Oh snap! It’s National Camera Day and to celebrate, we’re sharing a special interview with plane spotter royalty who happens to also be an Envoy employee! Many may know her on Instagram as @StrawBMommy, but on the job at DFW Airport, Tracy Miller is known as a Fleet Service Clerk. The infamous DFW plane spotter shares an inside look at her day-to-day duties, what she enjoys most about the job, talks camera of choice, and her favorite ways to use her travel privileges.
What’s your Envoy story?
I’m a Fleet Service Clerk and I have worked at Envoy for six and a half years. I like the pace that I have here at Envoy, my seniority and I have a good rapport with my work colleagues. I’m comfortable where I’m at and I don’t want to leave!
I work down on the ramp offloading bags and collecting some of the suitcases off of inbound flights and delivering them to their connecting flights. So for example, say you are going through DFW Airport and connecting there to go to Nashville, I’ll be the one getting your bag and taking it to your connecting flight.
Any advice for someone interested in becoming a Fleet Service Clerk out on the ramp?
If you want to be a Fleet Service Clerk, you need to be prepared to work outside in all weathers. It can be challenging at times, but it’s still a lot of fun. And if you love to travel, then you need to do it.
What piqued your interest to work for the airline industry?
I actually met somebody who worked for Air France on vacation in Turkey one year, and he told me about the flight benefits and how he traveled the world for next to nothing and it just really got me interested so, I was like, that’s the job for me!
Once you learned about what the aviation industry had to offer, how did you get your start in it?
I’m originally from London, England and I started in aviation in the early 1990s on the ramp at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR). I was a Crew Chief there and that’s how I got the bug. I then took a break to have a family, moved here to the United States and got back into aviation in 2013. I worked at the ticket counter for American Airlines for a while, but then decided to come down to the ramp. I felt it was a better option for me because I just love being outside with the planes.
What made you want to work at Envoy?
A friend of mine was a Fleet Service Clerk at Envoy and I would see him everyday when I was at the ticket counter and he would always tell me how good it was and how much fun it was, so I decided to make the move and I was hooked. I was back outside with the planes, which is what I love. I love the whole ambience of the airport life in general, but being outside with the planes, that’s where it’s at!
Where do you love to travel to when you use your flight benefits?
I have family back in England, so obviously flying back to England is awesome and getting to sit in First Class is amazing. I’ve also been to Medellin, Colombia — I love Medellin! And I like to do little day trips here and there, you know, like fly to Miami and have lunch and fly back. Go to Nashville, do a couple of museums, have lunch, fly back. Fly out to Los Angeles, do a little bit of plane spotting then fly back. There are a lot of benefits to be had from working for an airline.
Let’s talk #NationalCameraDay now, how did you get your start in plane spotting?
I’ve always been interested in airplanes since I was little, even from about eight years old I was taking pictures of planes. I used to have a little camera of my own and I would take pictures then give the film to my Mom to get developed and I would love to look at those pictures, so it’s been a big obsession of mine ever since.
What type of camera do you use?
I shoot with a Canon SX530 HS. It’s a very basic camera, it’s a hybrid and it gets the job done. It’s small and compact so it’s easy to carry around with me and it takes good pictures, so that’s all I need.
What photography tips and tricks can you share?
Well, I feel like I have a good artistic eye for pictures. You can have the best camera in the world, but if you don’t have the artistic eye, your pictures are never going to be good. And you can take really good pictures with your phone, I use my iPhone a lot and swap between that and my Canon. Whatever I happen to have with me at the time is what I use. I also like to get sunrise and sunset photos (during golden hour) for the best light. At DFW, you can get great sunset photos on the Eastside of the airport — if I can get a takeoff or landing on the Eastside of the airport, I’m a happy bunny because that’s the best lighting over there.
What type of aircraft do you like to shoot with your camera?
I like to get some of the Cargo 747s, because 747 is my thing. I like the Singapore Airlines 747s, Atlas Air is another favorite of mine so whenever they come in, I’ll try and get them. National and of course, the Antonov 124, whenever it came in. That’s always impressive to see. I just love being outside with the planes, that’s my passion.
Plane spotter, AVgeek or not, are you looking for a position out on the ramp? If so, DFW Airport is hiring Fleet Service Clerks! Click here and apply today.