A couple of days a go i was lucky enough to go to the Virgin Atlantic Base in Crawley. This is where Virgin Atlantic trains new their cabin crew members. As I'm currently studying travel and tourism at college this was a good opportunity that college offered to my class.
During my day there we did a little bit of theory and then mainly took part in practical activities. These practical activities were part of cabin crew training and we got to experience what they were like. This was such a rare experience as not many people are lucky enough to go to the Virgin Atlantic Base.
We first met our trainers for the day which were Louise and Pippa, we did a bit of theory and then moved on to the training activities.
The first activity we did was fire fighting. We had to walk through a smoke filled room with all the correct equipment on, we then put out a controlled fire with fire extinguishers that were filled with water just for the training exercise.
A while later we then got the chance to go down the emergency slide that would be used if the passengers needed to evacuate the plane. This slide was just inflated and on a frame for the purpose of training, but it was set at the height of a real 787 dream liner aircraft so that the cabin crew training would know what to expect if they ever had to use the emergency plane whilst on a flight in the future.
After that we went on the same inflated slide that was on its side and being used as a raft. The raft and slide double up to have two uses so can be used on a land or water emergency landing. Whilst on the raft we experienced how hard it was to fit all 23 of us on, then we found out that it actually held up to 75 people! We placed the cover over the top of the raft and managed to do it in 1 minute and 14 seconds which was fairly quick.
We then got to act out some of the things cabin crew did in emergencies on the make shift plane that was made to be just like the inside of a Virgin Atlantic plane. We were shouting comments at our classmates such as;
"heads down, feet back"
"undo your seatbelt, get out, leave everything behind" etc.
This was fairly realistic and seemed quite scary for the classmates acting as passengers, but it meant that we listened to the commands that the cabin crew were shouting and in a real lift emergency situation all the passengers would need to do exactly what the cabin crew were shouting.
Finally to end our day we got the chance to look around the different interior areas of the Virgin Atlantic planes including; economy, premium and first class.
It was a really good experience and opened my eyes so much more to the roles cabin crew have to undertake as many people underestimate this.