Meet Laura – First Officer
I first decided I wanted to be a pilot when i was about 15. My mum works in aviation and we used to go on the BA Shuttle from Glasgow to London several times a year to visit family. As a child I used to love going up to the flight deck mid flight (in the days when you were allowed to) and so my interest and fascination grew from there. I had my first flying lesson as an 18th birthday present and after that I was hooked. After I had graduated from university, I had a few more flying lessons (just to make sure that I loved it) and then applied to go to flying school. I started at Oxford Aviation Academy in 2010 on their integrated First Officer training course. It took 18 months altogether and I had the time of my life there. Then came the most difficult part – getting a job!
My first job was at Ryanair and I started there in 2012. I was based in Milan, Barcelona and then Manchester which was all great experience, before joining Thomson in April 2015. I am on the 737 at the moment but one of the great things about Thomson is the opportunity to move fleets and join the long haul operation. I love the variety of flying on the 737 though, especially being based in Manchester as the routes are so varied. From the Canaries and Greek islands in the summer to the ski and Santa flights in the winter – it never gets boring. I love going to work and seeing the sunrise over the Alps, it really is an unbeatable office view!
Being a girl in the flight deck I am very much in the minority, however in my experience it makes no difference to the job and I am treated the same as everyone else. I have flown with a few female captains throughout my career and it’s great when we fly together as it is a bit more unusual to see. We get a lot of positive comments too from the passengers which I find really cool. Even the “who’s parking the plane” comments are funny! Overall, I love my job and wouldn’t change it for the world.