When people ask what I do for a living, I say, “I’m a Flight Attendant.” The second question I always get is, “What airline do you work for?” This is where the conversation becomes complex; ultimately losing people. Why? Because I work in Private Aviation and it’s NOTHING like commercial.
Last week, I had my first deadhead flight in months (deadhead means you are flying without passengers). It was a 3 hour flight to St. Maarten, I spent 2 1/2 hours of that flight, scrubbing a toilet, doing dishes, vacuuming, wiping tables, cleaning all the windows, cutting lemons and limes, making the pilots lunch and the list goes on and on. I finished with enough time to take a quick nap on the couch and thought to myself, “No one has any idea of all the things that I have to do.“
People are so intrigued by my job, but what they don’t realize is that I wear every hat you can think of as a private cabin attendant. Janitor, maid, personal shopper, professional organizer, and so many other things that don’t have the pizazz that “Private Aviation” appears to have. I mean, I’ve had an entire caesar salad dropped on my head, maxed out my credit card, and had to sleep in the lobby. I’ve been the lucky one who cleaned up human feces someone left in the lav trash bin, been in the cabin while people are practically having sex, and more than you could ever imagine. None of this was what I signed up for when I got into Private Aviation.
There are so, so, SO many differences between working as a Commercial Flight Attendant and working in Private Aviation. So many differences to the point that maybe the job titles are actually a little deceiving. This blog post, along with a YouTube video, was created to help clear up some common questions regarding private aviation and my job, while comparing the industry to the commercial sector.
Are you thinking about possibly being a flight attendant? Have you thought about both private and commercial? How do you know which one is for you?
Part 1 Summary:Kara— as a Commercial Flight Attendant— has a much easier flight day than I do, but she also gets paid a lot less. HOWEVER, Kara is in more control of her schedule/life and I have to make more sacrifices to stay available to fly at a whim for all these high profile jet-setting clients. Here is our full convo:
What is the difference in training and scheduling?
Part 1.2 Summary: Another win for the Commercial Flight Attendant could be that training is usually paid and a job/income is guaranteed upon successful completion. In Private Aviation, you have to pay for everything, and that is without even being certain a job is around the corner. It is equally as challenging with your schedule as a Private Flight Attendant, because many times, you don’t have any set schedule AT ALL. In Commercial Aviation, you may have little say initially, but you will most likely always have more say to when you work than a private cabin attendant will. Either way, the life of a Flight Attendant requires LOTS of FLEXIBILITY!
We still have many questions to answer for you, so stay tuned for all the new content! Ask us what you are wondering about flight attendant life by commenting below and on the YouTube Channel!