Spotlight on… flight reps
Rebecca Henshall, Flight Rep Manager for Private Jets London, gives an insight into her role.
First and foremost, we’re a friendly face to greet customers.
Many of our customers are repeat bookers and they know they’re in safe, knowledgeable hands when they see us. We’re also the connection between the broker, the terminal staff and the crew on board. Everyone works together to ensure passengers have a smooth journey.
Our experience in the industry puts our customers at ease.
Prior to the flight, the rep will liaise with the brokers to see if the clients are travelling for any special occasion so that we can suggest embellishments to enhance their journey. For example, cupcakes for a birthday celebration with a bottle of champagne, dog treats if they are travelling with pets or activities for the kids. As with any industry, problems can occur, but an ACS representative speaking directly with the customer helps to ease stress. We once had a nervous flier delayed due to adverse weather. The rep made them peppermint tea and explained there would be a few bumps leaving London, but once en route to France the conditions were more stable.
A typical day is never typical!
Things can change at the last minute and sometimes I have to do an emergency shop for things the client has requested. The evening before, I set up messaging groups for the flights. ACS ops, the broker and the rep are in this group. I arrive at the airport two hours before departure, meet the crew, brand the aircraft, place any gifts on board, check catering, ensure the jet has everything it needs and greet our passengers in the terminal. Once they are settled with drinks, I make sure all the bags are loaded and all passports are checked, then introduce the captain to our clients. Then we go through security to the aircraft. Only aircraft more than 10 tonnes in weight require passengers to go through security, so some passengers on smaller jets go straight to it via their own transport, in which case we sign in the driver. Once the flight has departed, I head home to complete the paperwork!
We have many ‘memorable’ experiences.
Once a client bought sculptures as a last-minute purchase in London. He was travelling back to Russia on a small jet and it took a while to figure out how the sculptures would fit – it became a game of Tetris, but we did it! Another time we had a small dog travelling that had an upset stomach. Everything was going smoothly until we had to go through security. I followed the passengers and, while everybody was putting coats and shoes back on, the dog decided he couldn’t hold on! No one saw but me and the bodyguard, who produced a tissue from his pocket, picked up the offending article and popped it neatly in his pocket!
The world and the people around us are so diverse.
The best thing about my job is meeting so many different people from all walks of life, and the stories they tell. And, obviously, being part of the ACS family!