For many of us the hallowed halls of business class is the fanciest we will ever get in the air. For most of us, realistically, economy is the peak.

But if we were among the very richest of the 1%, we might hire or purchase our own private jet to snub our nose at the planet with.

Flight attendant Kimberley Benton has been working in this ultra-luxury industry for nine years, and she spoke to CNN last week to spill the beans.

For the women who succeed in this game, the rewards can be handsome: international travel, handsome pay (Benton says there are no set salaries; "Everyone's got their own little deal going on") and the occasional designer handbag from a billionaire.


On the other hand, the passengers.

"They expect you to know exactly what they want, when they want it"

Some requests are small and fairly reasonable. One guest, as soon as they get on the plane, wants "a shot of a Nespresso" (what better to toast your carbon footprint with?) and "the foot rest up and their Sunday Times waiting for them."

Others are more demanding β€” and contrary. Mary Kalymnou has also worked as a flight attendant for 13 years on a variety of jets, including the Gulfstream G550 and the Embraer Legacy, which allows up to 14 passengers on board.

Kalymnou says in order to succeed a flight attendant needs to have "premium catering skills, creative thinking, great manners as well as an elegant and hospitable attitude."

Kalymnou once received a last minute order for shark's fin soup on a flight out of London. The controversial dish usually needs to be ordered two days in advance and is "mainly forbidden" in the UK

As only certified suppliers and restaurants could actually deliver the order, Kalymou was given an opportunity to prove that VIP flight attendants really are a cut above.

"Having great connections in the UK, I managed to get the request on board just a few minutes before the passengers arrived," Kalymnou says.


It is worth noting that after everything she went through the shark fin soup remained uneaten, rejected by the client in favour of the burgers they had with them.

"This is a typical example of our daily lives as VIP flight attendants. We strive for the best, even if it's not needed."

Could you do this job?

Kalymnou says the job of a VIP flight attendant is one that "requires a lot of sacrifices."

"It requires a lot of patience, flexibility, and for sure -- high levels of self-esteem," Kalymnou explains.

"Every girl could learn this job ... but only a few will eventually stand out. Being professional is not enough -- you must be unique," she says.

Benton hints at what might potentially be the hardest part of the job; managing mile high parties.

"There's a need to make sure they don't get out of control. You kind of need to be on the ball a little bit -- not letting them drink too much, but not spoil the fun."