VIP Cabin Crew | Participating at an Airshow

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By on Monday 9th Mar, 2015 at 12:33

Private aviation companies often participate in industry events, also known as airshows. An airshow is an event, lasting 3 to 4 days, during which many industry-relevant organizations gather to advertise their services, meet with counterparts from other organizations, sign important deals and overall network with business partners in the field. Airshows are organized throughout the world on yearly basis and many private operators participate or at least visit the event.

It could also happen that your company can decide to rent an exhibition stand (indoors) or a chalet (outdoors, usually right in front of the aircraft parking position) to gain more exposure and have more space for business meetings.

This is where you come in. Cabin crews working on the aircraft usually accompany it to the event and showcase the cabin with all its features or assist with on-stand or chalet service.

The aircraft will either be open to visitors (rarely) or will be accessed only with invitations by prospective clients that are interested to charter or even buy a similar plane. Business meetings will often take place on board as well.

You will be expected to look your usual best in the company uniform, have a solid knowledge of the aircraft features (how long it can fly non-stop, passenger capacity, baggage hold capacity, inflight entertainment system, etc.) decorate the cabin/stand/chalet as discreetly yet as VIP as possible (prepare a full table lay-up, have flower and/or chocolate arrangements displayed in the cabin, etc.), look after the visitors (offer drinks, canapés, tidy up the cabin regularly, empty ashtrays and dust bins, etc.) and much more.

In between the visits/meetings, you need to be fast in sweeping every section of the cabin and make sure that it is looking impeccable for every single visitor.

The catering supplied daily (drinks, canapés, finger food, etc.) might have to be arranged by you or by the aircraft manufacturer’s representative. This information will be communicated to you, one or two days in advance, by the Sales Department of your company.

If it is organized by the manufacturer’s representative, communicate closely with them to see if your assistance is needed. You might have to take care of the dish washing at the end of the day and will need to know where you can do that. If your aircraft is equipped with a proper sink or even a dishwasher, the problem is solved. Otherwise, you will have to organize equipment pick up with the company designated to provide catering.

If you have to organize catering yourself, try to find out if there is an exclusive provider agreed by the event organizers. Almost every time, there is only one exclusive caterer that must be used by all exhibitors and that isn’t necessarily the provider based in the airport where the event takes place. It can be a 5 star hotel or a private caterer from outside that particular airport.

It is important for you to have these details because the beginning and the end of an event day are the busiest times for the caterer. If you are just finding out these details at the end of the first day, it is already late and you will end up waiting for hours until the caterer finishes servicing other exhibitors before attending to your needs.

Also find out from the manufacturer’s representative the approximate number of persons you are expected to receive on board/in the chalet so you can compile your catering order efficiently.

Airshows are very dynamic events for all participants, and especially for cabin crew. We strongly recommend that you carry a pair of flat shoes and have it handy so you can change from your high heels every now and then even for a few moments at a time. It will make a difference in the long run.

You will be on your feet non stop and if you are in high heels the whole time, by the end of the first day you will be ready to chop your feet off if that made the ache go away.

Have your make up kit handy and replenish your make-up often. Just like during your normal duty day, you need to look as fresh and attractive at the end of each day as you looked at the beginning of it.


Monica & Simona started their flying careers at one of the major airlines in the Gulf region. After flying for over 6 years as commercial cabin crews, they moved on to flying for different reputable VIP operators in the Middle East and Europe and have gradually progressed to the role of VIP Cabin Crew Director and VIP Cabin Crew Trainer respectively.

They are the two co-founders of Cabin Crew Excellence, an online platform dedicated to individuals of all aviation experience levels. Our aim is to help people from all over the world enter the wonderful field of aviation, assist existing cabin crew to transition to VIP operations and empower cabin crew of all levels to further enhance their job-related knowledge and skills and invest in their personal and professional development.

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