What does it take to become a VIP Flight Attendant?

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By cabincrew.com on Wednesday 21st May, 2014 at 12:12

By Patricia Green
A VIP Flight Attendant can also be known as a Corporate Flight Attendant, VVIP Flight Attendant, Executive Cabin Attendant or VIP Cabin Crew but are all the same job and it just means that you are a flight attendant on a private jet.

Working as a VIP Flight Attendant is a very unusual job in that the emphasis is more on the service and food than safety which can be difficult to adapt to for cabin crew who have worked on commercial aircraft. However, saying that I would say that that is still an advantage to know your safety and emergency procedures and learning about 5 star food presentation and service is fascinating and will improve your attention to detail.

What is corporate aviation?

Corporate aviation is basically any company or individual that operates private jets for private or commercial use. They may own just one aircraft or they may have a whole series. Aircraft may be privately owned by an individual for their own private use or aircraft maybe chartered out to other clients or it can be a combination of the two.
Some operators have their own base or FBO (fixed base operator) where they will have facilities such as flight operations, dispatch, catering assistance etc. Some aircraft will have their own fixed crew or some crew maybe contracted through the operator or occasionally freelancers will be used.

Who are my passengers?

Your passengers maybe royalty or government officials depending on the type of operator. You may also carry film stars, pop stars or sporting personalities if the aircraft is chartered. Most often you will be looking after high profile businessmen who can afford the luxury of hiring a private jet or who own it. Some billionaires, oligarchs or businessmen do own their own aircraft, so you may work for them and their family or business clients.

Alternatively, if it is chartered regularly you could be working for any number of high profile clients. It is also culturally specific, in the US you are more likely to be working for businesses or billionaires, whereas in Russia, it will be for the oligarchs. In Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East, it will be for the royal families and there are many! In Africa, it will mostly be for governments and leaders while in Europe, it will usually be high profile business men and their families.

What aircraft will I work on?

Most private jets have between 6 and 15 seats but this is dependent on aircraft type and owner requirements. You may work on a light jet like a Learjet 45 which may only have 6 seats or something like a Challenger 300 which can have between 7 and 9 seats. Heavy jets can hold up to 15 passengers, the Global XRS and Gulfstream G550 being two of the most popular. Commercial airliners can also have VIP configuration – so you may find yourself on a Boeing 737 with only 40 seats and facilities such as an office, bedroom and bathroom.

How can I be a VIP Flight Attendant?

It is a very niche industry and difficult to get in to and very different to commercial flying. It is also very restrictive in that the owner/operator may have their own list of requirements that could include language skills, age range and passport/visas held. Usually 2 years of business or first class flying experience is asked for as a bare minimum plus a preference for 5 star catering and hospitality knowledge.
But once you make the transition to corporate flying an interesting and varied career awaits and I promise no 2 days will ever be the same.

About the author:
Patricia Green has been Cabin Crew for major airlines in the UK and Middle East for seven years and also an SCCM. She has also worked as a VIP Flight Attendant working for very high profile clients and world leaders on their private jets. Last year Patricia moved to flying on a freelance basis in order to concentrate on working as a freelance instructor as well as setting up as a Cabin Crew Consultant.

She advises potential crew how to get their dream job and helps experienced crew move from commercial to corporate flying. In response to many requests from fellow crew and students, Patricia has written a series of E-books to help guide new crew with lots of insider advice and useful hints and tips.

For more information please visit www.cabincrewconsultant.weebly.com
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Photo: Corporate Flight Training