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Redefining In-Flight Catering

Robin Sharrer – Corporate Flight Attendant in South Florida

Corporate Flight Attendant Robin Sharrer

It’s football season and with it comes an uptick in private aviation traffic for sports teams traveling to their games. In order to accommodate for the entire team, a large cabin aircraft, such as a 737, is commonly used for transportation. Being a flight attendant for a large cabin aircraft full of famous athletes requires an additional level of professionalism and focus. To learn more about how to successfully work with American professional football teams, we interviewed Robin Sharrer.

Robin has spent the last 24 years as a commercial and corporate flight attendant. Most recently, her experience includes a significant amount of time in private aviation with large cabin operations. This becomes obvious when looking at the impressive list of aircraft she has flown on, which includes DC9, MD88, MD90, MD11, B727, B737, B757, B767, B777, L1011, A320, G-2, G-3, G-IV, G450, G550, CL300, CL601, CL604, DA50, DA900, DA2000 and DA7X. Robin has received training from Delta Airlines, Aircare FACTS and FlightSafety International. In addition, she will be completing her next recurrent in September 2014.

Robin is based out of the East Coast of the United States with locations ranging from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (KATL) and Orlando International Airport (KMCO) to Logan International Airport (KBOS). Being an active member of the business aviation community, Robin attends the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual convention. During her career in commercial aviation, before making the switch to private aviation, she was appointed as a Delta Community Ambassador after the events of September 11, 2001. She also helped recreate the Delta Onboard Leadership program and starred in a Delta safety demonstration video.

When thinking back on the most memorable experiences in her career so far, Robin shared that she “thoroughly enjoyed all of my charter trips, especially my eight years with the Orlando Magic basketball team.” On a serious note, she added, “Most unfortunately, I remember flying home a fallen soldier in a coffin on a military charter. There were several members of the military in formal dress, saluting the casket as it was presented to his widow and children, with their two fingers over their eyebrow while using the other hand to wipe their tears. Everyone on the ramp was saluting, and so were we as we peered through the aircraft window.”

With this level of expertise and professional presence in the aviation community, we wanted to get her insights into some of her favorite places to travel. Robin says she loves “Las Vegas for the energy, New York for the shopping and shows, Venice for their mode of water transportation, and the Middle East for the food and because I really feel like I’m out of town.” Her food preferences are just as varied as her favorite locations, with “hummus, eggplant parmesan, any Asian cuisine, and Cuban black beans and rice” topping her list.

Now that we have a good understanding of Robin and her background, we wanted to get her personal insight into working with American football teams. For someone scheduled to work with a college or professional team for the first time, she advises, “Be yourself. Do not ask for autographs or participate in self-initiated or crew-initiated selfies. Follow your serving procedures and be accessible at all times.”

With a large amount of passengers comes a greater amount of complexity for the flight crew. Robin emphasizes that teamwork is most important in these situations. She says, “People need to constantly be aware of their surroundings and ensure a safe work environment. It is important to always work as a team. Nobody is finished until everybody is finished. Respect your coworkers for what they have to offer, regardless of their skills and abilities as compared to yours.”

One area of the total passenger experience for sports teams is in-flight catering. Robin shared that “catering for professional sports teams is much more expensive than other trips. There are a lot of choices and an amazing amount of food, snacks and drinks onboard. The only challenge I have encountered with catering for a team was that we ran out of a requested food or drink item. However, the athletes and coaches are used to traveling and are able to make their own adjustments.” In comparison, she says that “college football teams generally have a much lower catering budget than their professional counterparts. They usually are catered with a sandwich, cookie, chips and a bottle of water or sports drink. Overall, they are generally just plain happy to be on an airplane instead of a bus.”

When it comes to advice for someone considering a career as a corporate flight attendant, Robin says, “I love my job so much. I feel that if you want to grow as a person, love to travel and make other people happy, being a flight attendant is the best career in the world.” If you are looking for an experienced corporate flight attendant in South Florida who is able to meet and exceed the demands of large cabin operations, contact Robin Sharrer at rsharrer@bellsouth.net.

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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