Answering the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Being a Flight Attendant

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Flight Attendant Life

 

You might have seen my post Ask Me Anything About Being a Flight Attendant – it blew up on Pinterest and ever since then I have been getting lots of questions – which I love!! I love helping people and it also gives me more ideas for content for my blog. So seriously feel free to keep asking me for advice. If I don’t answer your questions in this post, you can comment on the post, email me, or DM me on social media. Instagram Direct Messages is probably the best way to get in touch with me- I’ve noticed people sometimes don’t get my email replies when they contact me through the blog.

Here are some of the posts I have made based on questions I get:

 

I will answer more questions here!

*I am writing this on November 24th, 2019. I have been a flight attendant for a little over 3 years. My answers will be based on my experiences so far – because I know in the future things can change!

 

How old were you when you started this job?

I was 22 when I got hired, I turned 23 in training.

 

How early did you start applying to airlines?

My entire senior year of college I knew I wanted to become a flight attendant. I graduated summer semester in August. I think the first time I applied to any airline was in May. I applied to a lot of airlines – even ones I knew I didn’t want to work for. It’s good to have back ups and the more interviews you do, the better you become at them.

I remember I applied for my airline on July 4th. It took about a month for me to get invited to a face to face interview. Before you get invited to the face to face, you will have to pass other steps – such as a personality assessment and a phone or video interview.

Some airlines got back to me much faster, and some took much longer. I’ve heard that in this industry “no news is good news” – so if you don’t hear back for a while it could possibly be a good thing, since they will usually tell you “sorry” right away if they don’t think you’re a good fit. I really think it just depends on the timing and how many people the airline needs to hire at that moment.

 

Why did you pick your airline?

As a personal rule, I am not going to name my company anywhere on my blog – because this blog is not company sponsored and all opinions are my own.

…. but it’s not that hard to find out who I work for if you take one look at my instagram!

I honestly didn’t fly often at all before I became a flight attendant. I do have some family and friends in the airline industry though, so I knew a few things. Like how your life is so much easier if you live where you’re based. I knew I wanted to live in New York City, so step 1 was finding out the airlines who had bases there.

I narrowed it down to 3. After doing more research I decided there were only 2 I really wanted – and yes I work for one of my 2 top choices, which is amazing and I’m blessed. At the time I really didn’t know which one I wanted more but after working for 3 years, I believe I made the right decision!

If you don’t get your top choice at first, don’t give up! You can always work at another airline for a while and keep applying. Or even better, you might work at a different airline and decide you love it and want to stay!

 

Do you ever want to work for a bigger / long-haul airline?

I think because my company isn’t as big as some, I get asked this a lot. It’s important to understand that sometimes a smaller airline can be better for certain people’s lifestyle and what they want out of the job. Not everyone wants to work for the largest airline with the most destinations. That being said, I definitely wouldn’t call my airline small. It’s rapidly growing and I believe it could be huge one day, especially since it’s pretty young compared to most airlines. But right now I am loving it and definitely don’t want to leave. One huge perk of my airline was getting hired at a time they were growing so much, so my seniority is much better at 3 years here than it would be anywhere else.

 

What is the pay like?

There is soooo much that goes into this. Every airline has different pay. If you want to know the pay for a specific airline, my best guess would be for you to Google it. I found some information on Glassdoor.com if you want to check it out.

This is the information I know based on my experience:

We get paid hourly – and we only get paid when the boarding door is closed! So that means all the time we spend on the airplane during boarding and deplaning, we aren’t getting paid for.

We get a raise every year – which means you might be struggling the first year or so, but it definitely gets better.

We get Per diem for time away from base and layovers

We get paid extra for working certain Holidays

Some airlines will pay you more money for:

  • Working international flights
  • Working red-eye flights
  • Working as the Lead position

Most airlines also give you profit sharing and other bonuses

Most airlines will give you insurance and other perks 

I’ve never met a flight attendant who started the job just for the pay.  It’s usually for the flight benefits, perks, and flexibility of the schedule!

I do know that if you stick with the job, it’s possible to make a lot of money when you’re more senior. That yearly raise will start adding up and with good seniority you can also work more profitable trips.

 

Do you have to pay for your own hotels / do you have to share a hotel room with other flight attendants?

You’d be surprised how often I get asked this. NO! we don’t pay for our own hotels and NO! we do not share a room. The company pays for our hotel and we always have our own room on layovers.

 

Do you have a favorite route?

In New York, I live a lot closer to LaGuardia (LGA) than to JFK, so I prefer working trips from LGA. I like to work Florida trips because I’m from there and I know people in most of the cities I layover in. I love going to Orlando (MCO) and going to Disney all the time!  The flight I work most is probably LGA – MCO

I try to go to Seattle whenever I can because my sister lives there. There are a lot of good layovers I haven’t been able to get yet, but hopefully I will soon!

My favorite layover so far has been Bermuda

 

Is this job possible for someone who has children / pets?

I don’t have any children or pets so I can’t speak from experience, but I have worked with a lot of flight attendants who live a very domestic life. It will be hard at first because when you’re on reserve you don’t have much control over your schedule, but eventually you will be able to get better trips for your lifestyle – it might just take a while. It will definitely be easier if you can live where you are based because commuting takes up a lot of time. Once you’re able to hold the trips you want, it’s very possible to make the job a “9 to 5” in a way. You can pick up short day-turns and be home every night (assuming there are no delays or cancellations)

I wish I could answer this better, but maybe in the future I’ll have this experience and can be more help.

 

Do you work with the same people every flight?

No. It actually took about 2 years before I even worked with someone more than once. New York is such a big base, I know in our smaller bases it’s more common to work with the same people more often.

Each trip I work with the same crew of flight attendants until the end of the trip. For example, if I’m working a 3 day trip, I will be with the same crew all 3 days. But when I start a new trip, I’m usually with a completely different crew.

 

How long are your layovers?

They’re usually between 12 and 36 hours. I would say the average length of time is 18 hours.

 

Do you and your family fly for free?

Yes, but we fly standby. That means we only make it on a flight if there are seats available. We also still pay taxes when flying internationally while not on duty. My airline lets our immediate family use the flight benefits. This includes my parents, spouse, and children if they’re younger than 24. If we’re not married, we can pick a travel companion – this person does not have to be related to you.

I plan on making a post all about standby soon.

 

How long do you think you’ll be a flight attendant?

A lot of people have it in their mind that this isn’t a long-term job. I always get asked this – especially because I have a college degree in something completely unrelated. I plan on doing this forever if possible. I love it and the job only gets better with time.

 

These are all of the questions I can think of right now, but please ask me if you have any more!

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