London - She has been accustomed to going up and down the aisles handing hot meals and drinks to long-haul air passengers. Now Sara Haider is negotiating very different aisles – as she stacks chilled food on supermarket shelves.
The 36-year-old Virgin Atlantic stewardess, who also works as a personal trainer, has been furloughed as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
So instead of flying all over the world, she is working at a branch of Asda. She has swapped her smart red Virgin uniform for a green Asda fleece.
But, instead of having travel FOMO, she said she is having a "blast" in her new role.
Haider, of Portslade, East Sussex, said: “As soon as I found out I’d been furloughed I didn’t want to sit around and do nothing. I applied to join the team at Asda so I could make a difference in the community.
“Whether flying to the US, Caribbean, Far East or South Africa, I’ve always loved working with people and keeping active. So this role is perfect for me while we wait for life to return to normal. I’m very grateful to have landed a new job, and I’m delighted to be playing my part in feeding the nation.”
Steve Cracknell, general manager at the store in Lancing, West Sussex, said: “She has been doing a first-class job and has made a quick transition from airline trolleys to Asda trolleys.”
Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson has faced heavy criticism for saying he needs a £500-million government bailout to help the airline survive.