The flight attendant’s journey from redundancy to the leadership of the vaccination center.

A former Air New Zealand flight attendant who is now on the front lines of Auckland’s coveted vaccination rollout says it’s not a career change he’s ever expected – but he’s not too proud of it. Can

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People line up for vaccine appointments booked at the Albany Vaccination Center.
Image: RNZ / Rhonwyn Newson

Coral Davis was fired last year after nearly 33 years with Air New Zealand.

Although the nonsense about Cowade is not how she chooses to leave the industry, she says she gave him time to think and see what she wants to do next.

After working at an election booth in October, then overseeing the NCEA exams, she decided that retirement was not for her and that she wanted to do something in the community she really believed in. ۔

Because of this she applied to the District Health Board to work on vaccination sites – and now she is a caretaker at the Albany Center.

She likes it there – welcoming people, answering questions, making sure they have everything they need and that the clinic runs smoothly.

Coral said many of the skills he created at Air New Zealand were transferred – especially during the customer’s journey and to make sure it was a good experience for people.

They are not just former Air New Zealand crew – former flight crew and baggy handlers have also found new jobs using their carefully crafted customer care skills.

“I told someone one day – oh my God, this is a great job, this is to be on a plane without a plane.

“And it was great to see people go out and say, ‘Wow, that was amazing’ – when they actually came to put a needle in their arm.”

Coral Davis was an Air NZ flight attendant before becoming the caretaker of the Cove 19 Vaccination Center.

Coral Davis was an Air NZ flight attendant before becoming the caretaker of the Cove 19 Vaccination Center.
Image: Provided

Coral’s care and enthusiasm has gone viral this week – her daughter Emily visited the clinic to get her vaccinated and tweeted about it, writing:

“Last year my mother was laid off after 33 years with Air NZ and yesterday I saw her progressing to her new role as a supervisor at the Vaccination Center. It’s fantastic!”

Tweet has become a bright spot in an online world that may look bleak right now – it received 19,000 ‘likes’ in the last count.

Coral said the feedback was overwhelming, but also interesting.

“We should treat people as if they were clearly entering business class – everyone who steps into a vaccination site for their vaccine is actually doing something to keep us all safe. “So I think they deserve us to treat them like they’re coming to the site.”

Coral stressed that she was only part of a larger team that rolled out vaccinations – and the advice was for those facing similar thorns in their career paths.

“It may not be where you thought you were going in the first place, but it can be just as good and just as fun.”


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