CAREER DEVELOPMENT / JUN. 09, 2014
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How to Become a VIP Flight Attendant

Once you are experienced Cabin Crew and have a few years worth of flying behind you, you may want to move into the world of corporate flying and become a VIP Flight Attendant. It is a challenging role, often you are on ‘standby’ for your next flight and work is ‘on demand’ but you will find it a rewarding experience. Working on private jets, you will provide 5 star services to your VIP’s, royalty, elite business men or celebrities and no two days are the same.

What is the Role of a VIP Flight Attendant?

The main duties of a VIP Flight Attendant are:

  • To be responsible for the safety and welfare of the passengers and crew
  • To provide a professional 5 star service
  • To know what to do in an emergency situation
  • To know how to deal with a medical emergency
  • To maintain a safe and secure environment

Some tasks that you will be required to do are:

  • Order catering and prepare a menu plan tailored to the VIP’s preference
  • Check emergency equipment onboard the aircraft
  • Dress the cabin with floral arrangements, provide welcome canapés and drinks
  • Make sure the passengers and cabin are secure
  • Prepare and present 5 star restaurant quality meals
  • Provide excellent service
  • Clean the cabin and restock all amenities
  • Be discreet and conscientious – work is confidential

Basic Requirements and Qualifications

VIP Flight Attendants are required to have a high school education and a minimum of 2 years working as cabin crew in a business class or first class cabin. Safety and medical training is not required for private aircraft with less than 18 seats and is optional depending on the aircraft operator. Culinary training or work experience in a 5 star environment are desirable and languages are a plus – English, Mandarin and Russian being the most in demand.

In this sector, it is important to note that all roles are not equal and the aircraft owner can state their requirements e.g. female aged between 25-35, of a certain nationality and speaking requested languages. This is normal within the industry, unfortunately and requirements are strict.

You may be required to pass a medical and take full vaccinations. You may have to provide 2 passports and apply for appropriate visas. Your personal presentation must be of a high standard. Visible tattoos are not acceptable. References from previous corporate operators will also be required and proof of initial cabin crew training.

Good qualities that a VIP Flight Attendant should have are:

  • Can do attitude
  • Excellent personal presentation
  • Cultural awareness and flexibility
  • Strong work ethic

How to Apply

All applications should be made directly to the airline operator’s career websites, via email as advertised on a careers website or through personal recommendation. Here you will find listed their requirements and details of the job itself.  You will need to send a full recent CV and one full length and one head and shoulders photo.

Hours, Salary and Benefits

There are no legalities regarding the hours worked in the corporate sector, you could work anything from 3 hours to 21 hours in a day. You have to be very flexible as a VIP may not run to schedule and be hours late and you may still have to work a long haul flight. Most flights are last minute or you may get a few hours warning. Time off may be down-route or at base but usually limited and dependent on the VIP’s schedule. Some VIP Flight Attendants have a rotation, where they are scheduled 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off or a month on and a month off, but these are rare. Freelance VIP Flight Attendants do not work to a schedule and work on demand on a daily basis.

Salary is made up of basic and per diem (overnight allowance). Per diem may be paid at base and down-route or down-route only and be variable according to destination.

 

Minimum

Maximum

New VIP Crew

$2000

$3000

Experienced Crew

$3000

$5000

Freelance Crew

$300 per day

$500 per day

Other benefits may include health and life insurance, uniform and laundry expenses as well as internet service.  Accommodation and transport are provided down-route and sometimes also at base, depending on where the aircraft is primarily based. Contracts may be short term from 6 months to one or two years.

Future Opportunities

You can continue working in the VIP sector as long as contracts allow or you can freelance and work from home or study. After 2 years, you may be able to work up to Lead Flight Attendant and after 5 years you could be considered for a Chief Flight Attendant or VIP Crew Manager role.

 

Photo courtesy of airinternational.com

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