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Moving up with two feet on the ground

After five years of flying around the world for an international airline, Inflight Supervisor Elena Savu decided to pursue an aviation career on the ground. She moved to the United States to pursue an airline career at the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) where she worked her way up from being a customer service agent to management. The knowledge and skills she gained from working the gates and as a flight attendant have helped her excel in her role as Inflight Supervisor.

“As a gate agent, I frequently interacted with flight attendants and understand the job duties and interactions from the perspective of an agent. Now that I work in Inflight, I can share the job duties of the gate agent with flight attendants if there is a question or issue. We don’t always understand the job duties of other positions if we haven’t worked those jobs. I encourage both work groups to work together because we have to work as a team to ensure a successful flight.”

Originally from Romania, Elena earned her bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Foreign Languages from Transylvania University. As a young girl, she wanted to travel the world after seeing her father travel abroad on an airplane for work. She moved to Qatar where she worked as a luxury brand fashion consultant. After three years, she saw an advertisement that an international Arabic airline was hiring flight attendants. “Living in Qatar, I had become comfortable with Arabic culture and decided that if I wanted to see the world, I might as well get paid doing it and work as a flight attendant,” says Elena.

After her interview, Elena was offered the job and began working as a flight attendant in October 2014. She worked with 16 other crew members aboard an Airbus 380 where she started in economy and worked her way up to Business and First Class. The flights were long haul and although she loved her job, she was jet lagged on her days off and considered a career change for a healthier lifestyle. She left her job and moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she worked as a part-time gate agent for Frontier Airlines and Qatar Airways. Seeking full-time employment, Elena saw an advertisement that Piedmont was hiring full-time gate agents and decided to apply.

Elena joined Piedmont as a gate agent in September 2021 and was promoted to gate manager three months later. When the Inflight Supervisor position became open, Elena jumped at the chance to use her past experience to support our team members in a different capacity. “As a previous flight attendant, I wanted to share my knowledge and experience with Piedmont’s flight attendants,” shares Elena. She joined Piedmont’s Inflight department in March 2022.

“I feel that this job fits me perfectly,” Elena says with a smile. “I loved my job as a flight attendant and now I can support and interact with flight attendants on the ground. I understand when they come to me with an issue or concern because I have been there.”

Elena’s advice to a team member who wants to progress in their career is to consider a position as a flight attendant. “When I worked at the gates, I used to hear stories that full-time agents and managers didn’t have time to travel. As a flight attendant, you have a chance to travel and get paid for it. Piedmont offers so many opportunities to advance. Plus, our aircraft are small, and it is your stage to shine!”

If you’ve thought about becoming a flight attendant, click here to learn more about the position. Interested in working for a company who encourages you to learn and grow professionally? Learn more by clicking here.