SkyAngel Rachel Massingill shares her SKYacademy experience in her guest post.
When people generally hear I am a corporate flight attendant, they ask how that is different from working on a commercial airline. That is when I start to glow and come to life sharing how I am a hospitality hostess of the skies for those flying on private jets around the globe. As people hear about the job, they focus on the perks like staying in destinations similar to Turks & Caicos, Morocco, Ireland, and more. They wonder why others are not flocking into this field, or why they don’t hear more about it. Who wouldn’t love getting paid to travel?!
There are wonderful perks to the position, but they do not come without hard work, sweat, and tears. Not everyone is cut out for the life-style needed to thrive as a corporate flight attendant. To do well in this industry it takes someone who is service-oriented, flexible, adaptable, organized, pays attention to detail, a problem solver, and the ability to keep poised under pressure. These skills are challenged and stretched when training to become a SkyAngel.
Prior to becoming a SkyAngel, I was working as a contract corporate flight attendant where I could receive two hour’s notice before a flight, which is common. The training received was very limited before being thrown into my first independent trip with 12 guests on an unfamiliar jet. This presented quite the challenge, but was perfect since I love working in an environment where I have to actively learn, problem solve, and think quickly on my feet. The guests were never aware it was the first time on my own. The following flights became a little bit easier as I became more familiar with working on a private jet, but I knew with further training I could provide a higher level of service.
That is when I began researching the different training programs out there. Not only did I want to go through a safety training and certification program, but one with an exceptional hospitality program that would give me the tools to be prepared to provide an exceptional service for the guests on-board. During the search process, I found SkyAngels SKYacademy. After speaking with Steffany Kissling, the CEO and Founder, over the phone, I knew it was where I wanted to go.
Upon arriving, I knew Steffany and Nicole would push and challenge me, but that was exactly why I desired to be a SkyAngel: to become part of a community where we would push each other to be better than we think we can be. They applied the pressure each day, which added up over time with the exhaustion from constantly needing to always be poised in presentation and speech, as well as being ready to problem-solve at any given moment. Not everyone is up for that task to keep giving 100% each day. Beyond that, you are expected to pay attention to the small details and find ways to go above and beyond to personalize the service to the guests. I learned more about planning and preparing a menu for an in-flight meal. It was not too different than what I have done in the past working in the private household industry, except for when it came to working on the plating and presentation; that is still an area I am working on improving and practicing, but I certainly learned more. The pressure from it all will either make you break or refine the gold. Those who are refined through the process achieve their golden wing.
Since gaining the title of SkyAngel, I have had the pleasure of doing some contract work with one of the top jet management companies within the United States. The tools that I gained while at SKYacademy have allowed me to be more confident in providing outstanding service to the guests and crews I have the gratification of serving. It also has allowed me to better manage my time preparing for the pre-flight, during the flight, and post-flight. It is a position that demands a lot from you, but as a SkyAngel you are part of a network and it is very rewarding if you are up to the challenge.
By Rachel Massingill