I am 24 years old, currently a regional flight attendant based in my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona! Living AND loving my life!!
Ever Thought of Flying for a Living?
There are so many people out there that I have talked to while in and out of my uniform who have told me "I have always thought about being a flight attendant!" once I tell them that is what I do for a living. It's such a fun job and I just wanted to write a little bit about how to get into it, and my personal pros and cons of the job.
I have been working for Mesa Airlines for a little over a year now, and I am loving it. I do hope to be working for a mainline company one day. After falling fast in love with this job, I am 100% ready to make it a career, take on more passengers, and longer flights. It is so fast-paced, but also slow at times, crazy insanely busy, but also so calm in a way. The aviation field is something that I think everyone should think about because it is so fun and cool, always changing and . . . with such good benefits, too!
If there is one tip I could give before starting the process, it would be to SAVE SAVE SAVE!!! Most of, if not all, airlines have UNPAID training. The training can be anywhere from 3–8 weeks, depending on the company. That can be quite some time without pay and it can be very very stressful because it can put you so behind. I know this from personal struggle. And starting out, the pay is not the best, but I feel that the people who have been with the companies the longest don't do it for the money, they do it for the love they have for it. I'll give ya'll my own personal pros and cons!
Personal Pros and Cons
Travel benefits for friends/family
Missing important family events
Constantly on the go
Having to be on call until you have enough seniority
Always meeting new people
Dealing with time changes/losing&gaining time
Never the same thing/non routine
Long days/hours sometimes
Constantly having incredible views of the sky and NOT having to stare at a desk all day
Basically having to always go to work even when you're really sick
The number 1 con I would say would be being sick and still having to go in. When you first start, you are on probation, usually about six months, could vary with company. BUT being sick and having to fly is the worst, even if you have just a small cold. They always want you going to work anyways, lol.
The number 1 pro I would have to say is the benefits, you get to fly in the US for free and out of the country for taxes only!!! I calculated a round trip for myself from AZ to Paris . . . it was $138.80. WHAT!!!!! And for my mom, it was about $300. I know, I know . . . WHY am I not always all over the globe. That's because I'm just having so much fun working that I don't get myself to get the time off to vacation!
Work is work and nothing about work is fun. But once you find something that you actually enjoy doing while getting paid for it, it makes it all worth it! There are both pros and cons to everything in life. I just made a small list of my own personal pros and cons, I have about being a flight attendant. The list could go on and on forever if I listed EVERYTHING, so I just stuck with the basics. And again those are all personal, and can definitely vary per person! Those are just very basic things that I think tend to go with just about everyone!
If you've read anything that I wrote before then you can probably guess one of my favorite things about being a flight attendant. The views. I could never get sick of looking out a passenger window or the galley window to see the sky and the colors it is creating that day. It's WAY better than staring at the same computer, desk, cubicle, or whatever it is you're staring at all day. So, I'll attach some pretty sky pictures just so you can see what you're missing!
So if you've stuck with me this far and you're still wondering how to apply and what the process is like, keep on reading!
Each airline is different all the way from the way they hire to the way they do their inflight service. From what I have been able to do so far, most are pretty similar in their hiring process—give or take a little bit. And a good thing to know is that all the airlines aren't necessarily looking for flying experience! Most times, they just want you to have good customer service skills, be willing and able to do all they need, and basically be good with people. Give a good Google search about flight attendant positions and dig into each company out there to find the best option for you. It really is a simple, nerve-wracking, life-long feeling process:
1. Apply online to the company
2. Receive an email to do a video interview for them
3. Receive another email or phone call asking you to go to a face to face interview
4. Receive a conditional job offer (CJO)
It can be surprisingly fast, but also very very long. It all just depends on the company and how they do things. Another thing to keep in mind is that you should never ever be discouraged if you do not get a CJO with the company you want the first time. Personally, I have applied to Hawaiian, American, Delta, and United and got a big fat NO from all of them. All you have to do when that happens is wait six months and try again!
I think if you have ever thought about becoming a flight attendant, you should really really take a chance! Start at a regional airline if you are hesitant and find out if it's something you'd even like. Start out doing research on it. Really thinking about it. And then start applying! And never give up on your dreams, and that goes for any job you want to pursue!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: I have been thinking a lot about being a flight attendant. I am in my last year of high school. Although being a flight attendant has been a dream of mine, I am worried about not having a "formal" career. Even though my parents would support my decision to be a flight attendant, they seem worried, too. What do you think about it? SHould I go for it or should I establish a career first?
Answer: Do it! Go for your dreams! You can 100% make a “formal career” out of flying. You could retire doing it, and make good money doing it once you get farther in it. You could go into the corporate side of things for an airline if you want to move that direction. There are SO many options. Do it while you’re young. Follow your heart and dreams, everything else will follow!
Question: As a flight attendant, how often are you home, and would you be able to start a family?
Answer: It really just depends on your schedule. When you first start you'll be on "reserve", which is basically on call. That's the toughest time, until you can hold a line and request certain days off - reserve is really tricky. I was home about 1/2 the month, give or take. I am currently pregnant and expecting my first (I no longer fly), but I think it would be very very hard - but definitely do-able if you have a partner willing to understand your passion and support you no matter what!
Question: Are flight attendants allowed to have tattoos? I know it’s probably dependent on which airline but I have been thinking seriously about becoming a flight attendant, but I have an arm sleeve and a leg sleeve, so I’m afraid that would be an instant no.
Answer: Yes! Well technically no. They just cannot be seen “in uniform”. So as long as you’re wearing a long sleeve or a jacket. I have heard of a few airlines that just simply don’t allow them but I know that American, Southwest, and most of the regionals allow you to just have them covered!
Question: What are the age restrictions of being a flight attendant, if there are any. I am in my early 30s. Are the restrictions different for male/female?
Answer: I think the only "restriction" is that you have to be at least 21 for certain airlines, but that's it! Each airline is different though.
Question: Do I have to have a diploma to work as a flight attendant? Or is finishing high school enough?
Answer: No diploma is needed! Although, it probably looks great on the application.
Question: Do flight attendants get to have vacation on the job?
Answer: Kind of! Sometimes you get super long overnights and you’re able to have time to explore the city!
Question: How long were you on reserve for before having a more set schedule?
Answer: I think it was about 6-7 months if I remember correctly!
Question: I’m going into my sophomore year of college and I have started thinking about becoming a flight attendant. Do you know anything about being a private flight attendant and how that differs from commercial airline flight attendants?
Answer: I don't know much about being a private flight attendant except (and don't quote me on it) you get paid more AND you just usually live wherever you want and then you fly into whatever airport your clients are flying out of. But that's about all I know, and I'm not even sure it's the truth. But if I had to choose - I'd definitely be a private flight attendant over a commercial.
Question: What is the average yearly salary for a flight attendant?
Answer: Honestly, it depends on the airline and the experience and years with the company. You can google the different company salaries for flight attendants and find it way easier there.
© 2018 Jorgie Irby
Jorgie Irby (author) from PHOENIX on June 28, 2020:
So sorry for the late response. Life's been crazy. And yes, you can totally do it! You can do anything you put your mind to! But I also think online school while flying would be something possible because if you can bring a laptop with you, it'd make it easy to stay on top of things!
Evelin on May 27, 2020:
I want to be a flight attendant but continue to go to school for finance (online classes) do you think it would get tough to do both at the same time?
I am 22 and I've work full time and go to school.