Most women dream of a job as a corporate jet cabin crew, and most men wonder about their daily life. Even though we live in a world of increasing tolerance, acceptance and diversity, most private cabin crew or VIP flight attendants are still positions occupied by women.
Whilst commercial airlines have a broader percentage of male cabin crew that has grown considerably since the early 1980s, ladies still tend to dominate in the private jet front. It’s, therefore, without surprise that their iconic lifestyle still poses a mystery for many – including frequent private jet passengers.
Today we have the chance to look behind the curtain as we go over a few intimate details on what takes these brave women – and men! – to embrace a career and a peculiar choice of life that is as glamorous as it is challenging.
Corporate Jet Cabin Crew in The Early Hours of the Day
Aviation is a demanding area whatever way you look at it. There is an established cult of the clock. This is by far no place for people that can’t make it on time to an appointment. Cabin crew in any line of business know there is no such thing as arriving late, with days planned by the second rather than hours.
An alarm can go off at 8 am for most people worldwide. It can easily go off at 11 pm or 3 am for those that make a career out of flying. Cabin crew VIP jobs have extremely demanding requisites in several areas, but few more important than outstanding time management.
Whatever time of the day – or night – this is not a role for the faint of heart or those that like to snooze that bit longer. Just like in the army, once the wake-up call is out, the clock is rapidly ticking.
There’s plenty of work before a private jet cabin crew even steps out the door. With impeccable image standards, there is a need to allocate enough time for hair and make-up. Personal hygiene has to be impeccable, along with the preparation to ensure a wrinkle-free, spotless uniform.
Glamorous as these angels of the sky may seem, there is much work behind the scenes that very few get to notice.
VIP Flight Attendants – Living off a Bag
You may associate the term with a door-to-door salesperson from the last century. The Truth is that private jet crew know best how to pack a bag. While a small trolley can only take a few items for most, they know how to take most of their homes if necessary. All of it in a carefully planned and strategical arrangement.
There are tricks to keep casual clothes wrinkle-free, with enough strategy to ensure the right outfit for the right venue is present. A little entertainment, documentation and much more. Gym clothes? – you got it!
The odds are that you would be surprised by the tactical approach to bag packing. The amount of content these often-small pieces of luggage can carry in the hands of an experienced corporate flight attendant is nothing short of impressive.
Adaptation is key. For more extended duties – or those expected to become longer than usual – there is a whole new level of bag packing that will rub shoulders against anyone’s month-long holiday. As long as it fits in the aircraft hold, it’s gold.
Due to their job nature, particularly in private jet companies, VIP flight attendants know best not to make plans too far ahead. What seems like a simple trip there-and-back may become a week-long stay or an island-hop across the Caribbean. To meet the demand for exceptional clients, you truly need to be an outstanding professional.
Therefore, it’s ever more relevant that you have a suitable luggage kit to play along with these rules.
Pre-Flight Brief and Checks
Much work goes into this field, and it’s one that most people tend to miss entirely. Not to mention that even getting considered for cabin crew VIP jobs requires a multiple set of skills and experience. It’s also necessary to endure highly demanding training and follow strict company rules.
Airline safety is relatively standard in the sense that it follows the highest international patterns. Deep knowledge of safety procedures, first aid, VIP service standards, and discrete behaviour are among these professionals’ main traits.
Since private jet customers get treated to a whole different level, their demands are accommodated by the company. They ultimately need to be considered by the operating crew. If there is a particular request for food, beverage, or any special item passengers would like to see on board, there is no room for mistake.
In the last instance, it’s all in the details. What makes the best VIP flight attendant is the ability to meet the customer’s demands without even seem to try. Simultaneously, an ability to make themselves invisible throughout the flight and yet available at a moment’s notice is pure class.
If you sit in a pristine cabin and everything seems to fall into place magically, you have much to thank for the dedication of these outstanding professionals. The same applies to ensuring that all attention to the minor details regarding safety are observed at all times.
Around the World
This is where things get fun, but not without its challenges. As duty starts, someone rings you with a schedule change. Your day has now turned into a flight to Dubai. Once there, you’ll be on hold for the following days until the client decides to fly elsewhere. It may be back home or head out to Singapore. Usually, there’s no way of telling, and embracing that lifestyle means giving up on what most people take for granted – life, in a sense!
There’s jetlag to consider, short resting periods and incredibly dull times. There is also enough time to rest wherever you’re heading at some point. At some point, the absence of a routine takes its toll, without a doubt.
Then again, it’s here that corporate jet crew shine. They get to walk the streets of Manhattan, shoot a selfie by the Kremlin or take a dip at the Great Barrier Reef. With an eye out for sharks, that is.
Being paid to travel is the ultimate dream. With so many exciting destinations at their disposal, it’s hard not to feel jealous. Especially when you can be in close quarters with the rich and famous and get to look behind the curtain over a lifestyle that very few can enjoy.
Breakfast in Dubai, dinner in Hong Kong. We can easily think of worse alternatives to life out there.
The Daily Challenges of Corporate Jet Crew
It’s not all glory, perfect hair and lipstick with a smile on their face. Corporate jet cabin crew know best that the weight on their shoulders is immense. As a result, their behaviour has to be on top of their game at all times.
They have to deal with the same challenges as everyone else in the aviation business. Delays, technical issues, jetlag, and bureaucracy are there at some point in time and space. Customers come in all forms, varying from the most demanding to the most adorable. Whilst we’d always love to fly with the second type, it’s the first that make the already small quarters of a private jet feel claustrophobic.
Armed with unbreakable resilience, VIP flight attendants know how to keep an iceberg of cool between them and the most unsatisfied passengers. At the same time, they know best when to hold someone’s hand with compassion—all of this without ever breaking character.
Above the many traits we’ve covered, compassion is often the most sought-after quality. The ability to understand each person’s different needs and to go above and beyond to meet them is not the type of sacrifice many are willing to make, regardless of pay.
Then, there’s social life. Or the absence of it. There’s never a guarantee that next Christmas will be spent at the dining table with the family. It’s very often the case that they get to fly across the world so that others can be with theirs. With friends and family living in different schedules, weeks and months can fly past without a chance to spend some time together.
The Perks of Corporate Jet Crew
Now that you’ve shed a tear for our corporate jet cabin crew, know there’s more to it than just flying to glamorous locations and rubbing shoulders with celebrities.
It’s common for these professionals to experience the gratitude of their exceptional passengers. Generous tips, invitations for exclusive events or even an irresistible job offer are not unusual. There are indeed few in this line of work that haven’t experienced such situations.
While many private jet companies have strict rules about accepting gifts or money, these are often the kind of customers that won’t take no for an answer – what a shame, another expensive bag for the collection!
As much as sacrificing your time and routine is expected, it is common to have generous resting periods associated with cabin crew VIP jobs. Not only in the form of several days off, but also extended periods of holiday across the year.
As you’d expect, an exceptional job comes with exceptional pay. Therefore it shouldn’t be a surprise that a VIP flight attendant will, on average, see a better compensation package than those working for commercial airlines.
A few companies offer extra perks such as gym memberships, extensive healthcare insurance, expense money for layovers and uniform allowances. The list is as vast as the number of companies operating, and it will vary considerably.
Since they are decently paid and well-treated to see the world over several adventures, the corporate jet crew lifestyle may not seem too shabby after all!
Next Time You’re Flying on a Private Jet
A life filled with glamour, incredible adventures, exciting people and unforgettable places. Always looking their best and never caught off guard. Corporate jet cabin crew are amongst the world’s most admired careers.
Filled with multiple challenges, it’s an outstanding job for outstanding personalities. The list of skills and personal traits required is as vast as demanding. All of this tied around a schedule that is as unpredictable as a spin of the roulette in Monte Carlo. Again, never out of the question.
Sharing a few words with them reveals an inclination for outstanding customer service. This goes beyond professional requirements in what is often a genuine reflection of compassion for others.
With a smile that can take everything you throw at it and the type of discretion that never overhears the customer’s secrets, it’s a job unlike few. The next time you walk past one, take a good look at that VIP flight attendant. Beyond that classy look and glooming presence, you may realize that these are highly skilled professionals that make daily sacrifices for a lifestyle that very few can handle.
You have been a passenger on that flight before. The odds are that the persons’ professional tone of voice in charge of that private jet’s safety is humorous and reassuring. For the vast majority of passengers worldwide, though, a pilot’s life remains a real mystery. What are your private jet pilots laughing about?
Fly commercially, and most likely, you won’t even cross paths with these men and women proudly wearing stripes on their shoulders. It’s not the case that they prefer a hermit’s approach to life. More often than not, the nature of what private pilots do takes much of their time and focus.
Think of weather reports, fuel checks, air traffic control, performance stats. It’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. Their job is often underappreciated by those that judge a pilot solely for the quality of the landing. On the other hand, it’s also deeply admired by those that define courage as a defining trait. Ask anyone that has landed on any given stormy evening, and you’ll get enough head nods in agreement.
Nevertheless, behind the cool sunglasses and the impeccable uniform, a question poses. What do these men and women chat about when the door locks behind their back? Is it a mundane world between the yoke and the cabin, or is there more to it than meets the imagination?
What does a Private Jet Pilot Do?
As you may have already guessed, there is much to a pilot’s job. Private jet pilots go through intense training and frequent simulator checks. Their knowledge regarding several complex technical areas must be constantly up-to-date, with the latest procedures always in mind.
It’s their job to keep the safety of the aircraft, passengers and crew as absolute priorities. With a workload that can go from incredibly dull to insane in seconds, it’s still a career that is deeply shrouded in mystery.
While you sat comfortably in the cabin, how many times has the question gone through your mind while you looked at that bulletproof door?
“What do these pilots chat about?”
Today, we will take you for a peek beyond closed doors as we share what a private jet pilot talk about throughout their day. Will the mystery remain after you’ve finished reading the next few lines?
Schedule, Schedule, Schedule
Whether you are a pilot or a private flight attendant, your schedule is everything and means nothing. It dictates your life for the foreseeable future. Nothing surprising there, you could while lifting an eyebrow. But the truth is universal to all of those that make a career out of flying:
A schedule means nothing.
It’s a mere indication that tells your alarm to go off on the first day of duty. From there onwards, the wheel of fortune is spinning. Commercial pilots and flights attendants know they can’t trust a published schedule. Extensive delays happen, weather changes. Technical issues arise. Crew issues can turn everything upside down – relax, not everything! The number of reasons is endless and can easily compete with your child’s ideal Christmas presents list.
Private jet companies and crew are subject to an even higher degree of flexibility than commercial ones to meet their client’s schedules. It means that most conversations occur around last-minute changes. Frequently about that cancelled commitment, the postponed family lunch or how a holiday can’t arrive fast enough.
Did Anyone Mention Holiday Time?
Ask what a private jet pilot’s biggest desire on any given day is, and most likely, it will involve a long-due holiday of some sort. Holidays are also a frequent topic of conversation amongst the crew. Don’t be too surprised if you overhear someone sharing detailed information about a secret restaurant in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.
Passengers usually claim they travel frequently, but rest assured, such a concept is pointless when speaking to crew members. Private jet companies can place their crew across several locations of the world in any given week. They can easily be having early breakfast in London, lunch in Moscow and land in time for an afternoon swim in any Helsinki’s hotel heated pool. The next week? A roll of the dice! And by that, we may mean Vegas, surely.
The mere mention of the word holiday usually results in a conversation focused on an endless catalogue of exotic locations. Expect fabulous hotels, great deals for the money and the type of recommendations you can’t ignore. Want to eat off a street vendor’s cart in Cambodia? Do so at your own risk!
The Private Jet Pilot and the Company
Like any employee in any line of work, pilots love to chat about their employers. You’ll have a hard time finding a private jet pilot that dislikes their job. These professionals are amongst some of the most privileged and proud of all. Not necessarily because their career comes with exceptional perks, but mostly because they get to see the world from above through a big(ger) window than the vast majority of us.
Changes to procedures, holiday policy, pay rises, hiring and acquisitions are reason enough for big debates. Most pilots take a personal interest in their beloved companies’ destiny. With some being shareholders, it’s only expectable. Therefore, speaking about the company comes naturally.
Nevertheless, you’ll rarely overhear a crew member speak poorly about their employer. Unless you’re sitting at a table and sharing a few drinks, that is. And they’re off, with no unfamiliar hears around them. Even then, it’s not guaranteed.
What happens in the aircraft stays in the aircraft!
What does a private jet pilot do when bored and has exhausted some of the most relevant topics throughout the duty day? You’ve guessed it – chat about other crew.
This much you’ve always known. Secretly, but inherent knowledge. Whether it’s the private flight attendant with an obvious – secret, so don’t tell anyone – crush on the young first officer or a colleague who is always moody in the early hours of the day, the small fuselage is where many echoes about private life find a place to travel.
We are not by suggesting that private jet crew are any more into gossip than people from any other line of work. The specifics of the job make personal relationships tighter than most jobs out there. You get to know the people you fly with, what moves them, what triggers them, and what they excel in: the good and the bad.
Flying is not only about getting an aircraft in the air. It is much about the personal connection between the people that have chosen this demanding line of work. We can witness this attitude through their dedication to each other and towards the people they welcome on board. Or through an endless pit of silence, given the occasion.
You’ve guessed it. Most of the words exchanged inside a flight deck are related to the technical aspects of the flight. With so many areas to cover in what often seems like a smooth, hassle-free flight, passengers may be oblivious to all the work that goes beyond the door.
A good hour or more has already taken place before the first passenger steps on board. Until that point, a detailed pre-flight brief and a series of safety checks have taken place. Along with all the documentation carried – praise tablets for that one – a visual verification of the aircraft’s surfaces occurs before every flight.
The same is valid for all the aircraft systems, including both the areas of responsibility by a private jet pilot and the flight attendants alike. These cover anything from the simplest of areas: seatbelt buckles working to engine fire extinguishers.
Each take-off and landing is preceded by a quick brief and checklist, and a careful overview of the airfield’s specifics. And yet, these are only a minor sample of the technical aspects discussed amongst pilots to ensure you safely get from A to B.
In many ways, you’ve guessed it. Most of the chat that takes place inside the flight deck is of technical nature, with the occasional break to focus on any other topics in this list.
Endless Hobbies of a Private Jet Pilot
What does a private jet pilot do for fun, you may ask? Hobbies are a massive topic of conversation in the flight deck. If we have to generalize – and for good humour’s sake only, please – let’s divide pilots into two separate categories according to their age range.
More senior pilots tend to love golf. If a poll took place in most private jet companies, it would only split those that still play golf from those that tried it but won’t make much of it – yet! The stressful nature of the job is often compensated by physical activities that invite relaxation. If they’re any good at golfing, that is.
Younger pilots tend to focus on sports that are higher in octanes. Think paddle, surfing, jogging. Again, the nature of the job forces these professionals to spend countless hours sitting down, adding very little to their excellent health.
A discussion focused on several sports and hobbies takes place as you read these lines, somewhere out there above the clouds, that we can assure.
Their Overview of the World
Although moved by a passion for flight and shaped by their jobs’ challenges and nature, private jet pilots are the same as everyone else, with the occasional positive twist. Sit down with any of them, and you’ll be carried across the sky to visit several locations through their eyes.
Most of the time, you’ll find humorous and open people that realize the deep value of personal relationships. The nature of their jobs often reflects sacrifices made on behalf of their families and themselves. When asked, they’ll happily talk about them in further detail.
They tend to attract sheer admiration – as they should. These are the people who make a daily pledge on behalf of everyone’s safety and moved by what is frequently a childhood dream. Their conversations are nothing ever short of interesting, amusing, and inspiring.
Perhaps the next time you step onboard a private jet, you’ll be awarded the privilege of getting to know a little more about these dedicated professionals that help us navigate the sky every day. If it’s your first time, we have a few suggestions regarding Jetiquette – Private Jet Etiquette in order to make you feel even more comfortable.
Whatever you do, don’t mention the word holidays!
Need Help? Chat with us
Start a Conversation
Hi! Click one of our member below to chat on Whatsapp