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Humans of Helsinki Airport: Aircraft cleaner Pauliina Henriksson

28.9.2017 at 06:00
Cleaning team leader Pauliina Henriksson talks about what it’s like to tidy up after airline passengers.

“I work as a team leader at Sodexo’s airport cleaning staff. There are two other people, around my age, in my team, and we have been cleaning planes together for a year now. We are pretty quick and efficient, and work really well together. My teammates are actually my best friends.

“We have around six minutes for the basic clean-up of the smallest narrow-body aircraft."

“We have around six minutes for the basic clean-up of the smallest narrow-body aircraft, and up to 40 for the larger wide-bodied models. In that time we clean the toilets and kitchen, pick up trash from the seats, change the headrest covers and cross the seatbelts. We go through the plane really quickly, usually running. In the summer, when it’s hot you really break a sweat. In the winter, though, it can get cold when it’s freezing outside, as they keep the doors open when loading the plane.

“We’ve noticed that planes that arrive from Japan are especially clean: in those, people have gathered their own trash neatly in a bag.

“The airport is a great place to work: Apart from my lovely coworkers there’s a special atmosphere here. You get to look inside planes and drive around the tarmac when aircrafts take off and land. My dream is to one day work in the airport terminal, for instance in the check-in staff.”

Read more about aircraft cleaning.

People & Aviation