Since I started flying the friendly skies full-time, I’ve realized that a flight attendant is an occupation in which the average person isn’t well versed. Over the last ten months I have received many of the same questions from all different types of people – and I love it. I can almost see the light bulb flicker on when they hear that I fly around in planes for a living. So I thought I would try and think of all the reoccurring questions I receive on a weekly basis and answer them to the best of my ability. Odds are, I’m leaving something out, so if you think of any others that you would like answered, send them to me and I will add them!
How long have you been flying?
I started flying June 13, 2017
What routes do you normally fly?
Because the entire scheduling system is based on seniority and I am the third most junior in my base (LOL), I don’t have much say in what I fly. That being said, I fly mostly three-day trips to literally anywhere and everywhere.
Do you always work with the same crew?
No. Every trip is made up of a different crew, but because Boston is a small base and you tend to fly with people around your seniority, I fly with a lot of the same people. Really cool people, at that.
Do they give you somewhere to stay?
This has to be the funniest question to me, because it never occurred to me that I would have to pay for my own place to stay. But yes, every time we layover somewhere, our hotel is provided for us.
You don’t get to fly any international, do you?
Yes. Yes I do. When we graduate from training we are qualified to fly both domestic and international. To date, I have worked trips to Amsterdam, Dublin, Paris and London. On average, our layovers tend to be about 24 hours, though some can be as long as three days.
How long do you think you’re realistically going to do this?
This question right here. Whew. When people ask me how long I plan on being a flight attendant, all I hear is, “This clearly isn’t a career, so when are you going to get serious and choose a real job.” To which my answer is, well I get to make my own schedule, choose how much I work/make, and did I mention fly any where in the world for free? 🙂
What are you going to do when it comes time to have a family?
My mom has been a flight attendant for 37 years, and I have never felt like I missed out on having a mom, on the contrary, she was as involved in my life as humanly possible. *listens to the soft hum of helicopter blades in the distance* But in all seriousness, she was a room mom in elementary school, at every track meet in middle/high school, and the official driver of the party van. If anything, I feel as if I was able to see my mom more than most kids saw their working moms, and man am I thankful.
How much do you make and how do you get paid?
One of the coolest aspects of this job is that you can make as much or as little as you want. Our hourly pay is strictly based on flight hours, from door close to door open. Which also means we aren’t getting paid to deal with the temper tantrum you throw when you have to put a bag under the seat. In addition to our flight hours, we also receive per diem pay.
How much we make on a yearly basis is strictly determined by how much we choose to work. Many fly attendants try to fly between 90 and 100 hours a month, but I have also heard of people flying as much as 160 hours and as little as 0 hours. Just like many other jobs, our hourly pay increases year by year, we start off around $26/hr and top out around $68/hr – for now.
Do you like your job?
Sometimes I forget it’s even a job. I work with some of the funniest and brightest people this planet has to offer & I get to see the world on someone else’s dime. My schedule can be kind of crazy and I’m always tired, but at the end of the day, I can’t think of a single thing I would rather be doing. Am I going to do this until the wheels fall off? Probably.flight attendant