercargill with a base of about 200, a lovely family atmosphere. As cabin crew my role is safety, security, and customer service. When I was thinking of moving to New Zealand I wanted to carry on flying and Mount Cook was a great opportunity to do that.
Where did your journey start?
I worked in retail for many years, and after achieving a management role, I was at a crossroads of what to do. My cousin worked as cabin crew for Brittannia. She would always tell me so many amazing stories and of places she'd been, she recommended I apply. I was so lucky that the 3 airlines I applied for offered me a position. I chose British Midland and started in May of the year 2000. Everyone told me I would either do 6 months or stay for years and 12 years down the line I'm still flying and loving every minute. I have been bitten by the bug well and truly.
Where's your journey taken you so far with Air New Zealand?
I started working for Air New Zealand in London in January 2004. Friends I'd made at British Midland had already made the move and said what a fantastic opportunity it was and I must apply. I was so happy to get in and the long haul experience started. LA was the only route to start with but a few years later flights to Hong Kong were introduced. I progressed from working in economy to business after 3 years. This was a great chance to serve some of the best new Zealand fare. Lovely wines, cheeses, and other delights. Great menu.
I enjoy talking to passengers, hearing where they're going, where they've been and what they've done. I like making people feel comfortable and welcome. It's a foreign experience to some and if I've made just a little difference in their trip I feel happy. It's such a clichÃ© I know but I met my other half on a duty to LA. He was a 747 second officer and after 5 years of our long distance relationship a move was on the cards. He lives in Christchurch and after talking to a few of his friends already with Mount Cook, I applied. The prospect of living in New Zealand too was exciting, although difficult leaving family behind. I am grateful for the opportunity to work for Mount Cook.
Where do you hope your journey will take you?
You never know what's round the corner but I am happy in my role now. I come into work with the prospect of working with, not only a colleague, but a friend. And making passengers journey's a pleasant one. It's a great responsibility with just having two crew on the aircraft so it's up to you to problem solve and think on your feet. Every day is different with new challenges.
What Air NZ value do you feel you best represent and why?
I am myself with people and I always 'welcome as a friend'. As time goes on I think I can 'share my New Zealand' a lot more too. I would probably say more that I am myself. I have a friendly personality and I enjoy being at work. I am relaxed and have a good sense of humour and I think this reflects on the passengers.
What's the best story you've been able to tell after a day at work?
There have been so many stories to tell. People I've met (crew and passengers) their journeys through life and paths they've taken. Truly amazing people. From talking to relatives of those lost in the Christchurch earthquake to medical emergencies, to lending someone cotton to sew on a button. There are great days and bad days. I met a lady last year who was terrified of flying, absolutely beside herself. I sat with her and comforted her through the flight, answering her questions. She was so grateful she wrote a letter to Mount Cook. To make her feel a bit more at ease and help her through such a difficult time was very gratifying.