Private aviation is a very special, surprising world, an industry in constant motion and development, a world of luxury, flexibility, perfection. Private air travel dazzles everyone, and once you fly this way, you’re addicted to the luxury aviation. When you fly private, the journey is the destination.
Although private charter flying has been available for decades, air travel has become much more sophisticated in recent years with the fast growing of business jet companies and the industry overall. Private aviation has become much stronger in recent years, building on a solid financial economy. New planes, new customers, new jobs. Time has become extremely important and hence the desire to travel faster, in conditions of maximum comfort and safety. “Time is the most valuable asset we can’t own. Anything we can do to spend more time with family is a win.”
Based on a safe, intimate and total space at their disposal, passengers can be billionaires, businessmen, oligarchs, heads of state and government or royal families. Even in this uncertain times, flying privately ensures COVID avoidance by fulfilling social distancing imperatives. Private jet passengers avoid overcrowded queues encountered in a public airport terminal by arriving at a Fixed Base Operator, which is an exclusive terminal for private aircrafts. Avoiding security is the very definition of modern luxury. Instead of lining up for customs and border clearance, passengers will typically be escorted into a private office to have documents checked or be greeted by custom agents on board the aircraft.
Flying private means more flexibility. Given the decrease in the number of commercial flights due to the pandemic, business aviation has access to places commercial planes don’t, itineraries are at their choice and very accessible. Private aviation has emerged as more than just a matter of efficiency, comfort and luxury – it is nowadays all about safety and health. Onboard a business jet, the travel time can also be productive meeting time with the working team, as many jets now include high-speed internet onboard of the aircraft. If you’re traveling with friends or family, flying private allows you to truly relax and enjoy the flight itself as part of the overall experience.
Private aviation defines its flight attendants on board business aircrafts, corporate flight attendants. That is, the person who does everything in his power to deliver a 5-star service to a VIP passenger and transport him safely from point A to point B. Although it may seem something like being a flight attendant for a commercial airline, private aviation is actually a totally different field. Only flight remains the only similarity.
Corporate flight attendants provide in-flight service to corporate executives and their guests. Private airlines and corporations hire corporate flight attendants for part- and full-time hours during flexible schedules that continuously change. Corporate flight attendants come from all fields, not just commercial aviation and have different career experiences. There are several career paths that a person can take to become a corporate flight attendant. One option is to start with commercial airlines and then switch to private work.
With commercial experience, a commercial flight attendant can apply for a corporate job. It might be necessary to periodically re-certify in certain skill areas – medical certifications often require periodic renewal, or recurrent safety training. Skills such as the ability to speak a second language can be very helpful in this job as well as a college degree, which is required before you are eligible to even be considered for employment, although this is not necessarily required.
You don’t need a career in commercial aviation to succeed in private aviation. Often, the most successful corporate flight attendants are former personal chefs or those with customer service experience, such as those in the field of tourism or those who have worked in the most exclusive restaurants. Sometimes, they come from completely different fields of activity, but they have the necessary qualities to be able to work in this extremely exclusive field: creativity, diplomacy, discretion, an extreme attention to detail, culinary knowledge, perseverance and a lot of patience. Other skills needed in order to be hired are: calm under pressure and stressful situations, confidence, dedication, positive thinking, excellent communication skills, problem-solver, professional behaviour, punctuality, excellency in customer service, safety consciousness, patience.
It’s also possible to apply directly to a company that offers corporate flight services and receive training through them or to to attend a training program to get a certification.
This job is stressful because of the unknown and uncertainty. Time is of the essence when it comes to planning a future trip for VIP passengers or those who fly frequently on private jets aircrafts. They need things to happen as quickly, discreetly and better as possible for their business. Sometimes you have time to plan a trip in detail, other times you have to take the best decisions in the shortest time. You need to know everything about the detailed preferences of the customers, be creative and always strive for perfection. Trying to be perfect in such a dynamic environment will always be a little stressful. Stress never goes away, but you will become better at managing it.
Corporate flight attendants shop and prepare all the meals, cook, purchase catering services. They keep the cabin immaculate, make beds, know the preferences of the customers, sketch passenger profiles, set up the cabin to the customer’s exact specifications, while anticipating what the customer would like, they do shopping for aircraft and sometimes even customers, they are loyal and honest. In order to succeed, a flight attendant needs to have premium catering skills, creative thinking, great manners as well as an elegant and hospitable attitude. They strive to exceed customer expectations by adding a personal touch in everything they do, so that the flight experience to be a memorable one.
Business aviation is a totally different world from commercial aviation. The challenge of such a job is that you are never limited to what you want to do, you can take any decision you want as long as the customer is satisfied, you can be as creative as you want in providing an exceptional service. As a corporate flight attendant, you become a “solutions finder.” You never have impossible problems, but instead, you become insanely creative and resourceful. You learn to think quickly, out-of-the-box, and become like the clients you fly— the people who don’t ever take ‘no’ for an answer. You become the best version of yourself. It takes a lot of integrity and diplomacy to make a career in this field. As a corporate flight attendant you have to be very discreet, it all comes down to this aspect.
The flight attendants are signing contracts of confidentiality about who, when and where they are flying, but if they reach the circle of trust of the customers, the stories that revolve around them are fascinating. Depending on the airline you fly for and the clients you carry, social media can be an absolute NO, and photos of the plane’s registration number they are never allowed. It is, we might say, a secret industry, but not for those who work in it. You often end up flying with the same celebrities, people from royal families, world-famous people, you get to know details about them that no one would know if you didn’t work around them.
The world is small and the aviation world is even smaller. But you need to know how to live well in it. Many people would like to get into this job. Many people will envy you for the places you reach and the people you meet. You are always on call. You’re never quite sure where you are going and when and for how long. But nobody knows in detail the efforts you make to be able to break through in a constantly growing industry, the hard work you do every day, the challenges you encounter and how hard is to succeed.
That’s why I think it’s important how you want to remember this job. It’s that feeling of gratitude, knowing that every day you have invested your best and made someone happy even for a few hours, through the flight experience offered. One of the massive perks is part of the job. It’s going to all these different places and being able to say “this is my job.” You travel for a living and you’re doing what you love. The satisfactions that come from this job are correspondent with the efforts made. All you have to do is your willingness to do something different, be open to the new, work in an exclusive environment, travel in a jewel of tens of millions of euros, be part of a special world.
I wish you to find what you really want, explore your wishes, decide to go for it, complete small steps, be consistent, do not be discouraged by those who say it’s not possible, overcome obstacles, do not give up, dare more and make your dream comes true!