High Flier Back in the Bay

September 4, 2012

Danielle Randell

EIT graduate Danielle Randell is back down to earth after a high-flying year away working as an intern for Air New Zealand at Los Angeles International Airport.

The opportunity for the exciting overseas experience came when course coordinator Nikki Lloyd proposed Danielle apply for the internship after she had completed her Diploma in Tourism and Travel studies at EIT.

A rigorous round of submissions and interviews followed, and she was then told she was one of eight selected for the prestigious American posting.

“We flew over as a group in a 777-300, which was so new it had only about its third flight.   In my job, I learned a lot about different passenger aircraft,” she laughs.

Danielle’s role encompassed “pretty much everything” associated with check-in at one of the world’s busiest airports.  Dealing with many different nationalities, she helped passengers with their luggage, directed them to connecting flights and shuttles, boarded them on flights and ensured they found in the right seats.

With her fellow interns, she was housed in a hostel about half an hour’s commute from the airport. 

During her time away, Danielle managed to see other parts of the USA.  A favourite was Las Vegas, which she visited three times with different friends. 

“It’s just like the movies,” she enthuses.  “The hotels are amazing and I loved the lights at night.  It’s like an adults’ playground, and it really does never sleep.”

She also savoured San Diego and San Francisco – coastal cities where she found she could walk just about everywhere. 

At the end of her USA stint, fiancé Ash Fritz travelled from Napier to meet Danielle and the couple holidayed in Hawaii en route back to New Zealand.

 “I was so excited to get home,” she says.  “I really appreciate what we have here in Hawke’s Bay and don’t take anything for granted.”

What’s also helping her settle back is the house she and Ash have bought in Napier and her new job working for Air New Zealand at the Hawke’s Bay Airport.

“I like being on the other side of the check-in counter and think I’m very fortunate with how everything has fallen into place for me.”

Danielle also appreciates that her diploma studies gave her the grounding she needed in Carena – a travel software programme used by Air New Zealand flight bookings.   She also singles out EIT lecturer Nikki Lloyd for praise.

“It’s pretty much due to her that I am where I am today. She’s always been happy to help me and did a lot of paperwork needed for the internship application including printing off information after work hours.”

Given her year away, it might be understandable if Danielle had caught a chronic case of the travel bug, but she says she has only a mild dose of the disease. 

She’s happily settled in her new job and life in Hawke’s Bay with Ash because, she says, “I figure we have millions of years to travel and can save all the big destinations for another day.”