In this post I’m going to talk about the pay and perks of being a VIP Flight Attendant and a member of the cabin crew on any private jet.
Would you like to travel the world in private aircraft, stay in the best hotels, mix with the super rich, and get paid to do so? Such ideas are what attract Flight Attendants to roles within business aviation and VIP hospitality.
However, as I’m sure you already know, such positions are only open to the select few with the right skills and experience. There are the Flight Attendants who work on private aircraft that ferry heads of industry and senior members of corporations from capital to capital. Then there are Flight Attendants whose passengers are wealthy individuals who use their own or rented private jets for the convenience and privacy that they provide.
So one thing that most, if not all these passengers have in common is the fact they are very wealthy, they regard time as a precious commodity, and they value discretion and privacy. Consequently, they need Flight Attendants who are discrete, efficient, and professional in every way. They may request that their pilots and cabin crew sign non-disclosure agreements, so you might have to forget blogging or vlogging about your travels and clients.
The clue is in the title; a private jet is not a public space, so the Flight Attendants need to keep in mind that what they see and hear is not to be disclosed elsewhere. Sometimes this is to protect the privacy of the individual and their families but it could also be because business meetings are held aboard that discretion is required.
The aircraft involved range from small business jets (bizjets) with limited seating and amenities, to airliners containing lounge areas, bedrooms, and bathrooms. You’ll quickly become familiar with Learjets, Cessna Citations, Embraers, Gulfstreams, and perhaps privately owned airliners like a Boeing 777 or even a 747.
For the ultra wealthy price is no object so the Flight Attendant should not be intimidated by ostentatious displays of wealth, expensive equipment, and famous people. Serving food and drink aboard such aircraft requires skills that can only be acquired by diligent effort and experience. You’ll be expected to prepare and serve dishes to the highest standards with presentation worthy of a Michelin star restaurant. Communication and language skills are important and knowledge of the protocols and customs of various nationalities is a great asset.
Those that succeed among the elite of cabin crew are often those with a wide range of skills. First Aid, CPR, and any other knowledge useful in a medical emergency are an asset.
Private jet Flight Attendants will often act as a Personal Assistant; booking, arranging, sourcing, and collecting for their clients. Perks of the job include large cash tips, exclusive tickets to events, and expensive fashion accessories given as gifts.
Base salaries are in the region of $55-65,000 but they vary greatly according to client and employer. Regular pay increases and annual bonuses are not uncommon so the package is very attractive. Being a member of the entourage may mean that you stay at the same top hotels and enjoy all the facilities that they offer, but in return you’ll be expected to be on call at short notice for sudden departures. This often means that you cannot plan your time or give commitments to others and this can put a strain on your social and personal life.
Flight Attendants also need to be selective in their choice of employer and contracts. Occasionally a client may overstep the boundaries of respect and professionalism by making inappropriate suggestions or making totally unacceptable demands. This means the Flight Attendant needs to be assertive enough to reject the advance and reaffirm the boundaries.
The rewards for these positions are high and therefore there is strong competition. Vacancies are few and the best jobs are not advertised at all. It’s more a case of knowing the right people and being ready to grab the opportunity with both hands.
There is little job security either so you need to keep in mind that you may be working elsewhere a year ahead. Another advantage of this role is the fact that you probably won’t have a supervisor breathing down your neck. You’ll be in charge or working closely with a few colleagues. So if you aspire to a position like this then acquire the skills described, gain the experience in Business & First Class cabins, and do your research into employers, positions, and packages around the world.