This week we are thrilled to bring you a spotlight on Aleca King, an experienced and multi-talented corporate flight attendant based out of the Los Angeles area. Read along to learn more about Aleca, her time in Amman, Jordan; and her tips for fellow corporate flight attendants.
Which aircraft have you flown on during your career?
Gulfstreams, Globals, Challengers, BBJs, 757 VIP, 727 VIP, Falcons, Hawkers, Citations, Airbus, MD80s, DC9s
Where did you receive flight attendant training?
AirCare FACTS Training, FlightSafety International, Beyond & Above, Swift Air, Champion Air, Corporate School of Etiquette, Paradigm Air, Fame Jet, U.S. Airways
When was your last recurrent?
August 2015 at AirCare FACTS training in Long Beach with the most amazing teachers!
What is your base location?
Los Angeles, California
How long have you been a flight attendant?
I’ve flown on and off for 17 years. Three years for US Airways, seven years flying corporate and a few years flying NBA, NHL & MLB teams, concert tours and presidential campaigns.
Have you received any awards or industry scholarships?
I’ve received the US Airways Employee of Excellence, Nordstrom All Star Award for Customer Service, Promax BDA Award for the Tavis Smiley Show on PBS – production coordinator, Tiffany & Co. Customer Service, and Champion Air awarded Corporate Flight Attendant Training Scholarship.
Aside from your corporate flight attendant training, what other education do you have?
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business. I am a former Real Estate agent, and I have studied fine art, Reiki healing and energy clearing.
Which languages are you fluent in?
English and basic Spanish, Arabic and Greek.
Which business aviation conventions and trade shows do you attend?
I enjoy any NBAA conferences and other events, when scheduling permits. This year I attended MEBAA in Dubai which was wonderful and a great experience.
What has been your most memorable flight?
I flew a very popular music group that I was unfamiliar with on a BBJ. I asked a group of guys sitting at a table in the back what they would like to drink. They all responded and one of them mouthed the word “Coke.” I thought that he was deaf, so I tried to exaggerate my “ok” and smile and did my hand in the perfect symbol to make him feel comfortable and happy. I later learned that he was the lead singer and saves his voice when not singing.
What types of cuisine do you prefer?
My favorite food is chocolate, and my favorite restaurant is Taco Bell; but my go-to on the road is Thai because I am a vegetarian and I love tofu.
What are your favorite destinations, and why?
My favorite place in the world is home in my bed with my cats because with our lifestyle and being in different hotel rooms so much of our lives we appreciate being home so much more. After that, I love Dubai because I love the culture in the Middle East. It has some of the most loving people that I’ve ever met, and the food and music are amazing.
What are your favorite restaurants in Amman, Jordan?
I love to eat in the little hole-in-the-wall places when I travel. I was in Jordan on a four-month contract and I ate falafels like it was my job. I also love the local food, like beans in a rolled paper cone, which is sold on the street.
What are some things to do that you would suggest for a corporate flight attendant visiting Amman, Jordan for the first time?
I would enjoy the loving and open culture. If you’re there during Ramadan, there’s an amazing festival where you release lanterns into the sky with your dreams. Definitely take the drive to Petra, where I met a sweet Bedouin who invited us to a cave party and was so proud that he had an apartment and a cave. The Dead Sea is a must, I couldn’t stop laughing in it because you float no matter what you do!
Any cultural tips for a corporate flight attendant visiting Amman, Jordan for the first time?
I like to do immersion when I travel. I try to learn as much of the language as possible and listen to Arabic music on TV. I would always go to the outdoor market, but had a tough time describing it to taxi drivers so I would take pictures on my phone of the landmarks and show it to them. When you’re in a taxi, it’s a great time to practice the local language because the drivers seem to find it entertaining to pass the time while they drive. They would laugh at me trying to use every word I know, like “no tomato,” which I learned for ordering my falafels.
What are some in-flight catering challenges you have experienced? How did you overcome them?
Part of our job is to make what seems impossible, possible. From getting the hottest restaurants to prepare our catering before they open to the public to spending an entire day on a hunt for a hundred different particular items in an unfamiliar city to a caterer calling you at 4:00 am to let you know that your 9:00 am delivery is going to be late because there will be traffic. Each flight is entirely different and our job is to do the best that we can with what we are working with.
What made you decide to become a corporate flight attendant?
I had never heard of it and then on my last trip flying NBA teams with Champion Air before they closed, we walked off the jetway and the other flight attendant said to me, “We need to be corporate flight attendants,” and I was like “Ok!,” even though I had no idea what he was talking about. I didn’t know anyone who was one, so I Googled jets and sent my resume everywhere, probably to gas stations too, but somehow it worked out!
What do you feel are essential skills for a successful corporate flight attendant?
Being a corporate flight attendant is a mix between a business person and a warm host. You will email with the company that you’re working for, take calls from brokers and assistants and correspond with your crew. There are so many different factors and what we actually do on the aircraft is a small percentage of the full picture. We read the clients vibe as to if they would like a lot of service or would prefer more privacy. A lot of our work is done by instinct, as each day is different and each situation unique.
What advice would you give someone looking to become a corporate flight attendant?
I would find out as much as possible about the lifestyle to see if it’s what you’re looking for. I loved my time as a commercial flight attendant, as well as flying sports teams, so I would be open to all positions as they are an asset in understanding the full picture. As corporate flight attendants, we are generally on call 100% of our lives and don’t have a set schedule. It can be incredibly exhausting yet unbelievably rewarding. If you feel the pull, then just keep on and it will happen!
What email address should be used to contact you?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.