Being a flight attendant is a dream job for many, but being a VIP flight attendant is close to a pure fantasy even for all those already in the business. They fly less hours, visit the most amazing places on earth and, according to the Daily Mail, earn from 2 to 8 times more than their commercial counterparts. However, great rewards come with unprecedented responsibility and the so called Bond-style life, where the phone ringing in the middle of the night is just another call to mission.
According wikiHow, becoming a corporate flight attendant is easy. You just have to follow 4 simple steps – have a passport (not a step, really), undergo training, apply for a job and show up for an interview. However, in order to learn how to do this job properly and to understand the executive clients you would be working for, you need to obtain far more knowledge and experience than the one provided during this 4 step program. Whilst scrolling through various VIP attendant job ads, it seems that fluency in languages, training and experience are all equally important for the role. Nevertheless, the truly crucial traits are versatility, knowledge and just shier devotion of a person.
“Almost everything this industry covers has to be flexible and flight attendants are no exception. The ability to take care of safety and understand your in-flight operational responsibilities is just a tip of the iceberg,” says Vitalij Kapitonov, the CEO of KlasJet. “On top of the commonly known duties, an attendant must maintain awareness of all passengers’ food allergies as well as dietary restrictions and preferences. Moreover, the skills of a PA come in handy when you have to arrange, for instance, a frozen butterball turkey, no smaller than 33lbs, in a few-hour notice (real story, by the way). It might come as a surprise, but food is where the attendants’ know-how is most valuable for every employer.”
First off, the person must be skilful in culinary arts. After all, not only is he or she responsible for serving Michelin star plates, but also commonly in charge of finding, arranging and transporting food to the take-off airport. Such skills as the one of a sommelier are also highly appreciated in the industry. Apart from that, VIP crew must be acquainted with food safety and correct food handling techniques. No travellers, including CEOs, multibillionaires or pop stars, want to get sick because their beluga caviar wasn’t opened or stored the right way.
So the road to becoming a VIP flight attendant could be basically summed up in three words – learn, learn and learn. And if you work hard enough you are more than likely to get a call from a private jet operator offering you your fantasy spot. And you’ll be in for a treat. Having adjusted to the 24 hour notices, you’ll meet and chat with the brightest and the best as well as have the chance to literally see the world and your name on a $120 000 yearly paycheck.
Without a doubt, aside from the culinary education, industry-specific training also plays a big role in a flight attendant’s working in business aviation life. According to the KlasJet executive, almost all of the companies require candidates to have CPR, AED and first aid, in-flight cabin service, food catering, and FACTS Training. However, the main criteria remain the know-how and the ability to be flexible and organized. “In general, companies with extensive experience in the field offer the greatest conditions, however, that means you also have to be the best candidate,” concludes Vitalij Kapitonov, CEO of KlasJet.