As a result of all their hard work during their Travel and Tourism Level 3 Diploma, Bekah Dickinson, Liam Davis and Liam Hughes earned roles at Southampton Airport as Customer Service Agents, working with Swissport. Bekah has further recently accepted a Cabin Crew position aboard British Airways – she joins ‘Class of 22’ course compatriots Demi and Kayley to have emerged from their Diploma with positions aboard leading national airlines.
The trio all joined in September 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bekah and Liam Davis went straight to their Level 3 qualification, while Liam Hughes took up a Level 2 qualification first before starting his Level 3. Their first year’s learning was seriously impacted by the pandemic and Bekah admits it was often hard: “Online learning was a lot to get used to and sometimes motivating ourselves could be hard. I also lost my granddad around this time which made everything even more challenging. But our lecturers Michelle and Katy were always there, constantly checking up on us all and making sure we were ok”. Liam Davis adds: “I didn’t view them as teachers, they were more like friends. I really appreciated their care and concern.”
Among the key topics in the Travel and Tourism Level 3 Diploma are Customer Service, Responsibilities of Report Representatives, The Cruise Industry and Airline Cabin Crew. When it comes to the question of their favourite topic, their answer is unanimous. Bekah said: “Cabin Crew was 100% the stand-out activity on the course. It involved a lot of role play and acting out realistic customer service situations, such as resolving disputes or playing out emergency scenarios – this was all so valuable for self-confidence.”
It's always exciting coming into College and knowing you'll be learning something new about the Travel and Tourism industry each day
Customer Service appealed to the three so much that it influenced their next steps as they landed job placements at Swissport. Swissport is a Swiss Aviation services company that provides airport ground services and air cargo at 50 countries and 300 locations around the world. Southampton Airport is just one of these and is where the trio have been based since joining the company in April of this year. As Customer Service agents they offer guidance and support to passengers and clients from a range of different countries, helping to alleviate any issues or concerns they may have. Since starting, Bekah and Liam Davis have worked thirty-hour shifts spanning Thursday – Sunday, while Liam Hughes has worked six-hour shifts on Saturday – Sundays.
Liam Davis commented on how the course lectures have benefited them in this role: “It’s the little things, like learning airport codes or role-playing customer service scenarios in class, that have had the biggest impact on how we carry out our roles. This helped us to hone and develop our customer service skills before even starting at the job, which really made a difference”.
All three have exciting ambitions for the future. Bekah has already made a significant step towards a successful career in Cabin Crew, with her new job at British Airways. Liam Davis has a keen desire to utilise his air operations knowledge that he learnt on the course and become an air traffic controller. Liam Hughes has loved the experience working with Swissport and would like a role that can utilise this skillset he has built up in the future.