Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 2

Table of Contents

Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 1 

Page 1 – Retaliation, Making it Personal  
Page 2 – Performance Management System 
Page 2 – My Performance Management Record 
Page 2 – Combining the Rank of Junior and Senior 
Page 2 – Completing Onboard Appraisals 
Page 3 – The Early Days at Virgin Atlantic 
Page 4 – More of the Good Old Days
Page 4 – Cabin Crew Life Downroute
Page 4 – Pre-Flight Safety Briefings
Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 3

Retaliation, Making it Personal

The response to the first chapter of my blog was truly overwhelming. In just a few hours it received a huge number of views and messages of support from friends and colleagues many of whom I’d not seen for years poured in. I was blown away by all the love and kindness.

The managers dealing with the grievance raised against me by ex police officer now cabin crew member Bart showed little interest in establishing whether he was telling the truth. The entire focus of the investigation seemed to revolve around proving my guilt.

From documentation I received following the initial investigation I was able to read all correspondence associated with his complaint. That included minutes of a meeting that took place between him and grievance investigation manager Lana.

At no time was he advised verbally or in writing should it be discovered he has made false or baseless claims he could face disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

That’s surprising considering the Employee Relations Consultant present during the meeting is according to his LinkedIn profile, a qualified solicitor in employment law.

The following screenshot comes from those minutes. The purpose of the Employee Relations Consultant being present is to ensure company procedure is followed and to take minutes.

Regarding Bart not being happy with the way his ‘performance management’ was delivered to his manager, I sent her a copy which is standard practice.

All cabin crew training manuals state an employee’s manager must be copied in on any performance management that’s written. Bear in mind Bart was still in probation having only been flying for eleven months.

copy of written correspondence
from minutes taken during the grievance investigation meeting with Bart

With all allegations being upheld by the manager who carried out the disciplinary, I filed an appeal. It was dealt with by the Head of Cabin Crew.

This was an opportunity for her not only to look again at the evidence, but to also investigate what I had been stating from the start, that Bart and five members of crew one of whom was his fiancee were lying.

copy of an email
Reply to an email from my manager who asked me about the appeal meeting

At the start of the appeal meeting the Head of Cabin Crew said because the case had been going on for so long she would try to deal with it as quickly as possible. I asked whether she had read the appeal or the entire case. It was made up of more than five hundred pages of evidence. She confirmed she had read the entire case.

It took her almost eight weeks to reach an outcome. During that time she didn’t speak to any of the crew involved. The statements written by those who worked alongside Bart and myself in Upper Class told a very different story to those written by those he colluded with.

As part of my evidence I made reference to a WhatsApp conversation I’d had with a friend/colleague following the flight. It had been included as evidence and I’d sent a screenshot to crew manager Hayley via her work WhatsApp account.

After crew manager Lana found there was a case to answer the matter was passed to Hayley. She dealt with the disciplinary.

Hayley did not add a copy of the WhatsApp conversation to the case notes. I’d also sent her a photograph of the hotel corridor. That hadn’t been added to the file either.

Despite making reference multiple times to both pieces of evidence, the Head of Cabin Crew didn’t ask to see them.

The following is a screenshot from an email I sent to her regarding this matter;

copy of written correspondence in an email
Real names have been replaced with pseudonyms

Prior to doing my ‘return to work’ course after being off for almost two years in 2016 I had to be cleared by Occupational Health. As well as wanting to talk about my mental health they also wanted me to have a hearing test. That’s because I now have tinnitus.

Despite having worked for this airline for almost thirty years, when I arrived at the training base for the first day of my course I was terrified. It had been a long time since I’d socialised with anyone and was no longer the bubbly, confident and outgoing person I once was.

I wore a dark suit and whilst waiting for the day to begin sat in the corner watching apprehensively at everything going on around me. I really wasn’t convinced I would get through the course.

Driving out the car park three weeks later was an amazing feeling. I couldn’t wait to get back on an aircraft.

Nine months on to be accused of bullying, harassment, overbearing supervision and inappropriate touching by a bunch of ignorant misfits set me back enormously.

Their poisonous lies took me on a journey so dark I don’t believe I’ll ever fully recover.

Throughout the investigation I struggled to understand why there was such determination for this grievance to be upheld. Proving Bart and his accomplices were lying took over my life and became an obsession.

In the end I was able to prove all twenty complaints against me were lies. I was also able to prove Bart had colluded with other crew members. It made no difference.

Once in uniform no matter what I was dealing with at home or how I felt I was representing Virgin Atlantic. I always tried to do that to the best of my ability.

In my role as an FSM (Flight Service Manager) I was responsible for ensuring safety procedures were followed and to lead, motivate and develop a team of cabin crew. From performance appraisals I received from those working alongside me I clearly did a pretty good job.

I felt personally responsible for ensuring each and every customer had the best experience possible. I loved my job and always gave 100%.

Many people do this job to travel the world and see wonderful places. Whilst I have always loved travelling, I can honestly say I enjoyed being on the aircraft as much as I enjoyed being away.

Male Virgin Atlantic Flight Manager
Taken at some point in 2019 whilst fighting a grievance I never had any chance of winning

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