The sky-high level of service Netflix expects from a $385,000 flight … – The Telegraph

With A-listers and senior execs to ferry around, the streaming giant is willing to spend big on the right person to crew their private jet
These are tricky times for Netflix. After years of rapid debt-funded expansion, which saw them acquire more than 220 million subscribers around the world, in recent years the streaming service has seen its growth slow in the face of increasing competition from Amazon, Disney, HBO and other rivals. Its shares are trading at $320, down from a mid-pandemic high of nearly $700. Now it has reported that it had added 7.66 million new paid subscribers during the fourth quarter of 2022 and the share price rose, but not enough to make up for the 38 per cent dip of 2021. The company admitted: “2022 was a tough year, with a bumpy start but a brighter finish.”
Not that you’d be able to tell from a job advertisement this week that had people wondering if it is too late to retrain. Netflix is on the hunt for a new attendant for one of its private jets, based in Northern California – someone with “the independent judgment, discretion and outstanding customer service skills necessary to provide a seamless experience for our passengers”. The “market range” of compensation for this role? Somewhere between $60,000 and $385,000. 
That’s right. Up to a third of a million quid per year. Not bad for mixing a few gin and tonics and handing out the peanuts. But the crew on a private jet, like the passengers, are not any old riff-raff. These unicorns must combine the anticipatory guile of Jeeves, the charm of George Clooney and the hospitality of Nigella Lawson. Insiders say the Netflix jet is used for ferrying its senior executives and making sure the talent doesn’t miss a premiere. The flight attendant will be serving tech tycoons, as well as film stars. 
Private jet passengers are accustomed to obtaining everything in the air they can source on the ground. A New Yorker piece earlier this year describes flying on a private jet with Netflix’s incoming chief content officer, Bela Bajaria. On learning there is no Sauvignon blanc, Bajaria asks if they have anything similar. The attendant suggests a “very dry Chardonnay” instead. “Bajaria wrinkled her nose,” the writer reports. “‘OK, I’ll try it,’ she said. Then she turned to me and added ‘If you write this part, you have to say that I drank the Sauvignon blanc because it cannot be my reputation that I drank Chardonnay.’” Perhaps $385,000 is not enough.
“The people onboard expect the highest levels of service,” explains Peter Anderson, managing director of Knightsbridge Circle, a luxury concierge service which books many private jets. “It’s like the best waiter at the Dorchester serving afternoon tea at 30,000 ft. We had one gentleman who booked a large jet from Naples last summer. The crew had to go to the best pizzeria in town and get those pizzas onboard, hot. We have Jewish clients who expect kosher wine. Crew will walk from one end of the plane to the other, in heavy turbulence, to deliver whisky on the rocks.   
Private jet staff are expected to be able to provide it all at 38,000ft, while also making themselves scarce when the guests want privacy: no mean feat in a small cabin. But they possess a set of skills that can clearly demand a weighty pay packet.
“The Netflix salary range starts at entry level flight attendants who’ve done their basic training, all the way to the cream of the crop,” says Devin Chiesa, the executive vice president for North America at Victor, a private jet company. “At the high end, that’s men or women who’ve been in the industry for 15-20 years, who will have been looking after high-net-worth VIPs, and will offer a white-glove-level of service.” 
While Chiesa says the higher salary measure is “very unusual”, even at the upper end of the industry, generous compensation is a tradition at Netflix. 
The company prides itself on being a “dream team”’. It uses a “keeper test”, wanting all its employees to be people their managers would fight to keep. The hiring process is fierce and the firing process can be brisk. But it pays accordingly, starting from the top. In December, it was reported that Ted Sarandos, the co-CEO and chief content officer, would get a total potential payout of $40 million. Even at lower levels, Netflix says it pays its employees at the “top of their personal market”.
Happy employees aside, Netflix’s problems are mounting. It doesn’t have the back catalogue of Paramount or the deep pockets of Apple. And with the streaming market more competitive than ever, its days of free-flowing compensation may be numbered. Even the best flight attendant in the world can’t do much about turbulence. 


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