In the first part of this article we started to delve into what a working day may resemble for anybody considering the Corporate Flight Attendant profession or who may find themselves working on their employers private aircraft. We will continue where we left off from the previous article.
Once at the airport the Flight Attendant will usually check-in with the flight crew then head to the aircraft. Items may need loading and amenities restocking. For night flights beds may need loading and making on the type of jets that don’t have fixed bedrooms. The emergency equipment will be checked and a sweep of the aircraft carried out, plus a test of all the vital cabin and galley equipment and management system. The last thing you want is to depart and find vital safety equipment is unserviceable or items in the cabin not working.
Next the galley will be prepared; catering logically organised, or received and checked if procured from a caterer. Preferably leaving enough time to make an emergency dash if items are missing or look questionable. Wines, champagnes and beverages may need chilling. Some foods may require preparation prior to departure, especially if the flight is short or loads are high. The service equipment and linens will need organizing especially for shorter flights. Any laundry or dishes that have may have been offloaded will need putting away.
The cabin and bathrooms will be dressed; depending on whom the clients are will dictate what is put into the cabin for boarding and welcoming them. When the preparations are finished a final clean is always necessary, dust and fingerprints are a magnet on the highly lacquered surfaces of corporate jets. Finally a thorough security check or search of the aircraft cabin, bathrooms and hold needs to be carried out. The flight crew will also need a snack and a drink, this is often the only time you will have to take five for yourself. Once the passengers are imminent its all systems go to make any final adjustments and be ready to greet the passengers with a big smile. However, as this is private aviation you may find your passengers are delayed at the last minute and you are hanging about waiting for some time.
Once the passengers are onboard, seated and comfortable the welcome service can start and the safety features of the aircraft will be covered. The cabin and passengers will then be secured for takeoff; all the items lovingly placed out for boarding will need stowing away often very quickly. Sometimes the taxi out to the runway can be very short leaving very little time to get the cabin secured.
After take off drinks are usually offered, menus distributed, movies set up children and babies attended to, the Flight Attendant will often liaise with passengers to see how they prefer to have their service. The service offered is often dictated by the passenger’s preferences, time of departure, length of flight and even the purpose of the trip. Once the passengers have been attended to things are far from finished there is always lots to do, checking the passengers, making beds, restocking used items, washing up, feeding the flight crew and yourself, perhaps even prepping further meals and snacks etc. you can literally be on the go for hours after takeoff.
Once the descent into the destination starts the cabin will need securing again for landing, sometimes this can take a while on longer flights especially after night flights. When the aircraft has landed and the passengers have been bid a farewell the aircraft will be swept for any left items and will be cleaned so it is left immaculate. The catering and laundry will be handed off, depending on when the aircraft will next depart the new catering may need to be organized if hasn’t already. If operating into freezing or hot destinations all liquids, condiments and some confectionary will have to be removed as they would freeze or melt – this can really add to the working day.
So finally everything has been offload, organized, ordered, polished etc. you made it one piece you can consider your duty day over. Although in truth you are never quite off duty trips and plans often change. However by this time hopefully you are on your way to a well-earned rest and will be soon ready to go again, all in a days work.