This week we are excited to bring you a one-on-one interview with Ange-Aurélia Schaan, a corporate flight attendant based in Bordeaux, France. Read on to learn more about her and her new endeavor into private aviation.
Which aircraft have you flown on during your career?
- Airbus 319 CJ
- Global Vision
- Global 5000 XRS
- Falcon 50, 900, 7X
- Boeing 757, 737, 777
Where did you receive flight attendant training?
My first training was at Montpelier (France) in ESMA school, then at Le Ritz school (Lausane in Switzerland), and all my recurrent training was internal were I was employed.
When was your last recurrent?
My last recurrent was in Paris in February 2016.
How long have you been a flight attendant?
12 years in commercial aviation and a few months in corporate aviation.
Have you received any awards / industry scholarships? Career highlights?
I developed an application on Apple and Android to enable the rapid sending of an order, bypassing the prior expectation of the estimate. The caterers and partners listed in this application were selected upstream for quality, responsiveness and price. No need to research the reputation or not deemed a caterer, and anywhere in the world.
Aside from your corporate flight attendant training, what other education do you have?
I graduated as a Master in wine growing (Enology) and Plant Biology. I did a course in parallel as a wine taster in the school of Bordeaux wines. I am official jury member for different wine competitions. I also graduated in pastry from the Ritz-Escoffier School (Paris).
Which languages are you fluent in?
English and Spanish, and I can read Russian.
Which business aviation conventions and trade shows do you attend?
EBACE at Geneva, and Paris Air Show.
What has been your most memorable flight?
New Zealand with one passenger, we had a long discussion about wine during the flight; it was wonderful.
What types of cuisine do you prefer?
French, Italian and Indian
What are your favorite destinations, and why?
Barbados Island, firstly for the welcome, its Caribbean gastronomy and beaches.
What are your favorite restaurants in Bordeaux, France?
I enjoy the pan-fried chicken with noodles from “Wok Way,” a typical Chinese restaurant where fresh noodles are made in front of you. “L’alchimiste,” very good Italian plates with fresh products and amazing cocktails.
What are some things to do that you would suggest for a corporate flight attendant visiting Bordeaux, France for the first time?
So many places! The famous Great Bell is quite spectacular in St. James street, and the little pedestrian area is full of narrow streets with many independent shops and restaurants. The antiques district, the Chartrons including Notre Dame street. On Pey Berland Place, the heart of the downtown, you’ll be impressed by the architecture of the cathedral. I highly recommend visiting the “Cité du Vin” (Wine City) at “Bassin à flots.” Be equipped with good walking shoes.
Any cultural tips for a corporate flight attendant visiting Bordeaux, France for the first time?
First obtain an multi-transportation ticket; “TBC,” the best is to take a ticket of 10 trips since the tram and bus really serve the entire city to the airport. To serve local products onboard your next flight, I suggest the grocery store “Le Comptoir Bordelais” (located behind the Apple store). In the same street is the “Grill Bordelais” for lovers of meat cooked in the fire. Many tourists find life in Bordeaux a bit pricey, but that’s just due to the fact that there are many products of very good quality. There is, for example, the small grocery “Corsica Cayelli” by the streets of the Old Tower which has a selection of fine ham. Bookstore Mollat (one of the largest independent bookstores in Europe) is just behind, you will also find many books, comics, CDs, DVDs and high-end magazines.
It is on Thursday that the Bordeaux nights in full swing, including the Victory Square (student area), but it is quite possible to find happiness in one of St. Pierre Quarter bar, where you will be surprised at the low cost of wine tasting.
What are some in-flight catering challenges you have experienced?
10 years ago, landing in Africa, the previous leg, my cooler of fresh produce was put in the freezer instead of the refrigerator: all was lost, I had nothing.
How did you overcome this challenging situation?
I met the chef in the only hotel in the city, and offered an exchange of gastronomic discovery: he taught me some local dishes and in return I taught him some European dishes they could serve at their banquet. He also let me prepare my salty verrines, finger sandwiches, canapés and petit fours in the kitchen for the flight.
What made you decide to become a corporate flight attendant?
I was working as a computer technician at a US firm in the district of La Defense in Paris. After 3 years, seeing the towers from morning to night made me think I needed to go see the world. It was a relatively late vocation, but because of this, I had enough experience and maturity to understand very quickly my new clients.
What do you feel are essential skills for a successful corporate flight attendant?
Being patient, dedicated, discreet and prepossessing.
What advice would you give someone looking to become a corporate flight attendant?
Keep a very open mind to the many different cultures met worldwide. Patience and adaptation are important, but most of all – always keep in mind that a smiling customer is the greatest satisfaction.
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 email@example.com.