To new horizons
Laura Sceviour is no stranger to pursuing new horizons. She began her aviation career as a Customer Service Agent (CSA), moving on to a Flight Attendant, and is now an Above the Wing (ATW) Shift Lead with Maintair at the Fredericton International Airport (YFC).
“I’ve always been interested in the aviation industry,” says Laura. “I feel so lucky that I was able to have this opportunity. There are some really great people at the airport, who care about you, and provide pillars of support.”
In her current role as a Shift Lead, Laura and her colleagues board passengers, make announcements, and act as the liaison between the flight crew and CSAs. They also check flight load numbers, taking care to notice any reservations that may require extra assistance.
Keeping guests happy and safe
Laura is always focused on customer service and believes that flexibility is an important part of the job.
“You have to set yourself up for success at the start of your day; there will always be things you can’t prepare for but that’s true in any job,” says Laura. By being organized and prepared, Laura and her colleagues work hard to make operations run smoothly.
Laura says it’s essential to understand not all passengers are the same, and their needs may vary.
“Passengers are flying for various reasons, and you need to adapt to their situation,” says Laura. “On the same shift you will have passengers who fly several times a month for work and are seasoned travelers, and—on the flip side—you will have a first-time flyer who requires extra help and support.”
Many people believe flight attendants and CSAs are simply there to provide customer service, but their role is more complex. While customer service is a top priority, Laura says their highest priority is safety. Airline workers ensure the safety of the passengers during travel, assure people are accounted for, and if an emergency were to occur, they confirm the correct measures are in place.
Laura’s responsibilities include helping passengers arrive safely to the airplane during boarding and guiding them to the airport during deplaning. In the winter months, she, alongside the Maintair crew, help make sure the tarmac is clean and clear of snow and ice.
When asked to give a piece of advice for anyone looking to jump into the world of aviation, Laura suggests being open to change.
“The biggest piece of advice I could give is to be flexible,” says Laura. “It’s important to keep an open mind when working in a dynamic industry such as aviation; it’s always evolving! It is a fun field to be involved with and it’s very rewarding,” says Laura.
Situations when a team truly comes together are what brings Laura joy. She recalls a time when multiple 737 planes had to be diverted to Fredericton due to weather and airline staff were called into work on short notice.
“At the time I had only been working for about a year, so it was overwhelming,” says Laura. “My biggest takeaway was how many different agencies worked together: the airline team, the airport authority, CATSA, the Commissionaires, and customs.”
Those seemingly small moments when passengers tell her how much of a difference she’s had on their travel experience make a big impact.
“They [passengers] will remind me about their flight or just simply come and say hi and that they remember me, says Laura. “It’s makes me happy that I had a positive impact on their flights, it feels nice and is very rewarding.”