This month it was my privilege (J) to chat to the team behind the genius idea that is Crew Privilege, Vanessa Bock (Vee) and Dean Pilatti. As is the way of the world these days we were all-in far-flung corners of the world, so ended up having a virtual chat from Palma to Perth.
I asked Vee what Crew Privilege is all about and where the concept came from. She says it’s simple really. As cabin crew for Emirates for many years she would be jumping from destination to destination, Hong Kong for 24 hours, Dubai for the night, maybe Melbourne for an afternoon. All potentially places that she would never get to visit again due to the nature of the cabin crew role, and so rather than turn up and hope to find the best places by chance she would spend the days before researching. What to do? Where to go? Finding out where the best bars and parties were. But she realised that not all cabin crew were as organised, many of them often just stayed in the crew hotel bar or ate in the restaurant next door. These chance of a lifetime travelling opportunities may as well have been spent in a Holiday Inn in Luton for what they saw of the exotic destinations they were landing in.
It was then that she hit on the idea of Crew Privilege. By creating partnerships with companies such as bars, clubs and restaurants, as well as activities and attractions in layover destinations on flight routes Crew Privilege members would have access to exclusive Privileges from CP partners, such as great deals and discounts, complimentary items, VIP access, English speaking contacts and more.
So, Vee left flying to pursue her dream of making cabin crew around the world feel like there was no place like home, no matter where that temporary home was. But she wasn’t about to stop there. She quickly realised that there was another type of crew with very similar displacement issues. Yep, you guys, yacht crew. Whilst you may be staying over for slightly longer periods, the issues are often the same. Where to go where you won’t be ripped off, where you will feel like a local, where you’ll meet similar people for fun, for networking, for finding that next position. Whilst La Llonja and Corner Bar may be synonymous to us as crew haunts, not all of those new to the industry may be as aware. Rocking up in a new town, possibly without a boat, and without a clue, can be a lonely business. And for those more seasoned, the opportunity to get out and discover new places, find new gems to take the boss or charter guests, can be a godsend.
And so the dual functioning, beautifully designed site was born. Catering for both Yacht Crew and Flight Crew, it aims to provide you with an everyday tool to find services, activities, transport, drinking holes and restaurants, internationally. There are also numerous crew events, for members, hosted throughout the year, around the world. Their extensive events team wil select incredible venues, sponsors and entertainment to ensure CP members have the best time. On top of that there are some fantastic deals to be had, such as 10% off Emirates flights, 30% off Avis and 25% off Hertz car hire.
But the story doesn’t end there. Realising the scale and scope of the project, 18 months ago Vee partnered up with Australian, Dean, of the Perth end of the phone call. With over 20 years in the charter yacht industry, working his way up through the ranks from day worker to deckhand, to boson and finally to Captain, Dean has spent most of his working life servicing the need of others. It is his driven passion to make people happy and the pair felt he was the perfect partner to bring on board with more of a focus on management down.
And still it doesn’t end there. The pair are now offering internships to crew, to help them develop the partner program, honing their business skills outside of the yachting industry, so that they will be prepared for a different way of life should they take the leap from ship to shore. There are fantastic incentives to join the team such as exclusive dinners hosted by experienced Captains where they talk through the industry, showing them clear career pathways and how to achieve their goals within the industry.
If you are a potential partner reading this then Vee and Dean reiterate that there are thousands of crew passing through the area who are looking for you! The platform enables you to tell crew what you do, where you are and how to reach you. You can literally send your name round the world by building brand recognition within an amazing global network. There are also sponsorship opportunities available throughout the year at events, for increased awareness. It really is a complete no-brainer if you are a bar, restaurant, club or attraction who are looking to entice often affluent crew members through your doors.
That the pair care passionately about the company, and more importantly the welfare of crew, is obvious. They both know from long years of experience the ups and downs of being away from home, family, friends and a familiar environment. Asked what they want to say to potential Crew Privilege members they say: “The world is your home. What a PRIVILEGE! But sometimes that’s a lot to deal with. At Crew Privilege we address the nature of our lifestyle as Captains and crew members, to make your lives just that little bit easier.”
So, how do I get my Crew Privilege Card?
After a quick and easy sign up, your Crew Card will be on its way! It costs €50 per year, though this is often saved on the 1st or 2nd time of using. Just show the card to get access to all the Privileges on the site and at their international events.
It was indeed a privilege!
Vanessa Bock (Vee)