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Redefining In-Flight Catering

Ashley Undercuffler – Corporate Flight Attendant in Los Angeles

Ashley Undercuffler

Los Angeles, or L.A., is well-known as being home to many of the world’s rich and famous. Along with the glamourous Hollywood lifestyle comes the need for private travel. To get an insider’s view of the life of a corporate flight attendant in Los Angeles, we spoke with Ashley Undercuffler.

Ashley completed Aircare FACTS Training two years ago and had her last recurrent in December 2013. As an active member of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), you can find her attending their conventions when her schedule allows. She also has an Associate Degree in International Business from Palm Beach State College. Before starting her career she worked at a Fixed Base Operator (FBO) and received the most compliments on customer surveys out of thousands of employees. Her drive to provide excellent care to her clients is a natural fit for her role as a corporate flight attendant.

Throughout her career in aviation she has been based out of Los Angeles, which gives her flexibility to meet clients at Van Nuys Airport (KVNY), McCarran International Airport (KLAS), Bob Hope Airport (KBUR), Long Beach Municipal Airport (KLGB) and Santa Monica Municipal Airport (KSMO). In the past years she has amassed an impressive amount of experience flying on aircraft including Boeing 777, Airbus 320, Lineage 1000, Global 5000/XRS, Gulfstream 550/V, Gulfstream 450, Gulfstream IV, Gulfstream 350, Gulfstream III, Gulfstream II, Gulfstream 200, Legacy 600, Legacy 650, Challenger 605, Challenger 604, Challenger 300, Citation X and Hawker 800.

To get to understand more about Ashley, first we discussed some of her most memorable trips. Two specific trips came to mind, the first being Paris. Ashley explained that “Paris is very exciting because, well, it’s Paris! We only had two days there on the ground and one of my French friends was our tour guide. She took us to eight landmarks in the first day and another five on the second day. It was crazy and chaotic trying to get to see everything, but so exhilarating. Luckily, the aircraft I was working on at the time had a private chef onboard, so I did not have to worry about catering.”

The second place that Ashley says she absolutely loves is Singapore. Describing her experience there, she shared that she “had a layover there for two weeks in January of this year. One of the best trips of my life. We took the city tour, went to the zoo and the local bars. The culture there is so diverse and everyone is very welcoming. It’s also the cleanest country I’ve ever been to. One of the locals even invited myself and my crew to their church. It’s a small state, so it’s easy to learn your way around.”

Getting a bit closer to home, Ashley told us that Mexico is one of her favorite locations because of the food. Mexican cuisine is her favorite, with Mexican Salad being her favorite meal. She added that she loves “just a little bit of spice in my food.” Last week Ashley’s travels took her to Minnesota. There she proved that she is up for trying new things by ordering “a burger called the ‘Juicy Lucy’ for the first time. It was a pretty good burger! I don’t normally eat red meat, but this was an exception.”

When it comes to dining in Los Angeles, hibachi is Ashley’s top choice. She recommends paying a visit to “Benihana Hibachi, the food and atmosphere is outstanding!” To round out a perfect trip to the City of Angels, she suggests stopping by the “Getty Center if you’re into art and history. Also the Griffith Park Observatory is amazing for astronomical events. If you like the outdoors, you can go hiking at Griffith Park to view the Hollywood sign or hike the famous Runyon Canyon. If you like the beach, Santa Monica has a pier and small theme park, while Venice Beach has many wild things to see!”

Creativity is just one of the skills a successful corporate flight attendant must possess. Ashley has honed this skill when it comes to handling in-flight catering. Her biggest challenges with the unique in-flight environment have been “storage for mass amounts of catering and then heating all food items at once!” Since the role of a corporate flight attendant is crucial to the success of the flight, Ashley says “communication and awareness are the two most important skills, in my opinion. Be aware of what’s in your airplane, both when it comes to equipment and passengers. Also, know all details of your flight: such as flight time, if you will be going over water and amount of turbulence to expect. This also has to do with the communication with the pilots and flight department. Always communicate!” For anyone considering this as their career, she says it is important to “nail down those two skills immediately. Listen to everything and do your research beforehand.” The next time you need a flight attendant in Los Angeles or Las Vegas, contact Ashley Undercuffler at AshleyUnder@gmail.com.

This article is part of a series of interviews we are conducting with contract cabin crew members; individuals who are not employed by Air Culinaire Worldwide. If you would like to be considered for an interview, which is posted on our blog and all of our social media accounts, please contact socialmedia@airculinaire.com.

 

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