Crew life: when the team is not a dream : (
Photo artist: Matteo De Stefano – www.matteo-destefano.it
The crew on a Private Jet is usually small group of people.
Depends on the size of the jet, you can have a crew composed by the two pilots only, or two pilots and one flight attendant.
Sometimes, for special missions, you can have two crew member in the cabin, while the big Airbus (ACJ) and Boeing (BBJ) have from 3 to 5 flight attendants plus pilots.
What happen when you are down route but you don’t get along well with your crew?
It can happen, right?
We are all different people with different personalities, and is not granted that we have good terms with everyone!
It depends on what is annoying you the most: the atmosphere on board or the one outside the work environment?
It might be that the pilots are not helpful or stressing too much, or the flight attendant appears as careless.
The complains I hear the most are that pilots have a crush on a specific hotel chain and they don’t want to take into consideration any other option.
This becomes a problem when you are stuck for a week in a hotel by the airport, miles away from the city center or a nicer location.
Another example is when flight attendants wants to have a good time and try expensive restaurants that must be paid with crew’s own money, or she/he is not proactive enough in checking on pilot’s well being during the flight.
So, what do you do in this situation?
First of all: don’t judge
I know, it’s complicated.
But you don’t know them and their story well enough to be entitle to express an opinion about their behaviour.
What you can do is to acknowledge that the situation is not having a good impact in your work performances or your mood during the layovers.
Once this is done and you have complained enough, remember that you only can change it.
Don’t expect the others to do it for you.
What I do in such a situation is to keep my goal well clear in my mind.
I act professionally, no matter what.
They are your colleagues and, more important, they deserve your respect always.
When I have free time during layovers I plan things by myself.
Loneliness can be very hard to take, so remember that the best way to face it is to keep yourself busy doing the things you like.
This is a fun job…. Go out and have fun!
At the same time, I keep communication open.
I try once every now and then to involve the rest of the crew, but I keep low expectations in case they reject my proposal or do not even reply.
And I keep doing my own things and programs.
Remember also that you are not forced to spend your free time with them, if you don’t feel like.
For my own mental health, I try to talk to someone who is able to listen and to whom I can confess my struggles without appearing annoying or grumpy.
Chose someone who is in the same industry if possible, and therefore can understand your point of view.
Me, for example : )
Ask for it!
I think that one of the most important superpowers is to be like water.
To adapt, shape around any possible situation and personality in order to get the best out of it.
Like water takes the shape of its container.
When on board and your pilots are difficult to deal with or your flight attendant is ghosting you, adapt to the situation by keeping communication clear and simple, that the other person can understand and cannot ignore.
I tell you what I need, I ask for it.
Pilots, you can tell to your ghosting flight attendant:
“Can I have a bottle of water for the cockpit please?”
“Do you mind to make me some coffee (with milk and sugar) please? I feel very tired during this night flight!” He/she can’t ignore that.
Don’t wait for them to come to you if they are not proactive in these terms.
And if they forget, ask one more time or get out of the cockpit and do it yourself.
At the same time, flight attendants can ask to pilots:
“I have a lot of bags of catering and laundry, can you help me to carry them please?”
“As soon as we land can you ask the ground staff to come to me please? I have a few services that I need.”
Those are impossible-to-ignore requests because they are direct questions.
No weird guessing, no assumptions.
Rember: it’s not about you.
Last but not least, keep in mind that people’s behaviour in this case is not against you as a person.
There is nothing personal, because they are not your friend, your family, your partner.
You don’t know anything about them and they don’t know you.
Keep yourself at distance form personal offence, because very often this is not even applicable.