TIPS FOR FLYING COMMERCIAL

Are you planning a flight sometime soon? Counting down the days until takeoff? Trying to squeeze all of your belongings into that new suitcase? Today I want to help you and share with you a few points of view from cabin crew and pilots before you book your next trip. With years of experience flying commercial aircraft both domestic and internationally these friends of mine offered to give me some great advice to share with all of you. Listen up passengers! These tips may have you thinking and acting a bit differently when you board your next plane…

A few tips from a cabin crew member…

Tip #1: Travelling together, check in early (in person or online) you’ll almost certainly get to sit together. Going solo? Leave it last minute, you’re more likely to get upgraded (if you look the part).

Tip #2: Minimize jet lag by snoozing lots, eating light and only drinking water…might sound boring but you’ll be glad you took it easy when you leap outta bed day 1 of your trip!

Tip #3: Make the crew love you! Don’t freak cause we ran out of chicken or poke me in the ribs when you need extra sugar. Make my job easy and it’s amazing how often I forget to charge for liquor (I know I said just water but you’re on vaycay. It can’t hurt).

Tips and Advice from a Pilot

Always be at the airport on time, even if the weather is good. Good weather means more traffic at the airport and longer lines going thru security.
During bad weather, give yourself extra time to get to the airport. Check traffic for accidents or construction that will delay your arrival at airport..
Pack necessary clothing. According to destination, but always a light jacket and long socks just in case a warm day turns into a chilly day.
I always put my socks and underwear inside my workout shoes. It gives me more room to take other stuff.
If you forget something at home, like toothpaste, toothbrush etc. most hotels will have it.
Always check the airport van schedules and pick up and drop off locations. Sometimes Uber is a lot faster.
Once in the air..if you like to use the bathroom often, take an aisle seat, if you like to nap, the window.
If gate agents are offering to check your bags to your destination, do it…saves time when you deplane.
Obey the announcements from the crew, be courteous and patient during a delay.
Be nice to the flight attendants, they notice who is not a good passenger.
At the end of flight a good thank you for a great flight or what a nice landing, makes our day better.

 

Another Pilot’s perspective…

Check weather where you are going and where you are connecting.  Final destination may be good but where you are connecting might be snowed in.
If on a cruise allow some time cushion on both ends. Planes fly all over the country or world and a lot goes into the overall experience so if it’s delayed, don’t get mad.
Unless the agent is being rude, always be nice and courteous to airline representatives. Many will go out of there way when you’re nice and compassionate.
Know that a lot goes into flying massive planes with passengers into crosswinds and weather is a big factor. So it’s not always easy to make the smoothest flight or landing.
A ton of work goes into just the flight from creating a flight plan, the dispatch flight release with all the weights/fuel and best route.  Not simple get on bus then get off. Proper preplans and execution are a must!
Tips for new pilots…Be prepared and budget for an unplanned overnight at hotel in case flight diverts or breaks down. Have something basic in carry on.
It’s Kelly now…
It’s always great to hear another perspective and point of view isn’t it? This is why I have asked a number of my friends in the travel industry to be involved this week.
For some who travel frequently and perhaps everyday they don’t think twice about all the planning, prepping and safety measures that go into a smooth flight. The flight that you may be on your phone/computer the whole time. Next time you board look up and greet your flight attendant. Don’t stare at your phone. It’s just nice to be acknowledged.
Everyone in any service industry deserves a smile and a thank you. I mean if you’re really excited a high five or hand shake too! In all seriousness, next time you fly be sure to thank your crew and anyone that helped you before, during and after your flight. It’s just the right thing to do…
Until next time…
KAG
PS Do you have an in-flight story you would like to share? Leave it below in the comments. Let’s talk about it!

TIPS FOR FLYING PRIVATE

As you may or may not know I have been working in the private aviation industry for quite some time. And have held various positions throughout the years. I’ve been a personal assistant, a makeup artist, a charter broker, a stylist, a flight attendant, a social media manager, an interior designer and I even provided luxury vehicles for passengers for when they land.

That’s a lot of hats I know. And guess what? That is not even all of them! In this industry you have to expect the unexpected. And you MUST always be one step ahead and on your toes at all times! You work an extremely demanding schedule (with a smile on your face) and you are away from family and friends. And for long periods of time. You are however traveling the world, schmoozing with celebs, the elite and brilliant businessmen and women from around the globe. And if you are really lucky you get to work with crew that become your family. Welcome to the world of private aviation…

I asked a few of my friends in the industry to share some tips and stories to give you a feel for what it is like to work and travel in luxury and aviation. Scroll down to meet Heather, David, Claire and Lauren below…

Heather Mendoza is a Private Client Services Manager for BJETS out of Beverly Hills.

Please read her three tips for booking your aircraft…

Tip #1: Book Early

BJETS can accommodate clients with as little as 3 hours notice, but if your travel dates fall during peak holiday periods or you have the given flexibility, do your best to book early.  This will allow you to avoid paying the high premiums that go along with booking a private jet the day before a big holiday weekend for example.

Tip #2: Choose a Destination, Not a Nearby Airport

Always ask your charter professional for his/her recommended airports for your trip. In Los Angeles, it might be Van Nuys, Santa Monica, Burbank, or Ontario. In San Francisco it might be Hayward, Oakland, San Carlos, San Jose, Concorde, Napa, etc. There are so many choices; I hate to see people spend more money for an airport that is less convenient for them.

Tip #3: Ask Questions

Last but not least, ASK QUESTIONS! If there is anything you’re ever unsure of, make sure you’re working with a knowledgeable charter professional whom you trust to give you honest and educated advice.

 

David has been a Pilot for 28 years and has a few thoughts on time and money.

Tip #1: Always allow yourself enough time to get to your destination. If you have a meeting scheduled for 9:00am you will want to make sure that you land around 7:00-7:30am not 8:00-8:30 even if your meeting is 10 minutes away from FBO. In most cases you will always run late. Commercial Airliners are always given priority on the ramp which can cause a delay taking off. Another delay can be your transportation on the other side that is late picking you up. You always need to prepare for earlier departure to ensure an on time (if not earlier) landing to get you to that meeting or destination on time.

Tip #2: Make sure to have an iPod or some sort of music device and headphones with you so that you can sit back and relax on your flight. This is the ultimate definition of a “power nap”. This is your time to recharge.

Tip #3: In any service based business it is common courtesy to tip. You tip your bartender, waitress and butler. So please do not forget to tip your pilots and/or flight crew. Going rate is $100 per crew member. Obviously if they went above and beyond then you can tip them accordingly.

Meet Claire who is a Corporate Flight Attendant based in LA. She would like to share some tips for Aspiring Flight Attendants…

I am constantly told “Wow, you have the coolest job ever! That must be so awesome!” I am asked even more how I got into this business.
There really is no secret, like with any career that is overly glamorized you must get the necessary education (FACTS training is great), and most importantly NETWORK. Your location is also key when it comes to private aviation. New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and Las Vegas are where most of the women in private aviation live because these places are where most of the demand is.
It took me a year and a half to get this job. I went to countless private airports submitting my resume, harassed people on LinkedIn (which is how I know Kelly) paid to have my profile on flycontract.com (which is how I got my first job opportunity). Sometimes I wanted to give up but I kept reminding myself I had spent all of my college graduation money to move from Tennessee to LA to do this so giving up wasn’t an option. Eventually someone finally came a long and gave me a chance. PS: You’ll get told a lot they only hire girls with experience, which can be super frustrating. However, the fact of the matter is these customers are paying thousands of dollars an hour to fly on these private jets so our service must be superb.
Again, everyone on the outside thinks this job is super glamorous. Yes, it can be but there are cons like any other job out there. I have had nights of staying up all night looking for miniature pineapples for example with a 12 hour flight the next day. If a customer requests a certain food item you have to find it. The word “no” does NOT exist in private aviation. When the trip is over you don’t walk off the plane and go home no matter how long the trip is. You are the one who cleans and details the plane to perfection after the trip is over. In private aviation there is only one flight attendant in almost all cases. A lot of us work 20 days on and 10 days off, so be prepared to spend long amounts of time away from your family and friends.
I have seen a lot of the world. Places I never thought I would ever see in my lifetime. Essentially I am traveling the world on someone else’s dime and getting paid for it. Pretty cool if you think about it right?! I have met people who others would die to meet. Sometimes I get to stay in amazing hotels for days and just be a tourist. Other times I land somewhere, go to sleep and then fly out the next morning. It’s a very fast paced lifestyle point blank.
This job has taught me confidence and helped me to mature into a strong professional. Let’s face it-You have to be strong when you’re the only girl traveling with two male pilots for weeks on end . If this sounds like the job for you don’t give up on your dream too quickly. You will probably get turned down a lot, but as we all know great things never come easy.

 

Meet Lauren. A Corporate Flight Attendant located in Los Angeles who has been in the industry for four years.

Lauren has traveled all over the world on a variety of airplanes including Gulfstreams, Challengers, Falcons, and Globals. Each aircraft is unique in their flight time capabilities, cabin layouts, and storage space.  Although these airplanes are comfortable and glamorous on their own, each passenger has a different expectation for their in-flight experience. Here are few tips for passengers looking to to achieve the highest level of satisfaction…

Tip#1:  Articulate your exact needs to your travel broker.  An example of passenger needs are: food allergies, budget, luggage size, wifi necessity, etc.  It is equally the passengers responsibility to articulate their needs as it is for crew to facilitate those needs.

Tip #2: Dress appropriately for comfort, temperature, and leisure.  It is often difficult to access bags in the baggage compartment during flight.  Preparing for what you will need during the flight and upon landing will only create added comfort for the passengers.
Tip #3: Communicate and confirm your transportation arrangements to the crew so they can make sure they are standing by. If nothing has been arranged, the crew is able to make those arrangements prior to landing.
Tip #4: Charter companies are responsible for managing the aircraft on behalf of the owners. Therefore, the condition of the airplane must be maintained as best as possible. While chartering a plane, consider that any damage that occurs in the passenger’s possession can be something they are held responsible for.  Be mindful of pens, beverage spills, children’s toys, pet damage, and residue tracked through the plane.
So there you have it. I know that’s a lot of info to take in but some dam good tips and knowledge if I do say so myself!
As always if you have any questions please leave them below so we can answer them for you…
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram all week for a behind the scenes look at my life!
Until next time…
KAG

 

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM MY TRAVEL WEEK SERIES

Greetings from Las Vegas! I cannot wait to share what I have in store for you throughout this entire week…

Are you are looking for travel tips? Are you looking to get into the travel industry as a new career? Are you looking to make a big purchase? Well folks this is where you need to be to read up on all the info I have in store for you! I am not just giving you advice on where to travel. I am giving you the inside scoop. The behind the scenes. And the answers to your most asked questions…

All this week I will be posting about private aviation, yacht charters, commercial flights, must-see destinations as well as a few more ideas I’ve been keeping up my sleeve for this week.

I have Captains, Pilots, Recruiters, Chief Stewardesses, Owners, Crew and other Las Vegas Industry and Service Professionals ready to share their knowledge, advice and piece of their world with you too! Discreetly of course…

How amazing is that? Not sure you can find that info anywhere else. But you will here and all this week! Did I mention how excited I was?

Please let me know if you have any questions you would like answered so that we can answer them for you this weekend. You can leave them in the comments.

In case you didn’t know I have been working in the luxury travel industry for more than ten years. I’ve had a number of people contact me about how to get a job, where to book a charter or where to find crew. So I decided that this week was the time to give you all that information! I’m giving you everything I know plus bringing in a team of pros that I know and trust that do their job to 150 percent which is why I asked them to be involved in Travel Week.

Cannot wait to share more with you tomorrow. And if you can’t wait until then you can find me on Instagram.

KAG

PS Are you on my VIP List? Sign up today to receive your first newsletter this Wednesday!