Florida is a business aviation hot spot for the United States and the world. This week we bring you an interview with Lisa Shaffer, a Contract Corporate Flight Attendant based out of South Florida. Read along to learn more about Lisa, her experiences and her valuable insights.
Which aircraft have you flown on during your career?
- G550, GIV, GIII
- BBJ (B-737)
- Citation X
- Challenger 300, 600, 601, 604, 605
- Hawker 800
Where did you receive flight attendant training?
My initial was through FlightSafety International in Savannah, Georgia.
When was your last recurrent?
September 2015 with Aircare FACTS Training.
What is your base location?
I am based in Sebastian, Florida so the closest airport is in Melbourne, Florida (MLB / KMLB). But I fly out of all airports in the area, from Jacksonville to Miami.
How long have you been a flight attendant?
I started my career as a corporate flight attendant over 3 years ago.
Aside from your corporate flight attendant training, what other education do you have?
I have a degree in airline management, I am a private pilot with a multi-engine rating and I have always been in aviation. For over 20 years, I was in customer service and sales and marketing. I brokered jet fuel for 15 years to all companies. Some of the companies I fly for were previous clients of mine. I was also marketing director for a chain of FBOs.
Which business aviation conventions and trade shows do you attend?
NBAA’s annual convention, as well as Schedulers and Dispatchers. In the past, I have attended NATA and IOC.
What has been your most memorable flight?
My most memorable is flying overseas and doing a flight to Iran. The people were great. It was an eye opener in the culture and customs of people in Iran. They are a great people and the food was incredible!
What types of cuisine do you prefer?
I prefer all types of food. I am very diverse and cook all sorts of foods.
What are your favorite destinations, and why?
I love the Caribbean due to my back ground, but overall I love all destinations!
Any cultural tips for a corporate flight attendant visiting a new country for the first time?
Keep in mind at all times that you are in their country. Please abide by their rules and their standards. When I was in Iran I wore a scarf over my head, not because I had to or was asked to, but it was the right thing to do. You are a visitor, so please abide by their customs. Be respectful and blend in.
What are some in-flight catering challenges you have experienced?
How did you overcome them?
There have been occasions when things didn’t turn out right or were missing from the order. But go with it and do the best you can. You are only human, and so are the caterers, so you must understand that some things don’t work out. Take a deep breath and deal with it… always with a smile, of course!
What made you decide to become a corporate flight attendant?
I kind of fell into it. After being laid off from my job of 10 years, I tried different things in the industry, but I was not happy. Then, a friend of mine suggested flying for him as a flight attendant. I decided to go for it, and I fell in love with the job. To me it’s more of a retirement; is it a job if you truly love what you do?
What do you feel are essential skills for a successful corporate flight attendant?
I believe that it is personality. The relationships with your crew and your passengers are essential. You may have all the training to be a corporate flight attendant in name, but one needs to get along with the people. It’s all about marketing. Adapting to the passengers’ needs is very important.
What advice would you give someone looking to become a corporate flight attendant?
Make sure you can handle the unexpected. You never know how people are going to act or what they are thinking. You have to adapt and address. I am laid back and know how to deal with even the most demanding passengers. Don’t let the little – or big – things get to you.
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.