Flight Attendant VS Cabin Crew
There is a lot of confusion behind those two roles, and, probably, the easiest way to clarify this concept is by starting from the fact that on an aircraft designed up to 19 seats there’s no requirements to have on board personnel for the safety and security duties. If present, they are meant to be there for the comfort of the customers.
When the aircraft has 20 seats or more, then you need a crew member with a valid CCA (cabin crew attestation) with the quantity of one every 50 passengers or one per door – depends on the authority of reference – and issued by the aviation authority of the Country involved (EASA for Europe, GCAA for Middle East, FAA for USA, CAAC for China, CASA for Australia…)
Because the majority of the Private Jets don’t go further than 19 seats, there’s no need of a cabin crew on board who looks after passengers regarding safety and security. The crew member on charge of the cabin is not legally required to hold a CCA, therefore can’t be called cabin crew.
He or she will be appointed as VIP Flight Attendant, Cabin hostess or cabin server.
Is not unusual to find VIP flight attendant who doesn’t have commercial airline background but worked in hotellerie, private yacht, as butler for private residence or in luxury restaurants instead.
Nevertheless, we are still talking about an aircraft, and threats like fire, decompression, crash landing, ditching or medical emergencies are still there.
In order to prepare the VIP Flight Attendant to face those situation in the correct way, the majority of the Private Jet Operators do provide trainings like the one at the airline, sometimes even better. So you regularly go trough dangerous good, fire fighting, first aid, Crew Resource Management, Standard Emergency Procedures, wet drills, cardio-pulmonary resuscitations and so forth. You also receive an aircraft emergency equipment training, usually performed by the Lead Pilot of the fleet.
These trainings are not a proper recurrent training (remember: you don’t have an aircraft licence to keep valid) but is very similar, although is not necessary evaluative.
All these training are not mandatory or requested by law, but many Operators do prefer to have trained personnel on board of their jets to look after their customers and pilots.
As you can see, in the daily job, nothing has really changed besides the name of the role.
What is different is the authority you have on board and the duty/flight limitations.
As a VIP Flight Attendant you do not fall under any flight time limitation or duty time limitation.
That said, is not like you can fly 24 h in a row: you are still part of a crew, where pilots are subjected to a minimum rest, acclimatisation rest and duty time. If they stop because they have reached their limit, you can’t really fly the aircraft yourself, so you stop as well.
Having a commercial airline background is helpful only from the emergency procedures point of view, because, regarding all the rest, is like a completely different job.
Private Jet Coach can help you to understand the job differences and to find the best way to face them.