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Lufthansa Airlines CEO becomes a flight attendant for a day to understand his employees better

Jens Ritter became an 'additional crew member' on a flight to understand his employees better and to also understand the passenger experience.

Lufthansa Airlines CEO becomes a flight attendant for a day to understand his employees better
Cover Image Source: Linkedin | Jens Ritter

What is the best way to be a good employer? Perhaps it is to step into their employees' shoes and understand the challenges they face. One person actually did this and he is the CEO of Lufthansa Airlines. Jens Ritter became an "additional crew member" on a flight to understand his employees better and to also comprehend the passenger experience. Ritter took to LinkedIn to share pictures of his stint and to reflect on the experience.

He was seen serving passengers and spending time with the flight crew on the flight from Frankfurt (Germany) to Riyadh (Saudi Arabia). In his post, Ritter spoke of the importance of gaining new perspectives and insight. "Sometimes, you need to change perspectives in order to gain new insights," he wrote. "This week, I accompanied our Lufthansa Airlines flight crew heading to Riyadh and Bahrain as an 'additional crew member.' What a ride!"

Image Source: LinkedIn/Jens Ritter
Image Source: LinkedIn/Jens Ritter

It was the first time he attempted to be part of the crew. For him, it was interesting as well as challenging. "I have been working for the Lufthansa Group for many years. But I have never had the opportunity to work as part of the cabin crew. And honestly, that was so interesting and also challenging," Ritter admitted. He also shared that he was surprised by the level of organization needed before a flight. Another thing that he noticed was how the food mentioned on the menu and the food actually loaded on the flight were different. He then assured passengers that, "We will have this fixed."



 

He also wrote, "It was so interesting to address the guests' wishes individually, to deal with the different energy everyone has. I used to fly as a pilot and so I thought I 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." The crew was warm and welcoming to him and he wrote, "With their support, I was able to give a hand in business class on the way to Riyadh. Back in Frankfurt, during the night, I took care of our guests in economy class. And honestly, I enjoyed every moment!"



 

He also discussed how this will impact his decisions now, "I was astonished at how much I learned in these few hours. 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!" People in the comments section appreciated his efforts. 

Image Source: LinkedIn/Jens Ritter
Image Source: LinkedIn/Jens Ritter

Angelina M. asked him, "What are the specific actions derived from this event that will be applicable to the company to improve it and in which area? One massive issue plaguing Lufthansa are the delays and unreliability of the flight departure/arrival times, which erode customer trust... and patience." Responding to her comment, he wrote: "Just a small example: I mentioned in my post that the food on the menu cards didn't match the food that was delivered. We will have this fixed. However, I totally agree with you: the aviation industry suffers and as a whole system, we will have to fix that in order to regain the full trust of guests (and crews alike). We are working hard on that!" 

What a great way to learn and understand better!

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