Carolyn Paris

Customer Advocate

I work in Paxcare and my title is Customer Advocate – Special Handling. Our main job is the processing of medical approvals and looking after the special handling needs of our customers.

I work here because I feel it is an area where I can make a positive difference to a customer’s journey.

We have a lot of personal contact with passengers and can ensure their special requirements are met.

We also get involved with transporting some very sick people who are either repatriating home or travelling for treatment.

This can be very satisfying knowing that you have made a difference to their lives.

Where did your journey start?
My journey started as a Commercial Trainee straight from school. There was a small group of us and we spent three years moving around and working in all the different areas within Air New Zealand including the Mailroom, Reservations, Travel Centre, Finance, Marketing, Human Resources, Cargo and Airports.

It gave us a great overview and an idea of where we would like to work.

Where’s your journey taken you so far within Air New Zealand?
After completing the Trainee Scheme I worked as a Travel Centre Consultant. Then I transferred to the International Airport working in all areas there including Service Desk, Check In and Baggage Tracking.

From there I went back into the city and worked in Inbound Market Development, then moved to work in the Pacific Islands Region Sales and Marketing area.

Then I came back out to the Airport where I was a Shift Administrator looking after Time and Attendance. Next I went to the Auckland International Station Control Centre as a Turn Co-ordinator and AOC Controller. From there I moved to my present role.

Where do you hope your journey will take you?

Now that I am working in the Operations Centre, I would quite like to eventually try working in some of the other departments here.

I can see myself staying at Air New Zealand until retirement as the Airline Industry gets into your blood and there are plenty of opportunities for job variations.

What Air New Zealand value do you feel you best represent and why?

The value I think best represents me is “Can Do”.

I don’t really believe in the word “can’t” so will try my best to achieve what is requested of me.

Sometimes there are boundaries that we can’t cross due to Safety or Operational reasons but other than that, I will try and make it happen.

What’s the best story you’ve been able to tell after a day at work?

The most recent one would be the facilitating, at short notice, the medical approval for a very sick three year old boy to travel to London to take part in a new drug trial. This trial was his only chance to live as he had not responded to treatment in New Zealand. It was hoped that the drug trial would keep him alive long enough to be able to have another bone marrow transplant.

A short time later I was involved again with trying to get him back to New Zealand - once again at very short notice, when he didn’t respond to the new drug trial. He was in great pain and was possibly going to need oxygen for the flight home. As he was so young this was not easy to organise. It took all day working with Engineering and the Medical Unit to work out how we would facilitate this if required. The time difference between us and London also posed problems with trying to liaise with his Doctors there. After difficult and speedy organisation, we ensured that he travelled back to New Zealand safely with his family.

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