Rylan Clark fulfils childhood dream of working as cabin crew on Virgin Atlantic flight

Rylan Clark holding an in-flight phone while working as Virgin Atlantic cabin crew

Icon Rylan Clark soared to new heights this week as he took part in a high-altitude training session as a member of Virgin Atlantic’s cabin crew, fulfilling a childhood dream.

The award-winning television presenter and last year’s PinkNews Awards host claims his career “plan b” was to become cabin crew, so Virgin Atlantic put Rylan’s skills to the test, as he donned the iconic Vivienne Westwood uniform for an in-flight training session at 38,000 feet, joining the team in Economy on a flight from London Heathrow to Miami.

Rylan welcomed customers onboard, put his height to good use by helping to stow hand luggage in overhead lockers, added his flair to the safety demonstration, mixed G&Ts from the drinks trolley and handed out ice lollies mid-flight, as well as kids packs to keep little flyers entertained.

Following a pre-flight briefing, cabin crew members Ombi Barham and James Cooper taught Rylan how to deliver the airline’s personalised service whilst testing him to see if he can make the grade.

All the in-flight action was captured in a film which sees customers revel in surprise and amusement as Rylan directs them to their seats, has a go at announcing over the PA, even adding his signature style to the drinks service and providing some surprises with mid-flight ice lollies.

“I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of being cabin crew, so to have the opportunity to try and get my wings with Virgin Atlantic, and be taught by the best in the business, was literally a dream come true,” Rylan says.

This is an image of Rylan Clark handing out drink on a Virgin Atlantic flight.
Rylan Clark handing out drinks as part of Virgin Atlantic’s cabin crew. (Virgin Atlantic)

“If you’ve flown Virgin Atlantic before, you’ll know how amazing the crew are and how hard they work to make everyone feel special. Now I know how to serve a signature Mile High Tea, I know who’ll be getting a copy of my CV if the TV career doesn’t work out!”

“It was a pleasure having Rylan onboard to test out his service skills and see if he can embody our unique red spirit,” says Ombi Barham, Flight Service Manager at Virgin.

“We want all of our customers to feel special when they fly Virgin Atlantic – no matter which cabin they’re in – and Rylan really did go the extra mile to do that. He brought the energy, warmth and fun that our customers know and love.”

The majority of travellers think in-flight experiences can make or break a trip

The film comes as new research finds 66 per cent of travellers say the onboard experience can make or break a trip, with a positive in-flight experience driven most often by warm and welcoming cabin crew, good food and drink, and the small personal touches that make people feel special).

This is an image of celebrity Rylan Clark standing next to a woman in the galley of an airplane. They are wearing Virgin Atlantic's cabin crew uniform and have trays of snacks.
LGBTQ icon Rylan Clark fulfilled his career “plan b” by joining Virgin Atlantic’s cabin crew on a flight from London to Miami. (Virgin Atlantic)

A further 49 per cent believe their holiday starts the moment they arrive at the airport, with 80 per cent saying a great flight means they enjoy their holiday more and 90 per cent saying a great flight makes them feel more relaxed.

“A journey truly comes to life the moment our customers step onto the plane, and we want to make sure that everyone enjoys a special experience, no matter what cabin they’re travelling in,” says Corneel Koster, chief customer and operating officer at Virgin Atlantic commented.

“Our customers tell us the thing that sets Virgin Atlantic apart is our people and our cabin crew are experts at making all on board feel special. Rylan has that natural warmth and amazing personality that our crew are famous for, and with a little more training I’m confident he’ll earn his Virgin Atlantic wings.”

Please login or register to comment on this story.