SWISS Cabin Crew Member Sonja went from Communication Designer to Flight Attendant: “I Love Adventures”

Our Cabin Crew Member Sonja has had a passion for travel and flying since she was young, flying between Europe and the Philippines, where she spent her childhood. After a successful career as a communications designer, she was slowed down by the Corona pandemic. Instead of getting discouraged, she decided to fulfil her long-held dream and join SWISS as a Flight Attendant.

Sonja Rafaela: I had always wanted to fly as a flight attendant, even before I went to university, but I had children at an early age and the plan took a back seat. I was born in Lisbon to a Portuguese mother and a German father. I spent my childhood in the Philippines, where I developed a passion for travelling and flying at an early age. The many long-haul flights to Europe infected me with the “flying virus”, which has never left me. During this time, Switzerland also found a special place in my heart through my studies. It was here that I later met my Swiss partner.

After studying interior design at the Halle Academy of Art, I worked as a communication designer for 25 years. I designed exhibition stands, did social media marketing and worked as a brand designer. But with the Corona pandemic came a period of standstill. All exhibitions were cancelled and I was put on 100% short-time work from one day to the next. Shortly afterwards I was made redundant.

Without further ado, I decided to move to Switzerland to live with my partner and from then on to do what I felt like doing. One day, I read an advertisement in the newspaper that SWISS was looking for cabin crew members. I was thrilled that there was no age limit and was invited for an assessment within a few days. To my joy, I got the job. Now it was time to make my dream come true. I love and enjoy adventure. I have always been very active and courageous, so people around me were not surprised by my idea. The SWISS crew welcomed me with open arms and my age – I am now 49 – was never an issue. The diversity is very enriching and we can learn from each other. It’s incredibly fun.


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