Former Salon Owner Finds Wings as British Airways Inflight Manager Inspired by Daughter’s Cabin-Crew Career

Christine Barnes, a 66-year-old former salon owner and hairdresser, shares her remarkable journey from running a salon to managing an inflight team on the Airbus A380 for British Airways, inspired by her daughter’s thriving career as a cabin crew member.

Transformation at 55: From Salon Owner to Inflight Manager

Christine experienced a transformative career change at the age of 55 after accompanying her daughter, Sophie, on a work trip.

Witnessing the professionalism and camaraderie of the cabin crew, she felt compelled to embrace a new challenge and eventually joined British Airways in 2011. Her journey has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Leading a Global Crew: Christine Heads a Team of 22 on Airbus A380

From stepping into the role of a cabin crew member to now heading a team of 22 crew members as an inflight manager, Christine’s career trajectory exemplifies the limitless opportunities that opened up for her.

Her role on the Airbus A380 has taken her to numerous countries, with Saudi Arabia next on her travel agenda.

Daughter’s Influence: Sophie, 36, Guides Christine Through Career Transition

Sophie, now a BA customer service trainer and occasional inflight manager, played a pivotal role in encouraging her mother to pursue a career change.

Drawing on Christine’s skills from the salon industry, Sophie believed her mother could contribute significantly to the world of aviation.

Family Dynamic in the Skies: Christine and Sophie’s Unique Inflight Experience

Christine and Sophie’s unique family dynamic reached a high point when they worked together on a flight to Philadelphia.

Keeping their relationship a secret until the U.S. landing, they navigated the experience in a manner reminiscent of the BBC show ‘The Traitors.’

The duo is now affectionately known by the crew as ‘Sophie’s Mum’ and ‘Christine’s Daughter.’

Challenges and Triumphs: Christine’s Reflections on a Rewarding Career

While the career shift at an age when many contemplate retirement surprised some, Christine expresses gratitude for the amazing experiences she’s encountered. Seven years into her role,

she reflects on the challenges and triumphs, emphasizing the importance of resilience and adaptability in the aviation industry.

Sky’s the Limit: Sophie and Christine’s Shared Vision for an ‘Amazing Lifestyle’

Both Sophie and Christine advocate for embracing new opportunities and pursuing dreams, regardless of age.

They envision their family sharing in the “amazing lifestyle” of aviation and continue to inspire others to consider unconventional career paths.

Inflight Anecdotes: From Surprise Visits to Crew Nicknames

The mother-daughter duo shares lighthearted moments, including Sophie surprising her mother on a flight to Vienna and the amusing nicknames they’ve acquired among the crew.

Despite occasional challenges, Christine’s later entry into the aviation industry has proven advantageous in her managerial role.

Managerial Wisdom: Drawing on Life Experience to Lead the Crew

Christine finds parallels between her role as a mother and her position as a manager, emphasizing the importance of listening and caring for her team.

Her later entry into the aviation world has contributed to her adaptability and effectiveness as a leader.

A Testament to Change: Sophie Encourages Others to Pursue New Paths

Sophie echoes her mother’s sentiments, encouraging others to embrace change and pursue new careers, emphasizing that “it’s never too late.”

Both mother and daughter see the sky as the limit, inspiring others to consider unconventional paths and discover new horizons.

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