How to interpret the customer’s behaviour in a Private Jet cabin?
The VIP flight attendant must understand the dynamics between the people on board the Private Jet in order to provide the appropriate hospitality service.
Who’s the boss?
First of all, try to understand who is the boss.
Easy! The one who seats on the Master Seat.
The Master Seat is the seat with the biggest domain over the entrance and the cockpit.
Do you know when you seat down in a restaurant, unconsciously choosing the seat by the wall and facing the room that makes you feel more secured?
Indeed, in the flight briefing is clearly reported who is the lead customer (if not written is the one on the top of the list) and he/she will dictate the rules in the cabin to all his/her guests.
Always address the lead customer
Make him part of your plans, explain how you propose to conduct the flight and the service and ask for his approval.
Imagine you have on board an entrepreneur who flies with his two collaborators.
You know they had a successful but tough day and are finally heading home.
You sense that the collaborators would like to relax with a glass of wine or a cocktail but they don’t know if they can ask for it to the flight attendant, hence the boss is drinking water.
In this case, the general rule is that if the lead customer approve the alcohol service or if he is drinking himself, this automatically authorises the alcohol consumption for everybody.
On the other hand, if the boss is not drinking alcohol, then the others will stick to this, asking for water or soft drinks.
It would be considered rude to ask for a glass of champagne when the owner of the jet – or the one who pays the bill – drinks just water.
How to make everybody happy?
Bend on you knees next to the lead customer.
Start a conversation about the menu and the flight and then casually ask if he wish to celebrate with his collaborators for the successful completion of the working day and open a bottle of champagne.
He might answer “Not for me, thanks, but I am sure the guys will appreciate a drink”.
There you go.
You’ve go the authorisation and skipped the embarrassment to the other customers.
Etiquette of the Master Seat
As mentioned, the Master Seat is the boss’s seat.
Imagine the private jet as a living room, or the kitchen table by your parent’s place.
I assume every family member has a designated place and you don’t really change it, right?
On private jets it works the same.
If they are first time flyers, then the flight attendant will escort him/her to the Master Seat (make sure you know his/her face and name!).
All the others will take place in the remaining seats after the lead customer has accommodate.
What if the person seated on the Master Seat is not the lead customer on today’s flight?
That happens mainly with family members.
For example, I used to fly for an owner.
When his wife was also on board, he let her accommodate on the master seat out of chivalry.
She felt immediately more comfortable and enjoyed the domain on the cabin.
In this situation, he was still the boss, but he didn’t occupy the Master Seat and I managed the flight as having them both as lead customers.
The golden rule is, again, observe, observe, observe!