Monthly Archives: October 2011
Corporate travel etiquette.
As we all know, there are certain rules (written and unwritten) that accompany commercial airline travel. Things such as standing in Long security lines and TSA procedures, Checking in for a
flight at least an hour prior to the scheduled departure, Boarding priority for the plane, and Adapting your plans and schedule around the airline schedule including delays and cancellations..
I call such things rules and etiquette of travel.
Flying on corporate jets is vastly different, but there are still procedures to follow and a right vs wrong way of “behaving”… Which I refer to as corporate travel etiquette.
Let’s start with the obvious ones. First, although a paying client may have anyone onboard he or she wants, all the names of passengers still need to be recorded and sent through screening prior to plane taking off. Another words, if you decide to have 5 new friends show up to accompany you on your trip at the last minute, understand there will be a slight delay to your travels until everyone is cleared from a security stand point..
Another more obvious rule, when traveling out of the country, make sure your passport and or visa are up to date… private jet customers is not excused from immigration laws. And no body wants to be detained in foreign countries…including the crew.. What you may not know is that Some foreign nationals require a visa for entry into the United States and some airlines and charter companies are able bring these passengers without a visa into the United States as they
participate in the “Visa Waiver Program” allowing the carrier to transport passengers from certain counties into the US.
One of my favorite etiquette rules to pass on to private flyers is this..Although you do control the time of departure, please do not show up 5+hours late. (without notification). For one reason, the expensive catering you ordered is probably now ruined and will have to be reordered and
re-billed. ( to you). Reason two, pilots have to file departure slots at some airports, this can be a major issue if you miss your slot window and then have to request another departure and or arrival slot. Crews also have Duty-Time restrictions which may be impacted by a delay in your departure. And finally, Some may say-it’s also a little rude..
Adding to my travel etiquette list, i would like mention that Once onboard the jet, please be conscious of the fact that you are on a multimillion dollar plane. Treat it like so, especially if you do not own it yourself… Unfortunately This is not obvious etiquette to everyone..
Recently, I was told that a huge celebrity figure, and their entourage, physically destroyed a Gulfstream 300. Needless to say, they are now banned from flying without supervision.. Meaning a flight attendant always needs to be present to keep them in check when flying with this particular charter company.
Smoking onboard, while sometimes allowed, is more often discouraged and sometimes forbidden by some aircraft owners chartering their aircraft to others. Not only is it unhealthy for passengers and crew to inhale, it also ruins the interior of these beautiful planes.. it seeps into the carpet, the walls, etc. Need I say more?
Then, there is the topic of luggage. (Yes, there is luggage etiquette as well.). While traveling on a private jet, the only real formal “rule” is the obvious – NO drugs or unauthorized weapons in your luggage! Other than that, passengers are generally allowed to bring everything and anything with them.. In large quantities . And they do! There are times when luggage gets out of hand and seating becomes limited on the aircraft . I have seen people attempt to pile luggage in my kitchen galley! So, read carefully- first, Large pieces of luggage go in the ” luggage compartment” not the main seating area.( cabin). Second, your smaller bags( computer bags, purses, gift bags, etc) can be stowed behind seats and in safe areas of the cabin so they don’t take flight when we do! And no, you can’t put them in the cockpit either. Your cabin attendant will carefully take care of all your belongings if you let her/him. So release a little control and allow them to make the cabin a safe and comfortable place for you, your guests, and your luggage.
And last but not least , Another one of my favorite etiquette rules once in flight, is the idea of actually sitting during take off and landing, without being told to do so..
The corporate flight attendants are not there to harass you or treat you like you’re flying coach on a commercial airliner, however, it’s safety 101 that should tell you it’s not a good idea to be in the lavatory or walking around during these two crucial times of flight. These planes can have mechanical problems or accidents just like any other plane.. so, act
responsible and safe on your own.. And dare I say, it might be a good idea to take off and land with a seat belt on! Eeek!
So, now you know the etiquette rules before booking your next charter jet.
I look forward to serving you 🙂
Sorry There has been in lapse in my blogging lately. It’s not due to lack of material, but just the opposite. I have had two days at home the last month.. One week spent on a campaign trail, one week spent in China, etc.etc.. Which brings me exactly to my topic of discussion…
My personal life vs my job… I need to start by saying I LOVE MY JOB. There is nothing better in the world to me than packing my suitcase knowing iam off for another adventure… Both on and off the plane… Knowing I will be somewhere in the world that maybe I have not yet been and will have the great fortune of experiencing different culture, food, people. Plus being paid for it.. 12 years now this has been my life And there is not one day that I contemplate giving it up.
Then, there is my life at home. A sweet , loving dog, great friends and family, and now a new boyfriend whom I adore..and love spending my free time with. People always ask me if I get home sick or lonely on the road. The answer is yes .. And I do miss my pup and my boyfriend very much, but since we spend the majority of our lives working, I feel blessed that I can have a career that I love so much, even If it means leaving loved ones at home for extended periods of time.
Recently, the topic of ” the future” came up in conversation between my boyfriend and I. It was not an easy topic for either of us to discuss.. But it was an important one. We talked about the idea of marriage, kids, and my job..
Being the blunt honest person iam, I did pronounce my reluctant attitude concerning children. I explained my position in my career, including the fact that you rarely see VIP flight attendants running around pregnant. ” I do not fly for delta” I told him.. Meaning, no one really wants to see a pregnant flight attendant on a private jet. I can’t even think of a comparison to that but iam sure I don’t need to.. It’s pretty self explanatory. I also don’t want to take a year off from my job or even be a mom that takes off across the world for weeks on end, leaving her child at home with a nanny…
I do feel like that is the position I am in.. Making a choice between my life now ( which I love) or a life without travel/ my career…
I don’t know if there are other corporate VIP flight attendants that feel this way, but I do know my job has been known to cause divorce.. The thing is, I have never really wanted children. I have wanted adventure. I have wanted to see the world and experience all the wonderful things that travel brings.
My boyfriend on the other hand wants other things. He wants a family to come home to at the end of his day. He wants a child to pass on his genes and name. And I get that.
So here we are…though I have made my decision concerning my life and my future.. I made it the first time I packed a suitcase and boarded a plane.. The first time I smelled jet fuel and took off into the sunset and above the clouds..
Yea, I love my man, my dog, my family and Friends. But my future, as long as I have one, has to include an airplane..