During the lockdown, Chris Clements, 26, was shocked to be facing redundancy after 7 years as a member of cabin crew for low-cost airline EasyJet.
EasyJet, like many other companies, faced financial difficulties due to the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lockdown, quarantine and travel restrictions pushed the entire travel industry into crisis.
During the first lockdown, EasyJet made the difficult decision to close its bases at Newcastle, Stansted and Southend due to low levels of air travel demand, cutting 30% of its workforce to cut its costs.
Chris was one of the 1,900 UK-based employees that faced losing their position with EasyJet. Being cabin crew had been Chris’s dream job and he joined EasyJet at just 18 years old to pursue this.
Losing his dream career must have been heartbreaking for Chris, but a job opportunity came along with Tyne and Wear Metro which meant he could relaunch his career as a Metro Customer Services Manager.
Joining Metro’s frontline customer service team was just the ticket for Chris and a chance for a brand new start in a new customer-based industry. Since joining Nexus, which owns and operates the Tyne & Wear Metro, Chris has taken on a huge team of 110 customer service staff. He was thrown straight in at the deep end becoming one of the faces for a new marketing campaign to welcome customers back to Metro as life gets back to normal and lockdown begins to ease.
He said: “The job at Metro is a fresh start for me and I’m loving every minute of it. I started in EasyJet cabin crew when I was only 18 years old, it was my dream job, but that was all wrenched away by the pandemic.
“We were furloughed at first and then the company said they were starting a big consultation on job losses. I’d never experienced anything like that before. It came as a massive shock to be made redundant. When something is taken away from you and you can’t control then it is quite tough.
“I had seen there was a customer facing role at the Tyne and Wear Metro and I decided to apply. EasyJet had offered us the chance to carry on flying out of Edinburgh instead of Newcastle but that wouldn’t have worked for me.
“It was great just moving from planes to trains, and having used the Metro all my life, I jumped at the chance to work for such an iconic and fantastic local brand.”
“I’m really passionate about doing well in this role. It is an exciting time to join the Metro, what with the new train fleet on the way and more customers starting to return. There are more people travelling now that lockdown has eased and thing are looking a lot better than they were.
“I can’t wait to get the chance to get involved in delivering Metro services for major events like stadium concerts and the Great North Run.”
Lynne Dickinson, Head of Station Delivery at Nexus, said. “As soon as I met Chris I knew his bubbly personality would be a great addition to the Metro customer services team. His enthusiasm and commitment to providing great customer service was just the ticket for us.”
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