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Sep 8th 2010 9:49AM Heather,
You have a great insight into the world of the commercial flight attendant. I work with private jet flight attendants and although the name of the position may be the same the differences are many.
To begin with, the pay structure for private jet flight attendants is different in that most work on a contractual basis and the pay scale ranges from $350-$450 per day. It's not hourly work, so whether your "wheels up" or grounded, the pay check is the same.
Secondly, the crew rest times are different. This can be a blessing and a curse as you may find yourself working more hours then you would have at a commercial carrier on any given trip or day.
Keep in mind there are different ways to work within the Private Jet arena. You can fly full-time for a fractional ownership company (think time-share for private aircraft), Full time for a private flight department or charter company (think on-call 24/7, like working on a yacht), or as a contract flight attendant for any of the above (think you choose which trips you want to fly).
Finally, you still get to travel to foreign lands, meet interesting people, and work in an environment that is not centered on a three hour wait at the airport and invasive security measures. Rather you get to enjoy some of the same luxuries that the world's elite travelers experience everyday.
In my opinion, true First Class service (Old School Pan Am style) has disappeared. Not, mind you, by any fault of the commercial flight attendant. After 9/11, every wealthy or semi-wealthy individual who could figure out a way to do it came over to private aviation. That's where the real First Class went (along with those higher revenue seats) and today's commercial First Class cabin appears to be full of Crown Club members and up-graders.