Ahead of Mother’s Day (31 March), British Airways brought together a special flight that was crewed entirely by mothers and their children. Although they all work for the airline, the group of cabin crew are more familiar with passing their mums somewhere in the skies rather than working alongside them.
The 10 crew members operated from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi, bringing five families from across the country together. Once the hard work onboard was over, they celebrated Mother’s Day when they landed – as many will be apart on Mother’s Day this weekend. Between them they have 47 years’ experience at British Airways and in some cases it was the second generation that encouraged their mother to apply for a role.
Angela Williams, British Airways’ Director of People, said: “We have so many amazing people that work at British Airways including mothers and their sons and daughters. As we mark Mother’s Day, it has been great to hear what inspired them to join our business – regardless of their age.”
The team onboard the flight have shared their experience of working together and what it meant to be part of this unique journey:
Christina Shepherd joined in 2013, following her daughter Trinette who started in 2008: “It was wonderful to work with my daughter. It was a really special trip. Trinette is more experienced than me but she didn’t boss me around. When I was on my break she insisted I put my feet up and she made me a cup of coffee in a special mug with ‘mum’ on it.”
Trinette said: “I am inspired by my mum’s confidence and bravery to apply to become cabin crew at her age. She’s embraced the role and lifestyle, she now inspires other crew –all at the ripe young age of 62. She’s the first person I call when I need advice. I could not be prouder to call her my mother.”
Mark Eastaugh joined in 2013 ahead of his mum, Margaret, joining last year: “Before mum joined, she was talking to some mature crew who encouraged her to apply. After a 30-year career in civil service, I was really proud she got the job.”
Margaret added: “It was the proudest moment of my life when Mark got this job. Then I got a job at British Airways too! We get on so well, so I’ve always wanted to fly together. It was a surprise until our rosters came through – as Mother’s Day treats go, this will take a lot of beating.”
Alison Hannah joined last year, getting her wings on her 64th birthday. Her daughter, Camilla Hannah, has been at British Airways since 2016. Camilla said: “I encouraged my mum to join British Airways as she was looking for a new direction. She assumed she would be too old but she gave it a good shot and was hugely successful.”
Alison added: “It was lovely flying with Camilla. She’s been doing it longer than me so it’s good to learn from her experience – even though she did boss me about.”
Maria and Leah Bygrave from Luton joined in 2015 and 2018 respectively. Leah was inspired after her mum took her away on a few trips with her and talked about being cabin crew. She said: “My mum treats all her customers like family, so it felt like a family business from the start. Now we get to travel the world together and share memories with each other that we can look back on in years to come.”
Maria added: “It was lovely to work together, once the customers realised we were mum and daughter they thought it was amazing. The whole flight was like one big happy family.”
Allison Priechenfried joined in 2011 and daughter, Sasha, followed her in 2016. Sasha said: “I was so proud of my mum when she started working for British Airways, the pride she had in herself was inspiring. She was enjoying herself so much and was incredibly motivated, which led me to want to follow in her footsteps.”
British Airways Operates Unique Flight for Mothers Day