Look: Airline CEO works as cabin crew on flights to Gulf countries

After feeling the impact of company decisions on board, he says deciding things in office will now be different

Follow us on Google News-khaleejtimes


Trends Desk

Published: Wed 23 Aug 2023, 12:50 PM

Last updated: Wed 23 Aug 2023, 1:06 PM

An out-of-the-box approach is what one needs sometimes to gain new insights and see issues from a different perspective. For the CEO of Lufthansa Airlines, Jens Ritter, it was working as a cabin crew member on a flight.

He flew from Frankfurt, Germany, to Saudi capital Riyadh, and Bahrain as an “additional crew member”, saying he wanted to "gain new insights"

“Sometimes, you need to change perspectives in order to gain new insights. This week, I accompanied our Lufthansa Airlines flight crew heading to Riyadh and Bahrain as “additional crew member”. What a ride!” Ritter wrote in a LinkedIn post.

Here are the photos he shared:

After the humbling experience, the airline chief was amazed to see what all the cabin crew managed on board.

Ritter, who took charge as the CEO of Lufthansa Airlines on April 1, 2022, said he has been working for the Lufthansa Group for many years but “never had the opportunity to work as part of the cabin crew”.

The CEO added that it was “interesting” and “also challenging” to assist the team on a flight. “I was amazed by how much there is to organise, especially if something doesn’t go as planned — for example, the meals offered on the menu cards were not exactly the meals loaded on board,” Ritter said.

He added that it was interesting to attend to the passengers and cater to their needs and “to deal with the different energy everyone has”.

Ritter shared that he used to fly as a pilot and thought that he knew about the “challenges a flight during the night entails”.

“But to be present and attentive and charming – when the biological clock just tells you to sleep – was something entirely different,” he added.

Ritter further appreciated the cabin crew for welcoming him and shared that he helped in the business class while going to Riyadh and “took care of our guests in economy class” on the way back to Frankfurt. “And honestly: I enjoyed every moment,” he stated.

The Lufthansa CEO underlined that he was astonished by the learnings he got in just a few hours of working with the cabin crew and thanked them and the passengers for giving him this experience.

“Deciding things in the office will be different after really feeling the decisions on board. Thank you to the amazing crew, the lovely guests and everyone involved for making this experience possible,” he said.

Talabat chief's experience

Ritter wasn't the only boss who has thought of heading out into the field and working as an employee to know more about the operational challenges on the ground.

Earlier, the CEO of the food delivery company Talabat, Tomaso Rodriguez, decided to experience the work of a rider. Rodriguez received his UAE motorbike licence and got help from fellow riders.

He said it was challenging but satisfying, too. “I can say that it wasn't easy, but it was definitely rewarding to witness what those heroes do to make people's lives easier,” Tomaso Rodriguez said in an interview with Khaleej Times.

“Most importantly it allowed me to better understand the pain points and work with my teams on how to address these and further improve rider experience. Because there are things that you will never learn from numbers, KPIs and dashboards - you need to experience them yourself,” the CEO added.


More news from Business