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Above and Beyond: Secrets of a Private Flight Attendant

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Brace yourself for a turbulent read in this hilarious and scandalous memoir, filled with shocking true stories that give a rare insight into life behind the scenes of a private jet’s cabin crew. Heavily in debt, and earning peanuts as a 'trolley dolly', Saskia Swann desperately needed to get her life back on track. After a chance meeting, she landed a job as cabin crew - bu Brace yourself for a turbulent read in this hilarious and scandalous memoir, filled with shocking true stories that give a rare insight into life behind the scenes of a private jet’s cabin crew. Heavily in debt, and earning peanuts as a 'trolley dolly', Saskia Swann desperately needed to get her life back on track. After a chance meeting, she landed a job as cabin crew - but this time on a private jet. Suddenly, she found herself transported into the glittering world of oligarchs and billionaires where the hostesses wear Prada, seven-course meals are served on fine china, the bodyguards carry guns, and the mile-high shenanigans not only take place in luxury cabins, but in the cockpit itself. Saskia soon realised that the job wasn’t quite what it seemed though: her billionaire boss expected far more from his hostesses than just cocktails and nibbles… In this gripping exposé, Saskia Swann pulls back the first-class curtain on the lifestyles of the mega-rich and famous. Saskia Swann worked for six years for one of the world's leading airlines before becoming a corporate flight attendant on private jets. She lives outside London. Nicola Stow has been a journalist for more than 20 years working for leading newspapers and magazines. She is also the co-author of Cabin Fever: The Sizzling Secrets of a Virgin Air Hostess by Mandy Smith.


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Brace yourself for a turbulent read in this hilarious and scandalous memoir, filled with shocking true stories that give a rare insight into life behind the scenes of a private jet’s cabin crew. Heavily in debt, and earning peanuts as a 'trolley dolly', Saskia Swann desperately needed to get her life back on track. After a chance meeting, she landed a job as cabin crew - bu Brace yourself for a turbulent read in this hilarious and scandalous memoir, filled with shocking true stories that give a rare insight into life behind the scenes of a private jet’s cabin crew. Heavily in debt, and earning peanuts as a 'trolley dolly', Saskia Swann desperately needed to get her life back on track. After a chance meeting, she landed a job as cabin crew - but this time on a private jet. Suddenly, she found herself transported into the glittering world of oligarchs and billionaires where the hostesses wear Prada, seven-course meals are served on fine china, the bodyguards carry guns, and the mile-high shenanigans not only take place in luxury cabins, but in the cockpit itself. Saskia soon realised that the job wasn’t quite what it seemed though: her billionaire boss expected far more from his hostesses than just cocktails and nibbles… In this gripping exposé, Saskia Swann pulls back the first-class curtain on the lifestyles of the mega-rich and famous. Saskia Swann worked for six years for one of the world's leading airlines before becoming a corporate flight attendant on private jets. She lives outside London. Nicola Stow has been a journalist for more than 20 years working for leading newspapers and magazines. She is also the co-author of Cabin Fever: The Sizzling Secrets of a Virgin Air Hostess by Mandy Smith.

30 review for Above and Beyond: Secrets of a Private Flight Attendant

  1. 5 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    I love the whole premise of this book, and it reads easily. Saskia Swann seems to have an eye, or the luck, to see the next thing in her life coming, rather than just waiting around to see what life is going to toss to her. Saskia is loving her job as a private flight attendant, and her coworkers a great deal. Things get a lot shakier once she learns what her current boss is expecting her to agree to. The books shows some behind the scenes looks at different lifestyles and cultures of the high f I love the whole premise of this book, and it reads easily. Saskia Swann seems to have an eye, or the luck, to see the next thing in her life coming, rather than just waiting around to see what life is going to toss to her. Saskia is loving her job as a private flight attendant, and her coworkers a great deal. Things get a lot shakier once she learns what her current boss is expecting her to agree to. The books shows some behind the scenes looks at different lifestyles and cultures of the high flying. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, authors Saskia Swann and Nicola Stow, and the publisher.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    I think the easiest way to describe this book is…if you saw it, looked at it and thought ‘I bet I know what that will be like’….you would be 100% right, if that excites you then this is for you It is a non stop ride of excess,excess and errr excess that includes food, clothes, sex and basically excess in every way possible….all told by ‘Saskia’ a private flight attendant, I quite liked her and enjoyed her story telling although did feel she ‘protesteth too much’ about all she saw whilst gladly jo I think the easiest way to describe this book is…if you saw it, looked at it and thought ‘I bet I know what that will be like’….you would be 100% right, if that excites you then this is for you It is a non stop ride of excess,excess and errr excess that includes food, clothes, sex and basically excess in every way possible….all told by ‘Saskia’ a private flight attendant, I quite liked her and enjoyed her story telling although did feel she ‘protesteth too much’ about all she saw whilst gladly joining in when it was offered It’s fun and frisky and I think the biggest surprise for me was by the end instead of feeling envious of all these people had I kinda felt sorry for them and wondered if they ever just fancied egg, chips and beans and some irn bru If this is what you love to read about then its a perfect book and have to give it top marks as it does exactly as it says its going to 10/10 5 Stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Wendy'sThoughts

    3.5 Be Careful What You Wish For Stars * * * 1/2 Spoiler Free-A Quick Review Once upon a time, in another life, long, long ago, I was a flight attendant for a major airline. Yup, I flew the skies and it was an adventure...to a degree. I only did it for about a year due to my meeting my hubby...but that is another story. I mention all of this due to the fact, this is a biography of a flight attendant who started out like I did but moved to work privately owned jets. Those puppies are a whole other 3.5 Be Careful What You Wish For Stars * * * 1/2 Spoiler Free-A Quick Review Once upon a time, in another life, long, long ago, I was a flight attendant for a major airline. Yup, I flew the skies and it was an adventure...to a degree. I only did it for about a year due to my meeting my hubby...but that is another story. I mention all of this due to the fact, this is a biography of a flight attendant who started out like I did but moved to work privately owned jets. Those puppies are a whole other animal...and this book goes about sharing all the good the bad and the very ugly. It is like the saying goes...when times were good they were very, very good... But when times were bad or ugly or demeaning, it seemed there were no limits as to what these entitled wealthy people would demand. A Cautionary Tale, the extremely rich are different and may not have it as lovely as we think... Above and Beyond: Secrets of a Private Flight Attendant https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... A gifted copy was provided by Lume Books via NetGalley for an honest review. For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Yes yes yes! This book is a bit of ME! A captivating memoir of a private flight attendant. I’m a flight attendant myself for a commercial airline and when I was given the chance to be sent this book to review, I didn’t hesitate. I think for anyone, whether you work in the aviation industry or not, it’s a very fascinating and intriguing job. I have always been interested to know what it would be like to fly privately and this books spills ALL the beans! It’s a very easy and enjoyable read, and at Yes yes yes! This book is a bit of ME! A captivating memoir of a private flight attendant. I’m a flight attendant myself for a commercial airline and when I was given the chance to be sent this book to review, I didn’t hesitate. I think for anyone, whether you work in the aviation industry or not, it’s a very fascinating and intriguing job. I have always been interested to know what it would be like to fly privately and this books spills ALL the beans! It’s a very easy and enjoyable read, and at points I couldn’t believe what some of the ridiculously rich bosses expected on their flights. The book takes you to the swankiest of hotels, flights where a musician is hired to play the piano and to hot tubs on private yachts. It’s a very honest account, and Saskia comes across very likeable and warm throughout. I found it very eye opening and it’s made me realise that I’m in fact very happy with my orange wings! If you have even a slight interest in the life of cabin crew / private cabin crew or love to travel, then I would definitely recommend reading this! I don’t tend to read many memoirs, and this was a very welcome change of genre for me!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Trisha

    When grabbing a memoir, sometimes it's hard to know what you're getting. I typically start with a little trepidation, not sure what writing style or story type I'm getting. I found this to be a surprisingly easy to read, engaging story. I loved Saskia and her wit and humor. I found her stories so fascinating, her details well done and all of it added to the story. Her side stories about her fellow co-workers added a good depth to the story and really helped bring it alive. Being a flight attenda When grabbing a memoir, sometimes it's hard to know what you're getting. I typically start with a little trepidation, not sure what writing style or story type I'm getting. I found this to be a surprisingly easy to read, engaging story. I loved Saskia and her wit and humor. I found her stories so fascinating, her details well done and all of it added to the story. Her side stories about her fellow co-workers added a good depth to the story and really helped bring it alive. Being a flight attendant for the rich and famous (or even just the rich) isn't something many of us have thought of or, obviously experienced, so I love that this author shared her stories with us. I really loved this one! A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and the true story of Saskia Swann and her adventures as a flight attendant. I have flown many times in my life but I've never given too much thought to the attendants and what all their work might entail. And in the case of Saskia Swann she was a flight attendant for a very rich man. At first I was really happy for her because she was a poor woman who desperately landed a good paying job when she truly needed it; however, it did come at I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book and the true story of Saskia Swann and her adventures as a flight attendant. I have flown many times in my life but I've never given too much thought to the attendants and what all their work might entail. And in the case of Saskia Swann she was a flight attendant for a very rich man. At first I was really happy for her because she was a poor woman who desperately landed a good paying job when she truly needed it; however, it did come at a price. Ms. Swann had some really fun and adventurous anecdotes she told in the book and I thoroughly enjoyed "listening" to them. She used allusions to tell about some of her stories, such as Mrs. Doubtfire and Chicago (the play) and I felt those added to the details of her adventures. I'd like to thank NetGalley and Lume Books for an e-ARC for my honest opinion. #AboveandBeyond #NetGalley

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    'Above and Beyond' is the memoir of Saskia Swann, a flight attendant for the mega-rich. With the highs (staying in the most luxurious hotels in the world) come the lows (her boss asking for more than she bargained for!) Saskia offers a behind-the-scenes look into life as cabin crew aboard a private jet. I was sucked into this book by the cover and description. Anything involving the mega-rich is like pure escapism for me, so as soon as I downloaded the eBook, I had to start reading! Throughout a 'Above and Beyond' is the memoir of Saskia Swann, a flight attendant for the mega-rich. With the highs (staying in the most luxurious hotels in the world) come the lows (her boss asking for more than she bargained for!) Saskia offers a behind-the-scenes look into life as cabin crew aboard a private jet. I was sucked into this book by the cover and description. Anything involving the mega-rich is like pure escapism for me, so as soon as I downloaded the eBook, I had to start reading! Throughout a lot of the book, Saskia reminisces about her time working for Russian billionaire, Pavel... and her experience is almost exactly what I'd imagined. However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Saskia had such a great relationship with the other stewardesses... I thought for sure it would be like an episode of Gossip Girl. I found Saskia relatable. I'm currently a similar age and I can totally sympathise with her constant concerns about money. That said, the book does a good job of reminding you that money doesn't necessarily bring you happiness... some the people Saskia worked for seemed incredibly lonely! The book was well written, and I found it hard to put down... I binged the lot over a weekend! Would recommend if you love a scandalous look inside the lifestyles of the rich and the famous! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    This was such a fun read, which almost seemed too crazy to be true. Many times I found myself in disbelief that I was reading a memoir. I suppose the old adage is true - sometimes the truth IS stranger than fiction! I had to keep turning the pages to find out what crazy thing would happen next! This was a great behind the scenes look at what life is like for a flight attendant on a private plane. Thank you to NetGalley & the publisher for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I've always enjoyed nonfiction books written by people talking about their jobs. (I've read a few books by people who work in restaurant kitchens, in retail, etc). I believe this is the 4th one I've read about flight attendants, and "Above and Beyond: Secrets of a Private Flight Attendant" is definitely my favorite of them. Saskia Swann dishes the details of what it's like to work as a flight attendant on private jets for millionaires and billionaires. She got her start working in commercial air I've always enjoyed nonfiction books written by people talking about their jobs. (I've read a few books by people who work in restaurant kitchens, in retail, etc). I believe this is the 4th one I've read about flight attendants, and "Above and Beyond: Secrets of a Private Flight Attendant" is definitely my favorite of them. Saskia Swann dishes the details of what it's like to work as a flight attendant on private jets for millionaires and billionaires. She got her start working in commercial airlines, but the real money is in working on the private planes and she's trying to work herself out of debt. Most of the book is about her experience working for an ultra rich tycoon from the Middle East. The jet owner is a married man, but she soon comes to learn he has a mistress whom his wife does not know about, and the flight crew on his plane is expected to keep it secret. They signed confidentiality agreements, and one of her coworkers is even fired when she accidentally lets the name of the mistress slip in front of the wife (though the wife was none the wiser). Unfortunately, for the ultra rich men used to getting anything they want because they have the money to buy it, that sometimes means they expect the flight crew to do sexual favors for them. Saskia is shocked to learn this and even more shocked when she goes along with it. She's spilling ALL the dirt - even what makes herself look bad. It's a raw, honest portrait of what the industry is really like. It's disheartening to learn of the sexual abuse and misogyny that occurs, but I suppose a book about the polite jet owners who aren't throwing crazy parties or expecting ridiculously over-the-top meals and making other demands wouldn't be interesting. All in all, it's an entertaining and eye-opening book. I recommend it for anyone with even a slight interest in learning about what really goes on in the world of private flight attendants. FTC disclosure: I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Helen Latto

    I loved this book! Couldn’t put it down! What an interesting insight into how the other half live and what really goes on behind the scenes with the staff of a private jet. While this book contains lots of scandal, it was so well written than it comes across as inspiring rather than trashy or gossipy. I would totally recommend this to everyone, especially those interested in an alternative lifestyle. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest rev I loved this book! Couldn’t put it down! What an interesting insight into how the other half live and what really goes on behind the scenes with the staff of a private jet. While this book contains lots of scandal, it was so well written than it comes across as inspiring rather than trashy or gossipy. I would totally recommend this to everyone, especially those interested in an alternative lifestyle. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review

  11. 5 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    Reading this was like watching an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Saskia, deep in debt, begins working for a Russian billionaire as part of,his private jet crew. It was boggling to read about the lavish accommodations and jetting around the globe. Something I suspected was revealed fairly early on in the memoir. It’s a lavish lifestyle, but very limiting. Saskia was constantly at the beck and call of her employer. Personally, I don’t see the payouts begin commiserate with the expec Reading this was like watching an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Saskia, deep in debt, begins working for a Russian billionaire as part of,his private jet crew. It was boggling to read about the lavish accommodations and jetting around the globe. Something I suspected was revealed fairly early on in the memoir. It’s a lavish lifestyle, but very limiting. Saskia was constantly at the beck and call of her employer. Personally, I don’t see the payouts begin commiserate with the expectations. It was an interesting read and just confirms my casual lifestyle of T-shirts and yoga pants is my true calling. Thanks to Lume and NetGalley for the early copy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Landry

    Above and Beyond was a fun memoir about life as a flight attendant for private clients. As you would imagine this was a lifestyle that is very different from the “average” 9 to 5 job. I enjoyed the descriptions of the luxury jets and the elaborate requests from the ultra-wealthy clients. I was really surprised to see the wonderful friendships that developed amongst the flight crew and especially the flight attendants. I expected much more of a “mean girl” element and the supportive friendships w Above and Beyond was a fun memoir about life as a flight attendant for private clients. As you would imagine this was a lifestyle that is very different from the “average” 9 to 5 job. I enjoyed the descriptions of the luxury jets and the elaborate requests from the ultra-wealthy clients. I was really surprised to see the wonderful friendships that developed amongst the flight crew and especially the flight attendants. I expected much more of a “mean girl” element and the supportive friendships was a really nice surprise. Saskia did a great job telling her story. Really enjoyable read! **Thank you to NetGalley and Lume Books for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.**

  13. 5 out of 5

    Samsbookspot

    Above and Beyond is the memoir of Saskia Swann, flight attendant to the rich and famous. This book shows you what it’s like to be cabin crew aboard private jets. I loved this book and read it in one sitting. Even though it is a memoir it reads like a fiction book. What surprised me was the camaraderie between the female flight attendants. They became like family and had each others backs at all times. They were supportive and caring. I can imagine not all cabin crew are like this and that jealousy Above and Beyond is the memoir of Saskia Swann, flight attendant to the rich and famous. This book shows you what it’s like to be cabin crew aboard private jets. I loved this book and read it in one sitting. Even though it is a memoir it reads like a fiction book. What surprised me was the camaraderie between the female flight attendants. They became like family and had each others backs at all times. They were supportive and caring. I can imagine not all cabin crew are like this and that jealousy and bitchiness can occur. You can see by reading this book how girls can easily get sucked into a life of living beyond their means. And may do whatever it takes to keep the money coming in to pay for that lifestyle. Absolutely loved this book. Thank you to netgalley and the author for an advanced copy of this book for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kay Cugini

    I really enjoyed this book, outrageous and pretty fabulous! stories of Saskia's life as a private air steward, and what a life! very enjoyable. *Spoiler* Reading about the sexual exploits, or rather expectations, is rather uncomfortable and doesn't reflect very well on the clients, maybe I'm naive but I found it distasteful that billionaires expected that money could buy them literally anything from their staff, but hey live and let live. I found Pavel to be a sad character However I was cheering I really enjoyed this book, outrageous and pretty fabulous! stories of Saskia's life as a private air steward, and what a life! very enjoyable. *Spoiler* Reading about the sexual exploits, or rather expectations, is rather uncomfortable and doesn't reflect very well on the clients, maybe I'm naive but I found it distasteful that billionaires expected that money could buy them literally anything from their staff, but hey live and let live. I found Pavel to be a sad character However I was cheering Saskia on at the end when she called a client out on it. Such a great, light and absorbing read, thank you to Netgalley and Lume Books for the advance fopy

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kayo

    Oh to be a fly on the wall in these stories as a private flight attendant. Fun book. Thanks to authors, publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karen Germain

    Thank you to Lume Books for providing me with a free copy of Saskia Swann & Nicola Stow’s book, Above and Beyond: Secrets of a Private Flight Attendant, in exchange for an honest review. Londoner Saskia Swann was a commercial airline flight attendant, who was having a ball traveling around the world, partying at exclusive clubs and dining in fancy restaurants. The job was amazing, but she found it difficult to indulge in a young flight attendant lifestyle on her low salary. Quickly, she racked up Thank you to Lume Books for providing me with a free copy of Saskia Swann & Nicola Stow’s book, Above and Beyond: Secrets of a Private Flight Attendant, in exchange for an honest review. Londoner Saskia Swann was a commercial airline flight attendant, who was having a ball traveling around the world, partying at exclusive clubs and dining in fancy restaurants. The job was amazing, but she found it difficult to indulge in a young flight attendant lifestyle on her low salary. Quickly, she racked up thousands in debt by using her credit card to pay for things, such her lavish wardrobe. Realizing that her situation was spiraling out of control, Swann quit her flight attendant job to find something more sustainable. Shortly after quitting, she met a man in a bar who had a connection in the private flight industry. Swann is immediately interested when she learns that the pay is much higher and it will allow her to continue in a profession that she loves. She is given a three week trial on the private jet of a wealthy Russian man. Swann soon learns that being a private flight attendant is very different than a commercial flight attendant. Privacy is a must and beyond signing non-disclosure agreements, she can’t even tell her family or friends about her flight routes. The requests of her bosses can be both demanding and change on a whim. She must turn a blind-eye to affairs, treating her bosses wife and mistress with equal respect, depending on whom is aboard the plane. The stakes are further raises, when Swann learns that her boss expects a “little extra” from his flight attendants and he has his eyes on her. Swann’s memoir hooked me. It’s scandalous and shocking. I have a weak spot for memoirs that give me a glimpse into other professions or lifestyles, and this memoir hit that mark. I read it in a single afternoon, unable to resist reading “just one more chapter.” Beyond the shock-value of the memoir, I was gripped to the pages because of Swann. She’s likable and I felt compassion for her situation. I believe that Stow was primarily responsible for both shaping Swann’s memoir and with a bulk of the actual writing. To this end, Stow’s descriptions and scene settings were fabulous. I was reading Above and Beyond at a break-neck speed, yet I found myself pausing to admire the writing, which is honestly something that I don’t often notice in memoirs. If you’re looking for a fun, yet affecting memoir, I recommend adding Above and Beyond to your list. It is also the perfect read for travel season. Like my review? Check out my blog!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Rimmelzwaan

    Above and Beyond: Secrets of a Private Flight Attendant by Saskia Swann &Nicola Stow is exactly that! A memoir written by Saskia Swann, a woman who worked as a flight attendant on commercial and private planes too. This is a brutally honest account of her career and one that made me feel like I was on a joyride! It transported me all the way to the luxurious world of rich people and excess. A world that I will never inhabit and looking at the cost of living in this world I think I shall stay her Above and Beyond: Secrets of a Private Flight Attendant by Saskia Swann &Nicola Stow is exactly that! A memoir written by Saskia Swann, a woman who worked as a flight attendant on commercial and private planes too. This is a brutally honest account of her career and one that made me feel like I was on a joyride! It transported me all the way to the luxurious world of rich people and excess. A world that I will never inhabit and looking at the cost of living in this world I think I shall stay here. Being allowed into the world of the crew as they let it all go made for a thrilling read. The luxurious hotels, the fine expensive restaurants and even the casino's they visit, all in the name of 'work'. The cost of these things is the expectation of many a boss who owned the jet. You always think you know what they could want but this book gives you the bare truth of them and how the attendants didn't really have much choice if thet wanted to keep the job. I enjoyed getting to know the crew and my favourite was Nancy! Smuggling alcohol into a country it is banned in, certainly had me laughing. Then we have Pavel, a rather sad man who uses money and power to get exactly what he wants and throws you asside when he is bored, whoever that man is, he needs a good dose of his own medicine sooner rather than later! I felt for Saskia at a certain point and it really proved a point for me how Pavel reacted. I was whisked away when I started reading this and didn't land home again until I had finished. A riveting, humerous, truthful and even at times brutal read. I certainly hope to see Saskia Swann and Nicola Stow collaberate again. I am certain Saskia has a ton of stories she can include in a second book...I would imagine this was only the tip of the iceberg! Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours and Lume Books for my copy of this scintillating read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen Radford

    Ever been on a private jet? No, me neither but we’ve all seen the highflying Kardashian clan and Real Housewives of ..... jetting off at short notice to glamorous destinations in a creamy leather seated private jet with the champagne flowing. As soon as I read the description of this book I was curious to find out more. This book opens with Saskia a former air hostess struggling to pay off her credit card debt through her temping jobs, she has a shopping addiction and is wondering how to turn he Ever been on a private jet? No, me neither but we’ve all seen the highflying Kardashian clan and Real Housewives of ..... jetting off at short notice to glamorous destinations in a creamy leather seated private jet with the champagne flowing. As soon as I read the description of this book I was curious to find out more. This book opens with Saskia a former air hostess struggling to pay off her credit card debt through her temping jobs, she has a shopping addiction and is wondering how to turn her life around. Then on a rainy day, a chance encounter with a stranger in a bar leads to her being offered a £45,000 pa job as a private flight attendant for a mysterious Russian businessman. Soon Saskia is jetting all over the world wearing her Prada uniform, staying in five star hotels and meeting the whims and desires of her married boss Pavel. Her duties vary from scrubbing toilets to secret assignations with the boss. She dishes the dirt on various escapades and adventures - some good, some less so. What I liked about this memoir was getting the lowdown on the seemingly glamorous lifestyle but realising that there were severe limitations on her ability to lead a meaningful life when not working. The portrayal of Saskia’s colleagues and her friendships was well depicted. I found her justification for having a “relationship” with Pavel a bit disingenuous but that’s down to my personal morals and am sure that different readers will take their own stance on this. If you’re thinking of working as private jet attendant this book is definitely for you. This is a light, frothy read which I read in one sitting - perfect for by the pool. Huge thanks to NetGalley and Lume Books for the e-arc in return for an honest review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Bogens Liv

    Thank you to Netgalley and Lume Books for the review copy. Although I received this book as a review copy, are all of my words honest, and I do only give my true opinions. Do you know what life is like as a flight attendant? Traveling the world and meeting all kinds of people. Well, that is just a small part of it. I was very excited when I first read the description of the book. And now as I have finished the book, I am equally or even more excited about "Above and beyond". This is just a brilli Thank you to Netgalley and Lume Books for the review copy. Although I received this book as a review copy, are all of my words honest, and I do only give my true opinions. Do you know what life is like as a flight attendant? Traveling the world and meeting all kinds of people. Well, that is just a small part of it. I was very excited when I first read the description of the book. And now as I have finished the book, I am equally or even more excited about "Above and beyond". This is just a brilliant book. I have always wondered what the life of a flight attendant really is. In the book, we hear the story of Saskia Swann and her life as a flight attendant and getting the job on a private jet. The story is written in cooperation with the journalist Nicola Stow. This is a very honest book. We hear the true story of Saskia Swann and all of the behind-the-scenes of a flight attendant on a private jet - or at least how it was for Saskia Swann. This is, however, and unfortunately, not just a fun story. It is also a serious and somewhat sad story. It is a story of power and money as much as a story of airplanes and flight attendants. There is quite a twist to the story and one with some huge consequences for Saskia Swann. I do not want to spoil too much of it because it is so well-described in the book, but you will hear about sexual abuse and boss-power in the story. Quite an eye-opener and a brutally honest story. The book is very well-written in an enjoyable language. The stories are exciting and engaging, and I loved the read. This is a very honest book with an important story to tell!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pramod

    I am fascinated by the stories of the glamorous life of flight attendants. “Above and Beyond, Secrets of a Private Flight Attendant,” the title caught my attention. Many Hollywood movies portray their lifestyle. Furthermore, I thought it was exaggerated. Above and Beyond is a memoir of Saskia Swann. She was a flight attendant for a world-leading airline, traveling the world, partying, and shopping. The salary was not enough to sustain the lifestyle and got her into debt. She left her cabin crew I am fascinated by the stories of the glamorous life of flight attendants. “Above and Beyond, Secrets of a Private Flight Attendant,” the title caught my attention. Many Hollywood movies portray their lifestyle. Furthermore, I thought it was exaggerated. Above and Beyond is a memoir of Saskia Swann. She was a flight attendant for a world-leading airline, traveling the world, partying, and shopping. The salary was not enough to sustain the lifestyle and got her into debt. She left her cabin crew (trolley dolly) job. To survive, she took on temping jobs in department stores beauty counters. A chance meeting with someone in a bar in London, who introduced her to “Private Flying.” Above and Beyond, is her experiences working for the super-rich as a flight attendant in their private jets. After reading Above and Beyond, it brings into perspective how these ladies live a life of luxury. Additionally, never imagined their lives on the private planes of the mega-rich. Furthermore, how the rich lures the innocent girls into the extra favors, and the camaraderie of the cabin crew and the pilots. Well written with Nicola Stow, a page-turner, an easy read, an insight into the career of a cabin attendant, with glimpses of the scenes and lives of the billionaires and their relationships with their families. I recommend this book to all who love travel, want to know the life of other professions and detailed glamorous life of a private flight attendants’ lifestyle. I rate it 5 stars. I thank NetGalley and the publishers Lume Books for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Book-Social

    I devoured this book in 24 hours finding it the perfect tonic to previous more weighty reads. Swann is a pseudo name and all real names have been changed however the tales are true with the book being described as an ‘anonymised vocational memoir’. It starts off as a pretty woman story. Girl down in luck (and debt) lands on her feet when a billionaire Russian hires her to be an air stewardess on his private jet. Cue shopping in Harrods for designer uniform, popping champagne corks for breakfast I devoured this book in 24 hours finding it the perfect tonic to previous more weighty reads. Swann is a pseudo name and all real names have been changed however the tales are true with the book being described as an ‘anonymised vocational memoir’. It starts off as a pretty woman story. Girl down in luck (and debt) lands on her feet when a billionaire Russian hires her to be an air stewardess on his private jet. Cue shopping in Harrods for designer uniform, popping champagne corks for breakfast and jet setting around the world, all whilst glittering in diamonds. Yet the comparison to Pretty Woman becomes more so when Swann’s boss invites her to join him in the bedroom, an offer she feels she can’t refuse. The book then takes a slightly darker tone and includes a fairly upsetting outcome. It certainly strayed from where I thought it was going and makes the book a much more in depth read. What was very present was how much women are still used as accessories for men. How they can be bought, are interchangeable and not valued. Time and time again we were shown examples of male wealth, men cheating and generally degrading women. Where were the women with private jets, the male air hostesses and the faithful spouses? Swann has the last laugh though – she still works as an air hostess today despite ‘time ticking on’. I certainly couldn’t hack the hedonistic lifestyle but it sounds, at times, a scream. Swann has seen more of the world than I ever will and whilst her choices are not mine I loved reading the book. It’s an eye opener and it certainly gave me pause for thought.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cherryls Books

    Interesting insights into the life of Saskia in her career as a private flight attendant. Saskia's life changes drastically following a chance meeting with a stranger in a bar. The sort of thing that can go horribly wrong, but it seemed to be working out for Saskia. Well she didn't get trafficked off to goodness knows where, thankfully. All above board then....? Unemployed and up to her eyes in debt one minute, then she's off packing her new designer suitcases and getting kitted out by a personal Interesting insights into the life of Saskia in her career as a private flight attendant. Saskia's life changes drastically following a chance meeting with a stranger in a bar. The sort of thing that can go horribly wrong, but it seemed to be working out for Saskia. Well she didn't get trafficked off to goodness knows where, thankfully. All above board then....? Unemployed and up to her eyes in debt one minute, then she's off packing her new designer suitcases and getting kitted out by a personal shopper in Harrods for 'uniforms' and that was just the start of her new job. Hmmm, the glamorous life of a private flight attendant, can't be bad, surely? But, as you can probably well imagine, as per the book title, it soon emerged that the requirements of the job had a tendency to go above and beyond the call of duty. Well  - depending on what the boss deemed to be a duty!! Need I say more. Saskia puts a magnifying glass on the (secret) lives of her billionaire bosses, their lavish tastes, frivolous spending and their 'the world's a playground' approach to day to day living. Saskia made some choices that will no doubt provoke strong moral reactions in some readers - highlighting how easily people can be compromised by money and desired lifestyle, though I sensed a change in her toward end of the book. Saskia should do a follow up book, as this one ends with Saskia still working as a private flight attendant in her forties - seemingly happy to continue doing so. But have things evolved, has she had enough, or is a life in the clouds and exotic places still where she still wants to be?

  23. 4 out of 5

    Miss Anna

    Above and Beyond – Saskia Swann and Nicola Stow This book blew my mind! I read it in one night, I simply couldn’t put it down. I still can’t believe it’s a true account of Saskia’s life...it reads like a film script for a huge budget blockbuster. I don’t want to give too much away because it is twists and turns a plenty and fast paced throughout – a struggling ex-air hostess, a chance encounter, a new career and then the sky truly is the limit! I was shocked, appalled, jealous, thrilled, excited a Above and Beyond – Saskia Swann and Nicola Stow This book blew my mind! I read it in one night, I simply couldn’t put it down. I still can’t believe it’s a true account of Saskia’s life...it reads like a film script for a huge budget blockbuster. I don’t want to give too much away because it is twists and turns a plenty and fast paced throughout – a struggling ex-air hostess, a chance encounter, a new career and then the sky truly is the limit! I was shocked, appalled, jealous, thrilled, excited and stunned at points. I do think Saskia probably glosses over some of the less glamorous elements and doesn’t over emphasise how hard she has worked, the story could have stood more of both, but doesn’t suffer for the lack of them. The writing is honest and gripping and I absolutely loved it. I haven’t stopped telling friends about it since I finished reading it and I just wish I was 20 years younger, a couple of stone lighter and a million times better looking then I could have followed in her footsteps. A word of warning – it is not for the fainthearted or perhaps for the staunch feminist depending on how you view certain aspects of her approach, but for me this fabulous lady comes out of this tale with her head held high, her bank balance substantially improved and a lifetime’s experience wrapped into a handful of years. Read this book! You will not be disappointed.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Van Tubbergen

    3.5 rounded up. After reading the synopsis I knew I was going to enjoy this book! Saskia Swann gives us the inside look at working as a Flight Attendant on private jets for millionaires and billionaires. She started on commercial airlines, but the real money is working on the private planes. Let’s pop some champagne! Wow does this book get interesting! From mistresses and wives to the dynamics in power, money, and misogyny within the industry. Read this if you enjoy Lifestyles of the Rich and Famo 3.5 rounded up. After reading the synopsis I knew I was going to enjoy this book! Saskia Swann gives us the inside look at working as a Flight Attendant on private jets for millionaires and billionaires. She started on commercial airlines, but the real money is working on the private planes. Let’s pop some champagne! Wow does this book get interesting! From mistresses and wives to the dynamics in power, money, and misogyny within the industry. Read this if you enjoy Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Below Deck, or watching the Real Housewives jetting off on glamourous private jets! This book was meant to be an eye opening look at what really goes on in the world of private flight attendants but I was here for the drama. It read like a big budget film script! The writing style read like your best friend retelling her story. It was simple and filled with details that the right audience would enjoy (ie. lots of name drops - fashion designers, jewelry and champagne etc.) I do have questions about this “tell all” when there was repeated mention of tight NDA’s signed with all her employers. Did they expire? Did the stories change enough that the people are not identifiable? If that’s the case, how much of this is true? I enjoyed it regardless but had these questions on my mind. I received an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Florence

    •A R C • B O O K • R E V I E W• 2021 Book #32 out of 80 . Thank you to @netgalley and @LumeBooks for this ARC Ebook of Above and Beyond: Secrets of a Private Flight Attendant . ABOVE AND BEYOND: SECRETS OF A PRIVATE FLIGHT ATTENDANT by SASKIA SWANN and NICOLA STOW Publication date June 3, 2021 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5 stars . I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publishers via #NetGalley for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. . . QUICK SYNOPSIS: In debt and struggling to get out of it •A R C • B O O K • R E V I E W• 2021 Book #32 out of 80 . Thank you to @netgalley and @LumeBooks for this ARC Ebook of Above and Beyond: Secrets of a Private Flight Attendant . ABOVE AND BEYOND: SECRETS OF A PRIVATE FLIGHT ATTENDANT by SASKIA SWANN and NICOLA STOW Publication date June 3, 2021 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of 5 stars . I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publishers via #NetGalley for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. . . QUICK SYNOPSIS: In debt and struggling to get out of it, one meeting changes the life of Saskia Swann. As a flight attendant, Saskia learns the life of wealth, high-class, and secrecy of billionaires and princes. Little does she know that working in this lifestyle requires some of her own sacrifices. BOOK COVER: ~ I absolutely LOVE the cover of this book! STORYLINE & THOUGHTS: ~ A nice and easy read on a rainy day. ~ Reading the memoir of a flight attendant really catches my interest for some reason. I guess that was why I was really drawn into the book after reading its highlight. ~ The prologue quickly captured my attention and left me eager to read more about what Saskia would experience as a private jet flight attendant. BOOK CONTENT WARNINGS: Marital affairs and abortion. . . #ARC #AdvanceReaderCopy #Bookstagramfeature #Bookstagram #Bookblogger #PNWbooks #Goodreads #TBR #ToBeRead #InstaBook #Bibliophile #Bookstagrammer #bookblogger #currentlyreading #ilovereading #readersofinstagram #readersofinsta #bookreview #bookishfeatures

  26. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Being an avid voyager who has found herself grounded due to the pandemic I thoroughly enjoyed hopping back into the travel world through the eyes of Saskia Swann, a private jet’s cabin crew member. Ironic really because I'm definitely a white knuckle flyer and the thought of choosing to do so for a living FASCINATES me! Above and Beyond was a quick, easy read; Full to the brim with scandal and entertainment, I found myself binge reading until I'd finished! That being said, there are most definit Being an avid voyager who has found herself grounded due to the pandemic I thoroughly enjoyed hopping back into the travel world through the eyes of Saskia Swann, a private jet’s cabin crew member. Ironic really because I'm definitely a white knuckle flyer and the thought of choosing to do so for a living FASCINATES me! Above and Beyond was a quick, easy read; Full to the brim with scandal and entertainment, I found myself binge reading until I'd finished! That being said, there are most definitely poignant moments in the book. The lifestyle which screamed luxury, money and perfection certainly came with some harrowing consequences. Saskia is a highly likeable protagonist, albeit some questionable choices, but I feel like we saw her mature and become more aware of who she was, her values and what she deserved as the book progressed. I enjoyed the epilogue of this book. In a world where society is all too keen to put an age on our achievements, it's great to hear of somebody living the life they're happy with, not the one other people think they should be living! A welcomed break to my usual crime thriller selection, highly recommended! Thank you to NetGalley and Lume Books for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review 📖

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julie Haigh

    Entertaining revelations. I first heard about this book through an advert, and noticed the co-author's name. I had read and enjoyed another memoir quite some time ago which Nicola Stow collaborated on (Cabin Fever by Mandy Smith). Saskia Swann also worked for a leading airline, before making the move to work on private jets, ferrying around the rich and famous, and looking after their every need. Here are the stories she has to tell. Back in 2003, Saskia was heavily in debt. This seemed like a dr Entertaining revelations. I first heard about this book through an advert, and noticed the co-author's name. I had read and enjoyed another memoir quite some time ago which Nicola Stow collaborated on (Cabin Fever by Mandy Smith). Saskia Swann also worked for a leading airline, before making the move to work on private jets, ferrying around the rich and famous, and looking after their every need. Here are the stories she has to tell. Back in 2003, Saskia was heavily in debt. This seemed like a dream job, and the answer to all her problems. Would it be? Or would there be a price to pay? This was a fast-moving and eye-opening memoir. I thought it was very good, and was quick, easy reading. How the other half live! It's interesting to read about all walks of life, but, even if I was made of money, I wouldn't pay for a lavish private jet. I'd just want to 'get there' if flying abroad. I usually prefer to read of struggles, and how people come through them, but this was something different, and an interesting insight into how some people live. Entertaining to have a nosey into different lives. Far more to it than just flying and getting refreshments. Unpredictable, addictive reading.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Kelley

    Saskia Swann is a former commercial flight attendant who finds herself deep in debt and not many prospects to pay it off and set herself up with a more solid future. She stops by one of her local watering holes to drown her sorrows and ends up meeting a stranger that she feels so comfortable with that she spills her lives story including her financial struggles. This stranger may turn out to be a savior when he introduces her with the possibility to work as a corporate flight attendant. This is Saskia Swann is a former commercial flight attendant who finds herself deep in debt and not many prospects to pay it off and set herself up with a more solid future. She stops by one of her local watering holes to drown her sorrows and ends up meeting a stranger that she feels so comfortable with that she spills her lives story including her financial struggles. This stranger may turn out to be a savior when he introduces her with the possibility to work as a corporate flight attendant. This is world ruled by multi-millionaires and billionaires who at times seem to have more money then sense at times. This flight attendants have the jobs to cater to their every whim whether it be crazy amounts of the finest food and drink to keeping their planes immaculate to the point of keeping secrets of affairs by going through the plane looking for stray strands of hair. This world allows the author to fly allover the world and experience some of the finer things in life and get paid for it. But nothing in life comes for free and there maybe hidden cost in this world for Saskia and her friends and co-workers. This is a good overall read. Thank you to Netgalley and Lume Books for an ARC for a fair and honest review.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Thank you to NetGalley and Lume books for the opportunity to read Above and Beyond so that I may provide an honest review. I couldn't put this book down! This fast-paced, light and funny memoir allows the reader to go behind the scenes and into the cabins of the private jets of the mega rich where nondisclosures agreements are a must and high-end designer uniforms are just one of the many perks. I found Saskia Swann to be entirely relatable as she confronts the responsibilities of paying off deb Thank you to NetGalley and Lume books for the opportunity to read Above and Beyond so that I may provide an honest review. I couldn't put this book down! This fast-paced, light and funny memoir allows the reader to go behind the scenes and into the cabins of the private jets of the mega rich where nondisclosures agreements are a must and high-end designer uniforms are just one of the many perks. I found Saskia Swann to be entirely relatable as she confronts the responsibilities of paying off debt incurred during her early years as a globe-trotting commercial flight attendant where she developed "champagne tastes with a cava budget" and allowed her credit cards to make up the difference. Faced with a mountain of debt, Saskis hustles by taking on temp jobs before a serendipitous meeting leads to her role as part of a cabin crew on a private jet. Saskia Swann and Nicola Stow write vividly of the highs and lows Saskia experiences as she navigates this rarified world and confronts the moral dilemmas posed by her requirement of absolute secrecy and the additional, unspoken expectations of her job.

  30. 5 out of 5

    LaBibliodeCaro

    In the past, I loved reading memoirs about the adventures of « trolley dollies » from the heyday of commercial aviation back in the 50s and 60s. A TV documentary even fascinated me enough to write my own fiction novel about air hostesses and this incredibly exciting way of life. Needless to say that when I stumbled upon this new « modern-time » memoir on NetGalley, I knew I would immediately dive into it and really enjoy this read. What a rollercoaster of emotions! Saskia Swann has had a pretty In the past, I loved reading memoirs about the adventures of « trolley dollies » from the heyday of commercial aviation back in the 50s and 60s. A TV documentary even fascinated me enough to write my own fiction novel about air hostesses and this incredibly exciting way of life. Needless to say that when I stumbled upon this new « modern-time » memoir on NetGalley, I knew I would immediately dive into it and really enjoy this read. What a rollercoaster of emotions! Saskia Swann has had a pretty hectic life and it’s definitely worthy of a book (I’m sure it would even make a good movie given the multiple dramatic twists and turns). It was a vivid, gripping account of the highs and lows of this decadent lifestyle. She doesn’t sugarcoat the more difficult parts of her adventures (it was at times very heartbreaking to read about her struggles), but it gives so much depth to her tale, you get a good sense of how far she’s gone. I found her final words in the epilogue very inspiring. A great message for strong women out there. Don’t be scared to chase your dreams, blaze your own trail and live an extraordinary life!

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