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Redefining In-Flight Catering

Melody Thorne – Corporate Flight Attendant in Savannah, Georgia

Melody Thorne is a seasoned corporate flight attendant based out of Savannah, Georgia with over 25 years of experience. Like many corporate flight attendants, Melody started out in commercial aviation, where she spent 20 years growing her skills. She received her initial training from Piedmont Airlines and, since making the career move to corporate aviation five years ago, keeps current with training at FlightSafety International where she is also an instructor.

Melody has flown on Boeing 727, 737, 747 ,757 and 767; Airbus 320, 321, 330; Gulfstream 200, 280, 450, 5, 550 and 650; Challenger 300, 605 and Falcon 7X. She says her favorite aircraft is “pretty much anything Gulfstream, but especially the 650 since I instruct it and am so in awe flying just under Mach. The 650 is a technological marvel, for sure!”

Thinking through the diverse flights that have taken place throughout her career, Melody says the most memorable have been the “military charters bringing brave soldiers home from the theatre. That was probably the most gratifying thing I have done in aviation. Those flights not only brought me to several remote locations I would have never seen in civilian aviation, but more importantly it was always a pleasure to travel with our brave troops.”

Since her travels have led her to every possible top location, Venice, Italy is her top choice for the perfect destination. While visiting Venice, Melody says to make sure to try “the pasta and gelato.” While she does love Venice, she says, “There are so many great things to be sure not to miss as you travel.” For example, she shared, “When in Paris, always buy a crepe from a street vendor. There is just something special about the crepes made on the street. I especially love the Nutella and banana!” She continued, “There are so many amazing things in so many countries, like the Christmas markets in Germany or the Mont Saint-Michel in France. It is hard to pick just one!”

When it comes to in-flight catering, Melody shared her game plan for setting herself up for success. “In-flight catering is a challenge much of the time, since space is always an issue and being able to correctly anticipate your clients’ needs takes experience,” she said. “My suggestion is to give yourself a lot of options and help yourself by choosing items that travel well. This means items that do not wilt or bruise, and are versatile enough (such as tomatoes, onions, garlic and parsley) that they could be items in a salad, an entree or a quick bruschetta. I am always planning for the worst and trying to figure out worst case scenario so I can be ten steps ahead. That type of planning never leaves me hanging.”

Since Melody is an instructor, she is used to providing advice for corporate flight attendants, so she gladly shared a few of her tips for everyone. “What I teach my initial flight attendant students is to always be prepared for anything. Don’t ever expect that things will go as planned. If you are told there will be two passengers, plan for at least four. Keep the ‘tools of the trade’ with you, such as veggie peelers, powdered sugar shakers, condiment bottles (the kind with pointy tips) filled with balsamic glaze or chocolate syrup, and a citrus twist maker. These are just some of the little things that help you create a gourmet in-flight dining experience in a pinch and help you take whatever you have available and transform it into something different, if you have to.”

If you are considering a career as a corporate flight attendant, Melody says to make sure you are “prepared to be flexible and patient. If you choose to be a corporate flight attendant, make sure you have all of your loved ones supporting your decision and that you clearly explain what it will entail on their part. It is an amazing career and is crazy every day. Know that once you embark, you will never be the same again!”

The next time you are in need of a corporate flight attendant in Savannah, or who speaks French and English, contact Melody Thorne at melodythorne@gmail.com.

This article is part of a series of interviews we are conducting with corporate 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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