Monthly Archives: September 2012

It makes “plane” sense.. do not date where you work!

Since the first day I became a flight attendant (dating back 13 years to my commercial flying days), my family and friends would say to me, : “ maybe you will meet a pilot!”, or “ How exciting, you will probably meet a handsome stranger on your travels!”
I was 22 at the time and was not looking to settle down with anyone, let alone meet some “stranger” that would live hundreds of miles from me,. The pilot thing, well , I had not discounted the idea, but initially I was so consumed with this new lifestyle and the excitement of travel, that a relationship was the last thing on my mind. It was not til years into the profession that I decided It was a very bad idea to date where I worked…

Dating scenarios in the Air


1. The commercial flight attendant & The passenger. AKA “ handsome stranger”

Flight attendants flying routes can vary from domestic to international. The trips can be 1 day to 7 days long. Yes, it is true that you will come in contact with thousands of people, and yes a few of them will be handsome men.. However, these people most likely live very far from you. And lets face it, everyone knows that long distance relationships do not have good odds of working out.
Not only that, but there is this big urban legend out there that flight attendants are easy and will ask you to join the “mile high club”.. What ever that is… The Truth is: I still have not met one FA that has had sex with a passenger in an airplane bathroom.. (Sorry guys). So, do you really want to start something with a guy that is looking at you like a feat he just conquered and can tell his friends he is dating or slept with a “stewardess” ?

2. The commercial flight Attendant and their co-worker ( pilot or flight attendant)

Now when you are flying for hours and days on end in a metal tube at 35,000 feet above ground, and socializing at the hotels during overnights, its logical that you may become close with your co-workers. (I have made some good life time friends from that job). Crew members also find themselves attempting to date each other as well. ..BAD IDEA.
In a perfect world you will get along great and bid for the same trips together and everyone is in bliss. But the reality of all relationships is that you can have very bad days together and breakup. Does it sound like fun to be working in close quarters with the person you just broke up with or is in a domestic dispute with? Not to mention that for safety’s sake in a plane, team work and synergy are very important ..and who has synergy with their mate while in dispute??

3. The corporate flight attendant and the VIP passenger
Going back 7 years ago, when I made the transition to corporate flying, my family and friends now said to me , “ isn’t it exciting, you could end up dating a celebrity!!” Two things here are obvious. One, the people close to me REALLY wanted me to settle down, and two, they had no idea about working in my industry…
One of the biggest cardinal rules in private aviation for flight attendant is : DO NOT DATE THE CLIENTS”.
During my first interview with a corporate jet company, my boss included that in his speech. He also took it a step further and said, “if you do end up dating a client, you better hope you will marry them otherwise you will never work in this industry again!’… Enough said.
Have I been hit on or flirted with on the job? Absolutely..
Have I reciprocated this flirting? Or accepted dinner date offers? Absolutely NOT. As tempting as it can be…
I will say, that what my boss said to me was true. I have known flight attendants that have broken the “rule”. Where are they now? I have no idea. They are no longer working in my industry….
And very recently, I witnessed a couple of flight attendants getting phone numbers from passengers… now I am no tattletale.. so I will just wait to see what happens with that one…

4. The corporate flight attendant and the pilot

For many corporate Flight attendants, the main goal is to work for an aircraft owner. Only work on his/her plane, and only fly when he/ she flies. In this case scenario, again, it s a bad idea to form a relationship with the pilot assigned to the same aircraft. As I stated above, relationships go a-rye . So Now a fighting or newly broken up couple, have to work together, spending days and sometimes weeks on end with the other person.
And worst of all, The owner of the aircraft,( unless he is completely oblivious of human behavior), will pick up on this…and the outcome will not be good..

When could it work?
If your significant other is in your industry and flies for a different company or owner… by all means give it a shot…
although, you may never see each other…

So folks, sorry to disappoint you all with no “dating a passenger story”…
But I really do love my job too much to risk loosing it!!

With love,
Cobblestones and Heels..

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The private jet and its interior decorator..

Ever wonder who designs the decor and interior of the private jets flying around?
Well I wondered the first time I stepped on one..
The recliners, divans ( couches), tables, carpentry, counter tops, etc etc.. who is responsible for creating and configuring these beautiful aircrafts I wondered? Wait for it.. here is the answer!!

Personal ownership
Similar to decorating your house, office, or any other personal space, private aircraft owners typically hire an interior decorator for their aircraft as well. After they purchase an aircraft, providing it was pre-owned, and they want to make changes, they design their own personal style and hire the professionals to complete the job. Sometimes its minor changes like upholstery or carpets,or it may be the entire inside that is gutted and re-done. People want their own personal style to come through, even on their private jet.. must be nice right?!
When purchasing a new aircraft, similar to purchasing a new car, the owner can order it exactly the way they want it so it will be delivered with the interior already suited or “outfitted” for them. Many aircraft owners also love to have their personal sigma on towels, blankets, and even dishware. Believe me, I have seen it all!

Corporate-owned aircraft’s
When corporations like Net jets, Jet suite, or Honda Jet, order or re-design an aircraft they own, they hire global brand companies such as BMW to design their interior.. There are many designer companies out there that cater to corporate jets exclusively. ( refer to my links below for details and related articles).

What does “reconfigure” mean?
To “reconfigure” an aircraft, means a lot more than just replacing the carpet.. This term refers to actually ripping out the entire interior and changing the configuration of the seats and space to suit a different purpose or owner.
For example, I fly many trips on Boeing VIP 767 or 747s. Many of These planes were once used for commercial airline use, but now bought by a private owner. They are gutted and changed so instead of having 200 normal seat; it has living rooms, bed rooms, conference rooms, kitchens, ETC.This huge plane now may only seat 30 ( at most) passengers ,even though it was originally designed to seat hundreds!
Every time I step on one for a job, I am always initially overwhelmed. While the Gulfstreams and challengers i work on are luxurious and beautiful, These super heavy VIP aircraft’s are truly amazing.

What does this private jet makeover cost?
I am sure you can only imagine the price to reconfigure or re-design the interior of a private jet. And you are right if you are thinking it can cost millions. Even small parts like a sink faucet can be a thousand dollars on a private jet!
This is why, the utmost finesse and care must be taken when working on or even riding on these planes.
I once wrote a blog on “corporate etiquette” and mentioned being considerate and careful while on board… now you know why!!
AHH.. it all comes together 🙂

For more detailed description of private jet make-overs, please refer to to following links!

http://www.luxury-insider.com/features/2010/private-jet-interiors/

http://thedesigned.com/2010/01/18/top-7-business-jet-interiors/

Enjoy and dream!

with love,
Cobblestones and Heels>

Corporate Flight Attendants are prepared for Everything!

Corporate flight attendants are prepared for everything!

As I was driving home from my annual recurrent safety training recently, I was thinking about the misconceptions people have about my industry, specifically what they think about corporate ( private jet) Flight Attendants. I don’t think the general public really understands what it entails for us to earn the credentials for this wonderful job.
Sometimes I hear people refer to corporate flight attendants as ” sky angels”, “air hostess, or even glorified waitresses”.. Well, In reality, it would be more accurate to call them superheroes! And since I am one of them, I say this with confidence.
We are trained for every potential disaster or mishap, we multitask beyond belief, we do about 5 jobs in one, and at times work up to 16 hours by ourselves. (AND still have the ability to keep ourselves looking impeccable through it all! )

Emergency training

First, although you see our position in the industry listed as “cabin attendants” , we are still “Flight Attendants “. Our emergency training is just as vigorous and detailed as a commercial flight attendant. ( and since I have worked on both sides, I know this to be a fact).
Training is mandatory for every flight corporate flight attendant out there. For our initial training, we go to a training center for about 5 days, 8-5. Then, every year we attend a 2 days recurrent training to stay, well “recurrent”!
We learn things like CPR/ First aid, how to treat many medical emergencies and illnesses. We learn to how to evacuate many different types of aircraft’s in all different circumstances. We are taught fire fighting techniques, how to secure a bomb found onboard, and now post 9/11: hijacking scenarios and self defense. Not only do we learn all of this in a classroom setting, we also learn hands on with a ” trainer aircraft”. Similar to a pilots simulator training, our “trainers” are designed to simulate real life conditions. They fill with smoke, make noise, and some actually shake. We go though drills that are as true to life as possible, and simulate many different types of emergencies, including water ditching (and yes this is taught and performed in actual water). The instructors test us in such a manner that forces us think on our feet. We all MUST pass these drills and written exams, in order to receive our certificates to work. I will add, that every year we return for recurrent training and re-certification.

Service and etiquette training

Adding to our emergency and safety trainings, we attend additional trainings where we are taught how to serve our VIP passengers. We are trained in fine dining service, culinary skills -including garnishing, actual cooking, re-plating , wine paring, and mixology. In addition, we learn proper social etiquette for working with high end clientele.
This, Is NOT taught in any commercial flight attendant training i have ever been though, though in my opinion it should be!

multi-tasking

As corporate flight attendants, we do not only prepare and serve the meals, we are also the ones responsible for creating the menu and doing all the necessary shopping, catering, and ordering. ( please refer to one of my earlier blog on these specifics).
On the day of departure, We supply the aircraft with decorative items such as floral arrangements, a welcome table of goodies such as: assorted chocolate truffles, fruit and cheese trays, or welcome champagne. We make sure all requested periodicals are on board as well as carefully selected entertainment. The bathroom is even stocked with everything you could possibly need! ( and these toiletries are NOT from CVS).
Lastly, we gather flight information and weather reports and actually create a classy and creative display in the aircraft.
During the flight we are typically serving multiple passengers, engaging in all requested conversations, preparing entertainment, (and sometimes childcare)…Yes pretty much all at once.
Then, After all passengers have de-planed, we are detail cleaning the entire interior of the plane, and taking mental notes for restocking and improvements, for the next flight.
Although we usually have a few days or even a week at our passengers destination to enjoy our alone time, we are also preparing our menu and beginning our catering for the trip home.
Personally, sometimes I take this multitasking a few steps further and actually book the plane and make all accommodation arrangements for clients… as well as the above!

Superheros

As you can see ( read), Corporate flight attendants pretty much do it all.
We may dress in a fashionable suit, cute heels, and makeup/ hair done to perfection, but we also wear those invisible capes while we work !

with love,
Cobblestones and Heels

My interview with Carol Martin: CEO of Sit’N Stay Global

The Company
Those of you that stay abreast of the latest news in either the aviation or pet industry, may have heard of this new and flourishing company called Sit ‘N Stay Global. It is a luxury pet service that transports pets and their owners to their destination in style, comfort, and most importantly; safety. The safety protocols on-board are parallel to those of protocols followed for people! (more about that later).
The service is geared towards private jet flyers that want to travel or transport their pet in the safest way possible and may also want first class pet care services on the ground at their travel destination.
When I first heard the basics of this concept, I was intrigued. I proceeded to roam around the website and watch the interview aired on HGTV. “Posh pets”. .
Now, being the inquisitive person I am, a well as a corporate flight attendant, and pet lover, I needed to know more! I hunted down the CEO /owner of this new company, and contacted her- in hopes of meeting and learning all the details!

The Woman
Carol Martin, (owner of Sit ‘N Stay Global and seasoned corporate flight attendant,) accepted my connection on LinkedIn. That’s where it started.
She politely answered my questions, and agreed to meet with me “in the near future” to discuss everything in person. After a few weeks our schedules finally coincided and we connected again through email to arrange a meeting. She suggested making it a fun day of wine tasting and Lunch in the beautiful vineyards of Temecula, CA. First, I love wine tasting so I was definitely in! Second, I was so grateful to her for offering to take the time to meet me. I knew from her emails alone, that she was not your ordinary pet lover/ business owner. Her warmth and gracious manner shined through her emails and I could not wait till our meeting!

The Meeting
It was a very hot day in Temecula, CA the day we met. We arranged to meet at the Wilson Creek winery and discuss the details of Carol’s company over lunch and some yummy wine. I was not sure what carol looked like, but I knew she was a corporate flight attendant so I immediately recognized her just by the classy, well put together look she had, and the warm smile on her face.
I was chomping at the bit to get all the details so I just dove in. I started with questions about her safety-training program and protocol on the plane.
I Was amazed to learn that she had every base covered: oxygen masks ( in different sizes), pet flotation devices( in case of a water ditching), pet seat harness, pet CPR/ First aid equipment, pet safety briefing card (for the parents to follow along with instructions), and even designated pet brace positions! Carol herself is trained in pet CPR/ first aid, and other specified courses. Any flight attendant that works for her must also be trained and qualified by her specific training program.
Adding to all of the safety features, carol provides the following:
1. first class meal service, with gourmet catering!
2. pet entertainment such as interactive games, live-streaming of DogTV, pet video games, and a variety of pet toys.
3. a system in place for “potty time”, placing the pets in a designated area and in such manner that they feel comfortable to “do their business”, with leaving no odor left detected in the jet cabin.
4.For “nap time”, carol makes sure that the pets are warm and cozy to catch up on their snoozing!
5.. And finally, she provides “pet nanny service for pet pawrents” at destination.
There is not one detail overlooked for these special pets.

As I sit and listen intently, I am thinking to my self, Wow! I have never heard of anything like this in allmy years of flying! As the owner of two dogs, and general pet lover across the board, I was so impressed by the details of this service and by the woman who started it all!
We ended our meeting with an exchange of helpful information, and a tentative plan to meet up again ☺

I have now made a plan myself to take pet CPR/first aid, not only for the benefit of my own pets, but the ones I will encounter on my future working flights!

Information

For more information about “Sit’N Stay Global”, visit the website at:

http://www.sitnstayglobal.com/

Interested in a pet CPR/first aid course? Visit:

http://www.doggieandme.com/pet-first-aid–cpr-classes.html

or

http://www.healthypawsla.com/petsaver-certification/petsaver-pet-cpr-first-aid-care-certification-training-dog-cpr

Love,
Cobblestones and Heels

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