Lufthansa's CEO Just Worked a Few Shifts As a Flight Attendant — and Shared Just How Challenging It Was

“Sometimes, you need to change perspectives in order to gain new insights!” he wrote in a social media post.

Lufthansa Airlines CEO Jens Ritter got hands-on recently, working as part of the flight crew on a couple international flights.

Ritter, who started in the top post last year, worked as an “additional crew member” on flights to Riyadh and Bahrain. Ritter posted about the experience on LinkedIn, including photos of him manning the drinks cart, handing out a cup to a passenger, and posing with the entire flight crew.

“Sometimes, you need to change perspectives in order to gain new insights!” Ritter wrote in the post. “I have been working for the Lufthansa Group for many years. But I have never had the opportunity to work as part of the cabin crew. And honestly, that was so interesting and also challenging! I was amazed by how much there is to organize, especially, if something doesn’t go as planned… I was astonished how much I learned in these few hours. Deciding things in the office will be different after really feeling the decisions on board.”

He also noted that he incorrectly thought his pilot experience would help him.

"I used to fly as a pilot and so I thought I knew about the challenges a flight during the night entails," he wrote. "But to be present and attentive and charming – when the biological clock just tells you to sleep – was something entirely different."

During the flight, Ritter got to experience some of the unexpected moments of air travel like when the meals on the menu cards weren’t actually on the plane (he said that will be fixed). Ritter first helped out in business class on a flight to Riyadh, before heading back to economy class on a redeye back to Frankfurt.

The post received more than 300 comments and more than 6,000 reactions.

One commenter asked if anything could be improved for the crew to which Ritter replied he would focus on stability and reliability as well as making sure people feel “seen and appreciated and psychologically safe.”

Another poster commended Ritter, saying “every job should offer these opportunities especially to high level employees.” Ritter replied: “it is all about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and I totally agree that it is an enriching and a powerful experience.”

The ride-along comes months before Lufthansa plans to roll out an all-new Suite Plus first-class cabin complete with a door that completely shuts, a table for two, temperature controls, a private minibar, and more.

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