“Let’s surprise Eurowings passengers by letting them fly for free for Christmas!” This is what I, a SWISS ProTeamer, suggested to some Eurowings managers in July 2017. Already since the application period for the ProTeam program, I had this idea of surprising passengers with free flights.

Three months later:

“Where and when do we exactly surprise the passengers? Who and how many get surprised? What is the story line behind it? How do you make it spectacular enough as a promotion? Is it realistic setting up and carrying out a Christmas promotion from scratch within 1 month – and that as a SWISS employee with one week of Eurowings experience?” These were only some of the questions, I was asked when I arrived in Cologne in November 2017 and went to the commercial board.

So, I had to turn my idea into a concrete concept. Running through the Eurowings building talking to probably every department, writing e-mails and calling other organizations such as LSG Skychefs, gave me an overview of all stakeholders and restrictions this promotion would have. Even more important I could create a small task group of people supporting my idea. Finally, we came up with a rough concept, which got funded in mid-November:

In the week before Christmas, ALL passengers of one continental flight would get surprised with a free flight – and this EVERY day in the week before Christmas. As a “Grand final”, the same thing would happen on an intercontinental flight to the Caribbean on Christmas Eve! Finally, my little idea had a name: “Weihnachtswings”!

The remaining month until Christmas would demonstrate the complexity of airline operations and project management to me:

From the definition of the selected flights until the transportation of the flight vouchers on and off board again – every detail had to be meticulously defined and organized: Catering, decoration,… Thanks to the open-mindedness and hands-on mentality at Eurowings, I am proud that Weihnachtswings successfully surprised 1’100 passengers on 7 flights involving 11 airports in 5 countries. The following link shows the result in a promotional video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYmG4vXH19A

I am very grateful for the confidence that Eurowings placed in me, by giving me the opportunity to manage a project from the initial idea until the actual execution. The familial atmosphere and especially the positive attitude, always looking for a solution instead of focusing on obstacles impressed me. Don’t ask why something might not work? Rather ask what is needed to make it work?