Working on a private jet completely differs from being a commercial cabin crew. It can be very challenging, and it’s hard work; some might say it’s all glitz and glamor, but there are disadvantages, too. That said, let’s look at some of the rewarding aspects and best bits about working as a flight attendant on a private jet.
1 Diverse places
Because of the very much fly ‘on demand’ nature of the job, you might fly to some unusual places off the beaten path. You might be in Paris one day, London the next, and then on to New York. Or you could fly into the deepest parts of Africa or find yourself on a tiny island in the South Pacific. Not all commercial aircraft can fly into some remote airports, so private jets are commonly used to access these.
Expect the unexpected and be prepared to visit incredible destinations. Of course, accommodation is paid for down-route and is usually 4 or 5-star standard, so you typically get to stay somewhere nice and enjoy a bit of downtime. You get to see once-in-a-lifetime places that many people never have the opportunity to see.
2 Assigned aircraft
Depending on the aircraft operator and its requirements, you may be assigned to just one aircraft. This is perfect as you can ‘run your own ship,’ fly solo, and be in charge of your service. It almost becomes like a second home, something that you take great pride in and with attention to detail. Of course, the interiors are quite luxurious, but they also need to be well looked after and immaculately cleaned by the flight attendant.
The added advantage is that you know where everything is on the aircraft and what stock you have onboard. You know if a glass has been broken and needs to be replaced or something is missing. If there are any issues in the cabin, they can be reported and fixed quickly. Working on your own aircraft, especially if it’s an exceptionally famous type like a Global 7000 or Gulfstream G650, becomes second nature and a joy to do.
3 Crew friends
Business aviation is a very small world, and if you have a good (or bad) reputation, word will get around fast. It’s quite a unique community, and you must be very flexible, adaptable, and easy to get along with to fit in. You work in such a small environment; it is essential to have respect for one another and work well as a team. In a safety-critical environment such as an aircraft, you must trust your crew 100% in an emergency.
When you have a fantastic crew, it makes work a breeze and fun. Often, crews are very close-knit, and you will stay friends for a lifetime and recount trips of the past and colleagues you worked with. They also understand the nature of the job, whereas family and friends don’t always get it, so when there is an issue, crew friends are always there. Your network can also be crucial when looking for a new position, especially when they can recommend you and vouch for your hard work.
4 The joy of food
One of the most important aspects of working on a private jet as a flight attendant is to order the catering. It is an excellent opportunity to learn about food and how things are cooked. Plating is extremely important on private jets, and the meals must be served with elegance and flair. One advantage of ordering catering is that you can choose what you want to eat for your crew meal – if you have time to eat it!
Photo: Private Jet Charter
Sometimes, when some of the food is left over, you can take some off the aircraft or give it to the ground staff. You may get to try food that you haven’t had the chance to try before or perhaps taste local dishes. Trends in food are essential to follow, too, as your guests may well have eaten at the very best restaurants. They may also request specialties and ask for food from a specific restaurant, which the flight attendant must arrange.
5 Contracts and salary
Many private jet crew have a work rotation. It depends on where you are based, but often, you’ll be on duty for a set time. The ideal would be something like two weeks on, two weeks off, or one month on and one month off. This makes for a much better work-life balance, more so than being on permanent standby as some crew are. Whilst on duty, you must be prepared to go anywhere anytime and for however long. A trip or training may eat into your off days, but that’s part of the job.
Some aircraft do not have a permanent base, so you could be a ‘floater;’ in that case, you will fly to meet the aircraft, wherever it may be. The company pays for the flight and any necessary accommodation. The salary is usually higher than that for commercial cabin crew, and you receive a per diem for every night away from home base. If you choose to work on your off days, freelance work can be lucrative.