Many years ago –quite a few, actually- we had the pleasure of flying with a small Austrian airline that surprised us in a very good way. We were flying from Vienna to Barcelona in the 90s and the airline was called Lauda Air: its founder and owner was none other than Nikki Lauda, the famous Formula 1 pilot. We flew in a Falcon jet, which barely fit 50 people –quite unusual for a charter- and we were thrilled with how the air hostesses treated us: they were warm and laid-back, dressed in jeans and coloured jackets (we believe they were red). All of the passengers were handed a glass of champagne, as if we were flying business. The food –its great quality came as a surprise, too- was served in china plates, one by one, as if we were in a Michelin star restaurant but 10,000 feet in the air flying over the Alpes. It goes without saying that we were delighted with the service and the friendly behaviour.
In 2000, Nikki Lauda left the company and a few years later he founded FlyNikki, a low-cost airline that also flies from Vienna. We had the chance to fly with them recently: being low-cost, the service can’t be compared to that of Lauda Air, but you can find the Nikki Lauda imprint in the way they treat the customer –nice and informal at the same time- which makes it a company very appealing for the passenger. You would even be amazed by the decoration of the plane!
Our friends Paola and Rebecca have been working for them for several years. They were on a break in Milan and we convinced them to drop by this gorgeous Mediterranean port to chat with us while we get a taste of some delicious fresh pasta. Obviously, we discuss the impact of low-cost companies in recent times but we end up talking about uniforms and cabin crew shoes. Like many other air hostesses before them, they tell us about the difficulties they face when looking for good-quality, professional shoes that remain comfortable after a long day of work. This is old news for us –we have heard it many times before and it’s what drove us to launch our online store- but they confess, and this calls our attention, that when summer comes it’s even harder to find shoes that don’t upset their feet. This is actually true, because in the summer heat many of our online customers have problems with their shoe size. The explanation is that feet swell with the heat, increasing about 5% of their usual size –which is almost a size up. Furthermore, the use of sandals during the summer allows the feet to spread at the side because it is not bound and closed in. This is why we think that if you are going to use close-toed shoes –such as cabin crew shoes- in the summer heat, you should get a size up of your usual size.