How I transitioned from Part 121 ( Commercial Aviation ) to Parts 91/135 ( Business Aviation )

The last airline I flew for in the mid 1980s, Capitol Air, went bankrupt. I always noticed these cool, outrageous jets while we were taxiing and I knew I wanted to be on them. The moment Capitol shut down, I went to Aircare FACTS Training for “corporate specific egress training ” ( I actually coined that terminology 25 years ago ) and started flying.

In life, there are things you are just good at and things that you are not…. It’s amazing…. I was good at this from day one. My first trip was on a Falcon 50 with 8 pax from VNY – DCA and they wanted a four-course hot dinner with a small HIGH-LOW oven with four small racks. I pulled it off in a galley the size of a minute, and no space. And I knew I had arrived in DCA literally and figuratively into a new and amazing industry!

I believe these are some of the essential skills for a successful corporate flight attendant career –

* Flexibility
* Creativity
* Personal accountability
* Integrity
* Interpersonal skills
* No ego
* Taking direction
* Confidentiality
* Constant professionalism
* Being multi-task oriented
* Ability to compartmentalize
* Out-of-the-box thinking
* Effective time management
* Book trips, keep and maintain schedules
* Manage themselves as a business
* Interface with several flight departments
* Adapt to various flight departments’ SOPs
* Remain open-minded at all times
* Be impeccably organized
* A passion & LOVE for food!
* Perform safe and creative menu planning and food execution
* Maintain recurrent egress training annually
* CRM ( Crew Resource Management )

The advice I would impart if you are looking at a career as a corporate flight attendant would be -

Have a great resume and cover letter. Direct it TO the company with whom you are applying to. Never send a generic cover letter. The cover letter is the most decisive part of a CV/Resume packet!

Vet your training options. This is not an easy industry to break into so you need to be tenacious and do not give up! I look at this as a sales job, you are selling “you.” When a true salesperson hears “No,” that translates into not now, but maybe later. You really need to understand the cabin dynamics involved in this type and venue of flying. It is totally unlike Part 121 (commercial). When you are doing this work, whether full time or contact, it is the passengers’ world not yours. It is a flying office or a family’s personal mode of transportation.“You are a paid guest on the plane,” I can’t stress that enough.

Susan C. Friedenberg – President & CEO
Corporate Flight Attendant Training & Global Consulting
241 South 6th Street – Suite 1806
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106 USA