Life of a VIP flight attendant – ‘I spend the day carrying groceries’

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The life of a corporate flight attendant can be so many things, or it could not be any of these as we all have different experiences and expectations. Our life depends on whom we work for, it could be a charter company or it could be a privately owned plane, and daily life and responsibilities differ incredibly.

In a charter company you are one of the many flight attendants flying any plane the company operates, and every day there are different guests with bizarre requests, but you also get to fly with A-list celebrities.

Working for a private owner or family is often you and another flight attendant operating sometimes larger jets or more than one plane that the family owns.

I now work on private owned planes and I can say you get to experience a whole other world out there.

Imagine sitting and looking at a map of the city and brainstorming how to get from one part to the other in the fastest and easiest possible way. For us, this is how we look at the map of the world.

By travelling this much the world gets smaller, as travelling so often has become such an everyday occurrence.

Taking the plane to Rome or England, or to UAE via Frankfurt or Berlin, is as normal for us as just a commute for others taking the underground.

Nothing feels far away anymore. Time zones don’t really matter either. We don’t have much time to think about them as most attention goes to organising the time when our duty starts.

Sometimes we have very little on the ground, but sometimes we get to spend a whole week at a destination. Yes, we do get to travel and see the world, and just last month I found myself thinking about how many cool things my work allows me to experience while walking on the beach of a small Italian town called Alassio.

A few days prior I was having Argentinian steak in Buenos Aires, a few days later my colleagues and I were having fish and chips in the beautiful city of Newcastle, England, and here I am, walking the shores of Italy wondering where I will go for a nice Italian dinner.

Even after 17 years in the aviation industry, I catch myself thinking “this is really cool” but I have to say I never joined aviation with a dream of travelling the world. It’s the work that excites me the most.

We are the ones responsible and in charge to cater upcoming flights, preparing the menus and sourcing out the best restaurants which we get the meals from.

We do all the shopping for upcoming flights, sometimes we even ask pilots to help us carry everything from the grocery store before stopping by the bakery for fresh bread or croissants.

Then we have to go back out there and find flowers to make beautiful flower arrangements for a nice atmosphere in the cabin, toys for children and a nice paper to print our menus on.

We also have to consider all the guest requests. Not everybody likes purple flowers, somebody might be allergic to pollen or another one is on a low-carb diet, and you have to cater to everybody’s needs.

This is where often nice Instagram posts might be misleading as yes, people see a photo of us at a nice destination, but they don’t see the hard work behind the scenes.

Friends and family at home have a calm life, but when my duty starts, I have to get on a commercial plane that will take me to where “my plane” is, sometimes carrying special wines or handmade chocolate I have already purchased for the owners, and sitting on business class, I find myself researching the most glamorous restaurants at the destination.

The life of a private flight attendant is very demanding but at the end of the day, it’s also a lifestyle no other job will offer.

There is no other job as spectacular as this one and this is also the best thing about it. You get paid to go to places you could never afford, you stay in the best hotels and the most expensive daily meals are paid for.

You get to travel, and meet amazing people on the way, would it be a celebrity you are a fan of or a colleague that ends up being your friend, and you end up having friends all over the world. Because the world now is a lot smaller and nowhere feels too far to travel to. You get to taste the world’s most expensive wines and try the most exquisite foods.

I don’t know what this life really is, but I know what it is not: it’s not boring.

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