• Rylan Clark surprised Economy customers onboard a Virgin Atlantic flight from London to Miami as he took part in cabin crew training at 38,000 feet 
  • Coached by award-winning Virgin Atlantic cabin crew, Rylan learned how to deliver best in class service, mastering a warm welcome, serving the signature Mile High Tea and mixing the perfect gin and tonic in the air 
  • In a film released today by Virgin Atlantic, Rylan finds out if he has what it takes to deliver the unique and personal touches that Virgin Atlantic offers across the customer journey
  • It comes as two thirds (66)% of travellers say the onboard experience can make or break a holiday, with a positive in-flight experience driven by warm and welcoming crew (75%), delicious food and drink (61%) and personalised services that make customers feel special (41%) 

Rylan Clark soared to new heights this week as he took part in a high-altitude training session to learn how to deliver best in class service as a member of Virgin Atlantic’s cabin crew. 

The award-winning television presenter, radio DJ and number one bestselling author’s career plan b was to become cabin crew, so Virgin Atlantic put Rylan’s skills to the test, as he donned the iconic Vivienne Westwood uniform for an in-flight training session at 38,000 feet, joining the team in Economy on a flight from London Heathrow to Miami. Rylan welcomed customers onboard, put his height to good use by helping to stow hand luggage in overhead lockers, added his flair to the safety demonstration, mixed G&Ts from the drinks trolley and handed out refreshing ice lollies mid-flight, as well as kids packs to keep little flyers entertained. 

Following a pre-flight briefing, cabin crew members, Ombi Barham, and James Cooper taught Rylan how to deliver the airline’s thoughtful touches and personalised service that make Virgin Atlantic Economy special, whilst testing him to see if he can make the grade.  

All the inflight action was captured in a film released today which sees customers revel in surprise and amusement as Rylan directs them to their seats, has a go at making an announcement over the PA - even adding his signature style to the drinks service and providing some surprises with mid-flight ice lollies.

But like any new starter, there was room for development, with crew catching Rylan taking a sneaky unscheduled snack break to enjoy the Mile High afternoon tea, which is complimentary for all Economy passengers – and getting caught up with families enjoying the Virgin Atlantic kids’ packs. 

And it seems Rylan might have some more work to do to cut it as Virgin Atlantic crew, as while he scored top marks on enthusiasm and delivery, he couldn’t quite match the unique ‘red spirit’, passion and dedication of Virgin Atlantic’s people. 

Rylan commented, “I’ve always been obsessed with the idea of being cabin crew, so to have the opportunity to try and get my wings with Virgin Atlantic, and be taught by the best in the business, was literally a dream come true. 

“If you’ve flown Virgin Atlantic before, you’ll know how amazing the crew are and how hard they work to make everyone feel special. Now I know how to serve a signature Mile High Tea, I know who’ll be getting a copy of my CV if the TV career doesn’t work out!”

Ombi Barham, Flight Service Manager at Virgin Atlantic comments, “It was a pleasure having Rylan onboard to test out his service skills and see if he can embody our unique red spirit. We want all of our customers to feel special when they fly Virgin Atlantic - no matter which cabin they’re in - and Rylan really did go the extra mile to do that. He brought the energy, warmth and fun that our customers know and love.”   

The film comes as new research finds 66% of travellers say the onboard experience can make or break a trip, with a positive in-flight experience driven most often by warm and welcoming cabin crew (75%), good food and drink (61%), and small, personal touches that make people feel special (41%). 

A further 49% believe their holiday starts the moment they arrive at the airport, with 80% saying a great flight means they enjoy their holiday more and 90% saying a great flight makes them feel more relaxed. 

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer, Virgin Atlantic commented, “A journey truly comes to life the moment our customers step on to the plane, and we want to make sure that everyone enjoys a special experience, no matter what cabin they’re travelling in. Our customers tell us the thing that sets Virgin Atlantic apart is our people and our cabin crew are experts at making all on board feel special. Rylan has that natural warmth and amazing personality that our crew are famous for, and with a little more training I’m confident he’ll earn his Virgin Atlantic wings.”

Virgin Atlantic Economy offers three ways to fly - Economy Light, Classic and Delight. Economy Light offers hand luggage only, Economy Classic includes 23kg baggage allowance, plus hand luggage, while Economy Delight offers Premium check in desks and priority boarding, plus extra legroom on board. All Economy services include not only delicious food and drink but also little touches such as afternoon tea, organic ice lollies, kids packs as well as entertainment and irresistible personal service.

To find out more about Virgin Atlantic’s Economy offering, visit here or follow the airline on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.



Notes to Editor 


Research conducted by One Poll between 21st to 22nd March 2024 of 2000 people. 

About Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core. In 2023, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the seventh year running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, it employs more than 8,500 people worldwide, flying customers to 30 destinations across four continents throughout the year. 

Alongside shareholder and Joint Venture partner Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic operates a leading transatlantic network, with onward connections to over 200 cities around the world. In February 2020, Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic launched an expanded Joint Venture, offering a comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem miles across all carriers.  Virgin Atlantic joined SkyTeam in March 2023 as the global airline alliance’s first and only UK member airline, enhancing the alliance’s transatlantic network and services to and from Heathrow and Manchester Airport.   

Virgin Atlantic has been pioneering sustainability leadership for more than 15 years, committing to Net Zero by 2050 and continuous action that reduces environmental impact.  The airline operates one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the skies, with an average age under seven years. In October 2022, Virgin Atlantic welcomed the first of 16 A330-900neos to the fleet, continuing its transformation towards 100% next generation aircraft by 2028.  In November 2023, the airline led a consortium to deliver the world’s first flight across the Atlantic on 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), demonstrating that 100% SAF can be used safely as a drop in fuel in existing infrastructure, engines and airframes. The need to scale production is an industry imperative and Virgin Atlantic is committed to radical collaboration across the energy chain to support commercialisation ahead of 2030.  

For more information visit www.virginatlantic.com or via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @virginatlantic.