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  • Anasthasia McCarthy, BA Crew Leader

    British Airways’ Anasthasia McCarthy is one of the stars of ITV’s Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport, Series 2 in her role airside on the tarmac helping aircraft depart! At work, Anasthasia is the first female ground aircraft movement handler, while outside of work she’s a gym junkie and a carnival music fan.

    Find out more about Anasthasia and her British Airways career below:

     

    A day in the life Q&A:

    Anasthasia: I have worked at Heathrow since November 5, 2013 which was also my first day with British Airways.

    As a headset handler at the start of my shift I collect my equipment and then with my allocated driver we go and find our pushback vehicle (tug) and carry out a vehicle check making sure it has the right equipment and its serviceable.

    As a team we can either be delegated two jobs, a pushback or a tow. Between the third and fourth hour we are given a 30 minute break and our shifts are 8.5 hours long ranging from earlies/lates (shifts) on a seven day roster alternating with three or four days off at a time.

    We have a variety of start times to cover the operation. In addition to this there are crews permanently set to start work at 04.00am or 21.30pm for the night shift. On a typical day we can have anything up to 15 jobs.

    A critical part of the job is constantly staying vigilant and being aware of your surroundings. The best part of the job is communicating with the flight crew on the pushbacks or with air traffic control on the tows.

    The buzz of working in a fast paced environment which is challenging and fun. Heathrow is like another world, a city in a city, which relies on people like me to deliver.

    Joining Aircraft Movements for British Airways and being recognised as the first female handler.

    I live in Buckinghamshire which is great because it only takes me 10-15 minutes to commute to work.

    My brother recently joined British Airways as a Cargo Handling Agent, and my father worked at Heathrow for 49 years as a Cargo Sales manager for Finnair. We have family history in aviation, as my grandad worked for Pan America Airways at Heathrow.

    Anasthasia McCarthy, Heathrow

    My brother recently joined British Airways (as a Cargo Handling Agent) and my father worked at Heathrow for 49 years (as a Cargo Sales manager for Finnair). We have some family history in aviation, as my grandad worked for Pan America Airways at Heathrow.

    It was the first time I have ever been filmed and as strange as it was for me I enjoyed the experience. The crew were all lovely and made me feel comfortable as having a camera up close or following you around can make you feel a bit self-conscious at times.

    I’m a health freak forever at the gym doing weights or swimming and then sauna. I always prepare my meals four days in advance to make sure I stay on track and have food at hand especially for work. It’s hard and takes a lot of determination but I love the structure and routine.

    I’m currently watching Blindspot and I am hooked. I love FBI related shows, I’m also reading a collection of books based on various detective cases.

    Hands down carnival/R’n’B music.