A private jet attendant has revealed the very comprehensive training process involved before taking to the skies serving high-flying passengers and VIPs.
Cindy Kowalewski details in a first-person piece for Yahoo some of the things she had to be competent in to land a highly coveted job with private jet company VistaJet.
During a rigorous two-week training in Malta – where the firm is headquartered – Kowalewski received comprehensive emergency training, which taught her how to administer CPR to animals, in addition to humans.
She says many private jet passengers travel with their ‘beloved pets, who receive the same exceptional service and attention to detail as their owners.’
A private jet attendant has revealed the very comprehensive training process involved before taking to the skies serving high-flying passengers and VIPs (stock image)
THE TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR PRIVATE JET CABIN CREW
Cindy Kowalewski works for private jet company VistaJet. She said her two-week training in Malta covered the following:
- Pet emergency rescue including CPR, identifying the warning signs of choking, and checking vitals
- First aid and CPR course for humans
- Reading animal behavior and body language
- Completing an early-childhood education course with Norland College
- Waiting skills under direction from the world renowned British Butler Institute
- Completing a level two course with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust
- A course in cybersecurity
- Fire safety training
The travel pro, who worked as a commercial flight attendant before switching to private, explained that the animal training program run by in-house professionals.
It covered ‘essential procedures such as giving a pet CPR, identifying the warning signs of choking, and checking vitals – like heart rate, pulse location, body temperature, and capillary refill time.’
Kowalewski also learned to recognize and interpret pets’ body language to ‘better understand their behavior.’
Another unique part of her training, saw her receive early-childhood education so she could interact with younger passengers correctly.
VistaJet – which offers charter flights from $11,000 an hour – enrolled her in a course with Norland College in Bath, England, which is known for producing some of the world’s top earning nannies, snapped up by royal families.
Kowalewski said the program ‘covered a wide range of topics, including child development and behaviors, family dynamics, and times of need for families while traveling.’
On the service side of things, the days of pushing a trolley down the aisle and offering unsavory looking portions of beef, chicken or pasta, were over for Kowalewski.
Instead she was trained to restaurant standards by butlers from the world renowned British Butler Institute.
She recalled: ‘We learned about table settings, silverware arrangements, and much more.
‘Because VistaJet clients are flying private, the butlers also trained us to ask clients about their flight preferences to make the aircraft feel like a home away from home.
‘So if they’d like to rest during the flight, we’d make that bed for them. If they preferred to eat right away, we’d offer them fine dining.’
A chef also served up a course on plating techniques so she could artfully present caviar, lobster, wagyu steaks and other appetizing bites while in the skies.
To complement her food handling skills, she had to do a level two course with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.
According to the organization, this allows successful candidates to ‘describe and compare the styles of wines produced from internationally and regionally important grape varieties, interpret wine labels from the main wine-producing regions of the world and give basic guidance on appropriate selection and service, as well as understand the principles of wine tasting and evaluation.’
Kowalewski said getting her credentials was an important part of the job as many VistaJet clients ‘love wine.’
Cindy Kowalewski worked for private jet company VistaJet and in a first-person piece, she touches on what things she had to be competent in to get the green light
Her training involved an entire day focused on wine, during which she had to do a blind tasting to ‘assess different grape varieties, characteristics,’ and record her tasting notes on cards.
Lastly, Kowalewski had to complete a number of security modules covering cybersecurity and fire safety.
After completing her training, she was put on ‘live flights’ with a trainer, so she could put everything she had learned into practice.
‘This experience built up my confidence and made me comfortable enough to fly independently,’ Kowalewski explained.
On VistaJet flights, attendants work alone instead of part of a team to offer guests a more personalized service.
As the training is so intense, Kowalewski says VistaJet refers to its flight attendants as ‘cabin hosts’ as it considers them to be ‘at a service level all their own.’
Kowalewski worked as a cabin host at VistaJet for two years before she got promoted and started training new hires.
All VistaJet staff have to do training every year to make sure their standards are up to scratch.
While Kowalewski started her career as a flight attendant for a commercial airline before going private, she says not all VistaJet flight attendants follow the same trajectory.
She reveals: ‘Some get their start working at five-star hotels or on luxury yachts. Others take on an apprenticeship or enroll in cabin-crew courses to get a shot at securing a high-flying gig.
‘Those with comprehensive safety knowledge, multilingual skills, and a passion for delivering top-notch service also have a leg up.’
Before being enrolled on VistaJet’s training program, Kowalewski had to pass a first-round interview and an in-office assessment, where a member of senior cabin management observed her service style and personality.
For those who are thinking of switching up careers, Kowaleswski adds that there is also a VistaJet training facility in Fort Lauderdale.