Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 3

Table of Contents

Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 2

Page 1 – When Cabin Crew Tell Lies
Page 2 – Hideous Bunch of Misfits 
Page 3 – Writing Performance Appraisals 
Page 4 – Incompetent Middle Management

Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 4

Incompetent Middle Management

Having sent Bart’s performance review to his manager on 28th December I expected to hear from her fairly quickly. Not having heard anything after a few days I sent a second email but still heard nothing.

Some days later I spoke with my own manager and said I was concerned at not having heard from her. (this was my original manager).

He advised me to send an email to her manager which I did.

The following comes from evidence submitted as part of my appeal;

copy of written correspondence
From evidence I submitted as part of my appeal

Included in documentation received from cabin crew manager Lana who conducted the first investigation, I received the following email. It was from Bart’s manager to her manager;

copy of an email
MPD = Manager Performance and Development or in other words a cabin crew line manager

A couple of weeks after flying with Bart I sent this same manager another email. It followed a flight I did with a different crew member in her team. Not having received a reply yet again, I sent a second email which can be seen below. I never heard back from her in response to either email.

Having spoken in depth to this crew member about her lack of experience of working in Upper Class, I was following the matter up with her manager.

I told the crew member I was going to ask her manager to try and arrange for her to work in Upper Class on her next three flights. I did that in my first email.

I’ve re typed the email because in its original format it was too large to upload;

Hi Crew Manager,

I emailed you the other day regarding zz to ask if it would be possible for her to work her next three flights in Upper Class to gain experience. 

I haven’t heard back from you so wanted to check you received my email?

Zz had no idea how to deliver the Upper Class service.  As upward feedback written on me from another crew member confirms, I spent a considerable amount of time with her explaining every step of what to do when working in the cabin.

She gave it her best shot and tried very hard but her inexperience could not be disguised. She needed continuous coaching throughout both sectors and we spoke at length about the importance of working in Upper more often.

Despite assuring me she would, I know how difficult it can be to secure a position in that cabin so am hoping you can help out?

Zz is very senior so there’s going to be a time where she finds herself in the galley. Should she find herself in that position she’ll be in real trouble.

Zz is a lovely person to work alongside and she’s great with customers. Despite that she lacks the confidence and ability at this time to offer the standard of service that’s expected in Upper Class.

She told me she knows the Economy service inside out and back to front because she always works there.

With kind regards,


Having looked at the Voice of Customer questionnaires for this flight we received a “good” and a “poor” from customers in Upper Class. There was also a comment regarding an inexperienced crew member.

Having made a negative comment on the discussion forum about the Voice of Customer programme and the fact it was being used to assess the performance of Flight Managers, I received an email from the manager responsible for setting up the programme. He invited me to meet with him to discuss the matter further.

The following screenshot is my reply;

copy of an email
copy of an email
J and W refer to the Upper Class and Premium cabin

As you can see from this correspondence, I always allocated one inexperienced crew member a working position in Upper Class. The other three positions where possible would be given to more experienced crew. I felt this would give junior crew members who didn’t get to work in the cabin that often an opportunity to learn. That’s the very reason why Bart was placed in Upper Class on our flight to Atlanta.

Lana is the crew manager who conducted the initial investigation into Bart’s complaint. Even though some complaints were dismissed she concluded there was a case to answer. It was then passed to cabin crew manager Hayley to deal with the disciplinary investigation.

The following screenshot comes from documentation I sent to her as part of my defence;

copy of written correspondence
PM is Performance Monitoring. FSM Flight Service Manager.

Just before I close this chapter I want to share this screenshot with you from Bart’s complaint;

copy of written correspondence
From Bart’s complaint

Considering the apparent length of my opening announcement, T who was working as Economy Cabin Supervisor plus many other crew had no recollection of it.

Knowing I was dealing with a prolific liar I contacted Customer Relations. I asked them to look at the passenger manifest from our flight.

Having confirmed my identity with my manager they told me there was nobody with those names sitting anywhere in the Upper Class cabin.

This also comes from Bart’s complaint. As you’ll see he’s an amazing crew member. Instead of carrying one torch with spare batteries as was required, he carries three torches.

copy of written correspondence

He claims both encounters were witnessed by Upper Class Cabin Supervisor Katrina but she never mentioned it in her witness statement. The answers she gave were brief and to the point but she closed with this statement;

copy of written correspondence

Considering I had continuously accused Bart of lying, crew manager Lana who compiled the questions for the witness statement could have spoken to Katrina and other members of the crew after receiving their statements.

It took her two months and ten days to complete her investigation. During that time she didn’t speak with any of them.

Crew manager Hayley took six weeks to investigate the matter but also didn’t speak to anyone.

The Head of Cabin Crew could also have questioned Bart and other members of the crew. During the period of almost eight weeks that it took her to complete her investigation spoke to nobody.

It was my intention in chapter 4 of my blog to publish the performance review in full that I wrote on Bart along with his response. I’m now going to do that in chapter 5.

In chapter 4 I want to cover the incident that took place between myself and the CEO.

I want to do this to show how minor the incident was yet the Head of Cabin Crew used the opportunity to raise a second grievance against me.

The entire matter will be covered in one chapter. I can then return to the grievance raised against me by Bart.

10 thoughts on “Being Cabin Crew | The Ugly Truth Part 3

  1. Thank you Julie. I loved my job and felt privileged to be working for the airline. I always did my best and couldn’t do more than that. Sadly what happened to me has happened to many others. I’m just the first to document my experience. Bullying damages lives. It certainly damaged mine. The whole situation is a disgrace.

    Things are slowly getting better but it’s a long road to full recovery. It’s taken almost three years for me to get to where I am today. x


  2. So sad and unnecessary. I’m sorry and saddened that you had to go through this. You always showed so much integrity, loyalty and was so much fun to fly with. Always professional … always smiling.

    Wishing you a brighter, fairer and happier future x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhh thank you Justine. We flew together many times and I always remember your smile. I met so many amazing people during my time with Virgin Atlantic and you were definitely one of them. It really was the best job in the world.

    The company has certainly changed but so has the world we live in.

    Thank you for your lovely words, they mean a great deal to me.



  4. I always loved flying with you Laurence , im sorry you have gone through this after so many years working for VA with an unblemished working record .. you were always the name on the check in sheet to bring a smile to the crew that it was going to be a fun flight ! Big hugs J xx


  5. Thank you Donna for your kind words. It’s been a tough couple of years and what I had to deal with has certainly taken its toll. Life goes on and I am trying hard to get back on track. Sadly it doesn’t leave me with very good memories of my time at Virgin Atlantic.

    I had twenty eight amazing years and two terrible ones. In time I’ll hopefully forget about the last two and remember the previous twenty eight.

    I hope life is treating you well.


  6. Hi Lawrence, I have just managed to read all you have written and I feel sad to hear what a horrible time you had, I worked with you on numerous flights, I was crew from 1996 to 2010 , I was always happy to see your name on the list and always remember you to be fun, approachable and professional, I was actually shocked to read this and the terrible things said about you, I wish all the best for the future and hope you can find some peace after all this

    Liked by 1 person

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