Monthly Archives: March 2014

Men with Wings..Part 2 ( warning: may include politically incorrect references)

male fa
A couple of years ago I wrote a blog about pilots called “ Men with Wings”. I guess it is safe to say that it was geared toward male pilots- their role in corporate aviation and my experiences working with them. So, I thought it is only fair that I share my thoughts and knowledge on
male flight attendants as well.. They definitely deserve their own blog too.. After all, they have struggled a bit getting into this industry and deserve credit for all their hard work ☺

The Rumors and the Facts
Until a few years ago, I did not personally know many male corporate flight attendants/cabin attendants. All I really knew was what I had heard through the grape vine, things like:
Many operators / aircraft owners – typically don’t like to hire them, but on the other hand, some female clients “ will ONLY work with male Flight attendants”. Now, after meeting a few and hearing their first hand experience, I learned that these rumors are actually true! Sadly, there are still employers out there that think ONLY female FAs belong on these corporate jets.. In specific parts of the country, and the WORLD for that matter- this is the general consensus. Sometimes it is a cultural issue, but many times it is just a “sexist” thing ( In my opinion).
The male cabin attendants tell me that in order for people to hire them, they REALLY have to sell their credentials and have outstanding references vouching for them.
It is also true that there are many high profile females that only want this gender onboard.. The typical thoughts on this is because maybe they don’t want their significant other “checking out “the female FA? Or that maybe they think females are too much drama?? ( I am really just speculating and going with opinions of my peers on this one). One of the guys I know informed me that the female celebrity he flys “refuses” to have a female cabin attendant onboard after she had a “bad experience” with one… (hmmmmm…wonder what that was about?!)

My opinion
From what I have seen, the male FAs in corporate aviation all seem to have some of the best resumes out there: including many years of culinary experience. Many have held past positions as international chefs, restaurant owners, and personal assistants to fortune 500 CEOs. Some are also aircraft mechanics and pilots! They all seem to have tremendous skill, impressive experience, strong work ethic, and excellent personality.-Exactly what it takes to make a great corporate flight attendant!
Unfortunately, there are still employers that will, at times, only hire the young pretty girl that has no experience because they think the clientele will prefer that. Sexism AND Ageism !( I guess that’s a whole other blog).
I am not judging or criticizing those employers, it IS their right to hire or not hire whomever they wish. However, I do believe that people should always be judged on “ who they are, not what they are”.

Now I don’t mean to exclude male commercial fight attendants, because they have had their own challenges on the job (like dealing with homophobic/old school pilots,and getting unfairly stereotyped) but in this day and age, they are generally accepted and welcomed into aviation without question. During MY commercial days in the sky, I worked with MANY male flight attendants and honestly enjoyed their company and work ethic more than some of female flight attendants I worked with..

YOU KNOW I AM ALWAYS HONEST…. After all, this blog is a place where I express my honest opinions, share my stories, and give the best advice I can..
As always, PLEASE feel free to give me your feedback, thoughts, or share your OWN experience!!

With Love (and honesty),
Cobblestones and Heels

Its Tax time.. not Taxi…

money-signs-around-aircraft-a-FAV
As a CONTRACT cabin attendant, tax time can be quite scary…
Throughout the year we are flying our little butts off making bundles of “tax free money”!! when we are new.. the reality of what that will mean the following April- usually doesn’t set in till its too late ☹ ..Unfortunately, the majority of us have learned our lesson the hard way about saving or (not saving) our tax money.

The first time I flew “contract” for an entire year, was a real eye opening experience for me.. Luckily I had a great accountant that helped me out of my mess, After scolding me of course! She also taught me a great deal about “itemizing”, and all of the things I can “write off” as a contract flight attendant because essentially we are running our own business..

If you are new to this game, here are my tips…

First, speak to an accountant at the beginning of the year and get some help estimating how much you should save from each pay check for the end of the year and put that money aside!
Also, don’t take the advice of your friends, family, or co-workers when it comes to this stuff unless they are a professional CPA or accountant! Everyone likes to put their 2 cents in, and although they may have some good advice (including this blog), no one knows your personal tax situation but you!

Second, try to pay twice a year instead of all at once at the end of the year!

Third, here are some of the most common things you can write off for your “business”:
1. Clothes ( all those pretty suits you buy, shoes, and hosiery too)
2. Laptop and computer purchases
3. Cell phone bill
4. a watch purchase
5. Transportation to and from airports and FBOs
6. Car mileage or payments
7. Rent if you have a second bedroom and you claim it as your “office”
8. Trainings (this is huge!!)
9. Getting your hair done
10. Office supplies, faxing, copying, etc..( at kinkos or your hotel)
11. If you do not get reimbursed for food expenses, or do not receive per diem, you will write off your meals on the road
12. Other travel or hotel related expenses- that the company you are flying with does not pay for.

Now depending on your personal situation, geographic area, etc., there may be much more added to this list. But make sure you keep all receipts in case of a scary audit!!

There are also companies that will take taxes out even if you are working contract. ( this is ideal in my opinion).
If they give you the choice, you may have to figure out what the best route is to go for YOU (again with the help of a professional).

Don’t let April 15th be D day for you!!

Fly safe and wise,

With Love,

Cobblestones and Heels

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