Interview with Airline Product Manager

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Rosalyn Gough – Product Manager for Thomas Cook Group Airlines

 

Rosalyn Gough

What inspired you to get into product management for an airline?

As a kid I always loved being at the airport and flying away on holiday, being on a plane was half the fun of the holiday. When I got the chance to join the Customer Experience team it was an opportunity to help others create memories like I have.

 

What does your job entail?

I look after the cabin interiors of the aircraft in the group fleet. It covers all areas such as new aircraft joining the fleet, refurbishment of existing aircraft, and thinking about what the future will look like. I work closely with engineering to make sure the cabin is up to our standard and looks great.

 

What are your favourite parts of the job?

Too many to choose from…..the best moment has to be when you are off on holiday and you hear customers around you during the flight talking about the cabin to their families. It gives you a real sense of pride to make that difference to peoples experiences on-board. The other best thing, is making improvements to the cabins, seeing the aircraft come in to maintenance looking one way and then at the end seeing the new finished product is quite exciting.

 

What does the average day look like for you?

I am not sure there is so much of an average day, as it depends on what projects are going on and the time of year. Most of the bigger maintenance checks on the aircraft happen during the winter months, and we use this time to make changes to the cabin where needed.

So in the summer and autumn its busy planning and getting everything ready so that the winter runs smoothly.  Spring tends to be getting geared up ready for summer, making sure all the final touches are place for the summer season which starts 1stMay.  Depending on how long we need to plan changes to the cabins, at some point we also start thinking about what is happening next winter and even the winter after that, so planning for Winter 2020 is already on the cards right now.

What that means day to day, is mainly focusing around project planning and making sure everything falls into place at the right time as well as working with other teams within the business so we are all on the same page. From my side it’s about being the voice of the customer, making sure that the customer is always at the heart of what we do.

What are your biggest challenges?

I think the biggest challenge I have faced was a couple of years ago, when we were refurbishing the toilets on our A330 aircraft. We had 2 aircraft in on maintenance at the same time in Madrid, both undergoing big maintenance checks at the same time, so it was a race against time to get the toilets refurbished before the maintenance was finished.

These aircraft have toilets downstairs, and is something fairly rare, which presented its own challenges in terms of fitting new electrics and fittings. We got there in the end, after many long night shifts by the project team.

Certainly a learning curve for the following aircraft!

 

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