The wonder of private jet flying is hardly a new concept, though in recent years it has seen quite a bit of time in the limelight, as chartering a private jet is becoming all the rage, and flying with the class and status inherent in private jets is more desirable than ever; the catered menu, the high quality food, impeccable service, comfortable chairs, the beds, the quiet, lack of rigamarole, the ability to browse the web throughout the flight, the ability to bring any pets without qualm.
Semi-private jets are trending right now, too, where it's pretty easy to snag yourself a seat for a surprisingly reasonable price, sometimes for even less than $200. The privacy is gone with this option, but the leg-room, plush seats, delicious cuisine, drinks, and flawless wait service are all still present. And for virtually the same price in some instances, it most assuredly beats crowding into a tiny, cramped, sick-tin cattle-bus of a jumbo jet and being uncomfortable for seemingly endless hours.
The differences between commercial flying and private flying are vast and carry far beyond just the flyer's experience. It's also a whole different ball game for the staff of the jet, too. With private jets and a completely different clientele, the staff has to step up, and provide some seamless and flawless service, the kind that can hardly be found anywhere else. This, naturally, involves guidelines. Let's take a look at 19 weird rules jet staff have to follow.
When it comes to working on a private jet, it takes a little bit more than just rolling in five minutes before your shift starts and punching the clock, and then turning your brain off for eight hours.
No, the clients sometimes change things, even very big things, all the way up until the plane begins moving, and even still after that. Being able to roll with the punches and work with the sometimes sudden changes, no matter how last minute, is vital.
Being a member of the private jet staff also involves a fair amount of work that begins long before the jet even takes off. Yes, it's more than just being a good flight attendant while in the air, and more than just showing up for a nice ride.
Personal assistant skills are a vital necessity. The client could need things picked up for them, errands ran, things required for the journey of the said client. The list of personal assistant tasks is quite large.
When it comes to how things run in the air, there are a lot of rules to follow, guidelines to be kept in mind, and ways to act in order to provide a seamless and flawless experience, one of true pleasure, worth the 30 grand an hour the client is paying.
Being a flight attendant on a private jet requires the ability to be completely invisible and never noticed, yet always available when needed, and even having the ability to intuit when someone needs something, even before they ask it.
The staff of a private jet isn't as lucky as the clients often are, with everything accounted for, prearranged, and luxurious. For the staff, it's a job (a good one that requires hard work), and when the plane lands in a foreign country, that's not the end of the story.
The staff has to book their own accommodations upon arrival, meaning that it's up to them to decide where they stay and sleep before they have to rush off again in the morning to take care of any number of things before the next chartered flight.
Alright, so that's steak in the picture, but that doesn't change the fact that in the day of a private jet worker there really is no telling what sort of thing will happen, or what will be requested, no matter how strange.
That's what Emma, a flight attendant specializing in private jet flights, has happened to her regularly. And one time it went so far as to include a turkey. "Once I was asked to provide a frozen butterball turkey, no smaller than 33lbs, that would be offloaded with the passenger at their final destination!" she said according to blog.privatefly.com.
When someone wants to fly private, it's usually because they are quite particular about their preferences when it comes to their flying experience. They want it to be the best, and with good reason as they are paying top dollar for just that, the best.
So, the staff goes to great lengths to make sure that before, during, and after the chartered flight, everything remains absolutely spotless and clean. Only the best for the elite flyers, the clients who demand the best because they are willing to pay for it.
Flying on a private jet can at times be a little less than smooth and without hiccups. Indeed, it's often common for there to be quite a bit of turbulence and rough patches while flying. No amount of money can get that to go away.
But, with feet like a ballerina, the staff can deal with the perils of working in these conditions without missing a beat and still provide top-notch service to their most important clients. It takes balance, coordination, and no small amount of quick reflexes.
It's something a bit different from commercial airliners; this ability to not only have better food but to even be able to have a menu crafted around your very own personal tastes and likes when it comes to all things culinary.
With a few questions and understanding of their client's preferences, specific or broad, the staff craft an in-flight menu that changes depending on each and every person chartering the jet. This keeps things interesting for the staff and definitely keeps them busy.
It spans more than just understanding a client's needs and wants while on the private jet when it comes to providing service that goes above and beyond. In fact, while paying attention to details while flying is a hugely important thing for the staff, it's nearly as important to understand other details.
Yes, whether it's the background on someone, understanding why they are traveling, where they're going and what their purpose of travel is, and so on, paying attention to the details is vital, and part of what tailors a magnificent experience.
The client doesn't just want to be ignored during the entire duration of the flight, nor do they want to be bothered. So striking a balance for the staff is often times a delicate art that involves reading a lot of client specific clues.
In other words, it involves the proper amount of one on one with the client. They are taking a private jet for a reason, to not be treated like cattle, like they're being herded along with the masses. So, naturally, showing personal interest is vital.
While not a hard and fast rule in the private jet industry, for all intents and purposes it might as well be one. Between caring for whims and needs of the client at any given moment, flights prove to be a flurry of non-stop activity.
Emma, a true master of the trade with years of experience under her belt, knows this more than most. "Once in the air (depending on the aircraft I’m on, the passengers’ requests, and the length of the flight), I’m typically rotating between service, clearing food, cleaning, meal prep, and making beds. I’m often on my feet the entire flight," she said, according to blog.privatefly.com.
As everyone in the service industry knows all too well, looking busy is one of the most important, and most enforced rules there is. With good reason, too, because it puts the customer or client at ease, giving them peace of mind.
The same goes for staff on a private jet, as the last thing a discerning client wants to see is one of the staff twiddling their thumbs, slacking off, looking bored, or any of those things. That would lead to a sub-par experience, and we all know that they pay for the best.
For private jet workers, it's not uncommon to find themselves taking care of and having direct contact with some very important people, the likes of celebrities, tycoons, millionaires, and even royalty. These people hold great prestige and often have very particular tastes...
It's the job of the staff to know and prepare in advance for these very special clients; know who they are, what their preferences are, etc, so that they can provide a tailored, seamless, five-star experience.
As is true for almost every single flight attendant and airline staff in the world, your job takes you to a lot of places, often times in rapid succession across the corners of the earth. This is also true when it comes to chartered private jets and the staff who are employed on them (if not more so).
These flights often go to quite extreme or unique locations, legendary destinations of the super rich, exotic and even confusing places. So it pays to know where you are and know your bearings, keeping your wits about you.
While the general charade of having to wiggle your way through endless lines of thousands of people through security and through concourses, and piled up outside cramped corridors to even more cramped airliners, is almost entirely eliminated when chartering a private jet, security is still an issue.
Passengers of a private jet still have to be cleared through security, but they often do not have to wait in the same lines or go through the same areas as the rest of the masses, making for a seamless, painless, and quick journey through the airport and into luxury.
The staff is not always taken to the most convenient of places when it comes to the whims and travel patterns of the rich and famous, and so once their job is done, there isn't always a simple and easy way back to home, wherever home may be.
Some people are keen on the adventure of that lifestyle, some not so much. But, in any case, it's necessary for every staff member to wait patiently for a return flight home, or to the next pick up location of the next high-class client.
This ties into the entry about how the staff of private jets need to have some serious personal assistant skills to keep up to par with the service expected from them. Often times it takes more than just providing great service during the flight, or understanding the client.
Often, after a late night of work, it's back at it very early the next day, out and about gathering all of the necessary supplies and requests for the client, whether peremptorily or by request. Then it's back to the jet to prepare everything and keep busy for the entire flight.
Special requests can often take on some rather strange forms, all depending on who is requesting, what they're requesting, and the extent of necessary involvement. It could be something very simple and easy, or it could be something that proves to be a lot trickier.
In any case, it's up to the staff to fully understand and fulfill any and all special requests on behalf of the client. To do so would make the difference between a great experience from the very important client or a bad one. One of those choices is unacceptable.
While most private jets include an extraordinarily lush and lux sleeping room, complete with a bed, sheets, pillows, and anything else the client could desire, the fact is that the staff don't get to experience that, as it's reserved exclusively for the client.
That means that there is no sleeping in the jet for any of the staff, no exceptions. They leave the plane each night and find accommodations in the city where they've landed every time. Not so bad, though, especially with the kinds of places their clients like to frequent.
Sources: Private Fly Blog, Forbes, CNBC & Economist