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Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
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stugatz Offline
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Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
(There is another thread on this, but it's from seven years back and relatively short - so I began a new one.)

I am about a year out from finishing college and climbing out of a debt hole - therefore, it looks like travel is going to be something I can't afford until my situation improves. I realized that airport jobs tend to be pretty kind in general when it comes to breaks on airfare - and then this job occurred to me as a possible option for the next few years.

I'm aware a beginning flight attendant in the US makes between 25 and 30 thousand starting out, and isn't a bad gig for someone who craves a job that isn't an exact routine each and every time. I grew up moving around and am a fan of just seeing any location that is somewhere I haven't been before.

Long shot, but has anyone on here been a flight attendant? If not, has anyone dated a flight attendant or had any family members who have done it? I know this is an unforgiving line of work and there are likely drawbacks I wouldn't begin thinking of.
04-06-2017 06:39 PM
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Kona Online
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
I've had sexual relations with lots of flight attendants.

Don't do it. Once you get to know a few flight attendants, you will see that just about all of them are what I like to call 30k a year millionaires. They all live wildly beyond their means, have all kinds of fancy jewelry (usually fake) eat at fancy restaurants, and just have this attitude that they are better than everybody.

The only ones that make decent money are females on JAL and ANA because the attractive ones are prostitutes and sugar babies. If you see an ANA flight attendant with a rimowa suitcase, she is one of those two. Still bangable for free if you make friends with the pilot, but sells the pussy somewhere along the line.

Reason number two you don't want to be a flight attendant is because males in that business are homosexuals. Dudes fucking other dudes in the ass.

Do you want everyone to start assuming you suck dicks? Do you want to have to constantly tell everyone you do not love cock? I doubt it.

In fact, before a recent interisland flight, I was drinking at the airport bar. A man flight attendant was talking up some young girls. After his important ass went to go on his flight, the girls and I talked about how they felt he was flirting with them, but since his job is what it is, he couldn't have been. They left for their flight and concluded "maybe he's bi" which is just not the thing you want people saying.

In conclusion, don't do it.

Aloha!
04-06-2017 06:56 PM
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stugatz Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
I'll definitely wait around for the other replies, but that's a hell of a drawback, even for a few years.

Even when I do get laid, "You're not a fag? What are you doing this for, then?" could end up being an unpleasant variation of this question.
(This post was last modified: 04-06-2017 07:06 PM by stugatz.)
04-06-2017 07:06 PM
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Kona Online
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
Another thing I want you to understand is that the bulk of flight attendants, while no showing it, are truly hateful immoral individuals.

Probably 75% of the flight attendants I've had sex with from US flagged carriers are married. I've had some spit out my semen and go right into facetiming their husbands.

And do you think luggage really gets lost, have you ever had jewelry or something missing from your checked bag? They steal shit.

I can't stand to be in a hotel lobby when a bunch of them are getting together before a flight. They stand there and tell each other how cool they are and how amazing it is to be them. All the while they are walking human garbage.

Food for thought.

Aloha!
04-06-2017 07:15 PM
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Hoser Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
Two strong reasons against:

1. Imagine a workplace where ALL of your colleagues are women or queer. If you're the least bit RP, they'll make your life miserable and you'll have nobody to bitch to who won't report you to HR for it.

2. You'll be very lonely. Aircrews all go out on the town with each other, so you'll have to go to whatever bar/beach the girls want to go to, which will be irritating AF, or do your own thing. Consider whether you really can fly solo like this, when there's never a buddy around you can wing with or even call up and go with for a beer.

Likewise, your female colleagues won't be attracted to you because they know what you do and have seen you handing out packs of peanuts to people who make even less than you do.

It's an uphill battle, to say the least. Also, you'll either have to put an awkward job on your resume, or else come up with a good story for leaving that time blank. Either way, you won't look like you take your career seriously.
(This post was last modified: 04-06-2017 07:31 PM by Hoser.)
04-06-2017 07:27 PM
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Hoser Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
If you don't mind limiting your travel to just the lower 48 States and maybe some Canada, consider driving an 18-wheeler for a while. I did that when I was younger and I wanted to travel without having to pay for it.

Get a long-haul job (most will pay for your training) where you can leave your possessions in storage and start living out of your suitcase. Suddenly you're making a living wage, yet you have virtually no living expenses ($15-$25 a day for food and showers) so you can pay off those loans thousands of dollars at a time. Buy a pair of selectable-weight dumbells, watch what you eat, and explore each new location by jogging through it, and your fitness might even improve from what it is.

Also, as a serious benefit, as a young, fit college-educated, non-slob truck driver, you'll really stand out to the young country girls working at the truck stop restaurants. Sass them when they get your order wrong, ask them what time they get off work, profit.

If I weren't married with responsibilities, I'd go back on the road in a heartbeat just to get away from the rat race for a while.
(This post was last modified: 04-06-2017 07:50 PM by Hoser.)
04-06-2017 07:42 PM
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Sidney Crosby Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
Most of the flight attendants are dog chow anyway unless you get with a high end or Asian carrier

Maybe another alternative would be working at a hotel, possibly in an exotic location or working on a cruise ship.
(This post was last modified: 04-06-2017 10:28 PM by Sidney Crosby.)
04-06-2017 10:26 PM
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defguy Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
Typed on phone so no formatting. Not a single credible poster imo. There are different airlines and i cant speak for them all, my ex flies for United. She gets paid $60/hr flying international. Starting pay is $17/hr (probably higher now) but it is really hard to get in; now you need a degree and the hiring process is more strict. Its unionized and benefits are awesome. I flew for free for several years with with my ex and a few times solo. Due to weird gay marriage laws they allowed my ex to have a "partner" so i got to fly free as her partner despite us not being married. As far as i know ALL flight attendants and all airlines have this option. There are a TON of other awesome benefits as well. Now for the negatives. Hours are all over the place, you dont get to choose so get used to really screwed up sleep patterns. However every other month you should be able to "build your own schedule." as a rookie you have less leeway with this so its not as great as it sounds... Yet. Everything is based on seniority: Benefits, where you can go, the kind of flights you get, flexibility in building your schedule and swapping shifts, etc. So as a rookie itll suck for a few years. My ex gamed the system and there are many ways to do it if you think outside the box or get lucky. I have also met MANY flight attendants. No disrespect to Kona but none of what he has said is accurate; definitely not for the entire industry. Plenty of straight flight attendants who get to hook up with other flight attendants. Not everyone is a scumbag, that goes for all industries not just flying. I met a LOT of flight attendants so im a pretty credible source. Other drawbacks are flying free based on seniority as well. You fly free on standby so the flight you want might get full and you have to take a different flight. Ive waited all day in airports to catch a flight despite my ex good seniority; flights fill up or more senior members jump ahead of you, you really dont reap the benefits until 5+ years in. 5 tough lonely brutal years. For flight attendants its cool to be able to sit in a cafe in paris whenever you want but it gets old quick when youre forced to travel alone. Another drawback is that major cities/airports are HUBS. United has a HUB in houston, chicago, Las Vegas, SFO, Denver. So if you live outside of these cities you need to fly in just to "show up for work". my ex lived w me in TX a long way from her hub out of state so she would lose a full day just to get to work and a full day just to get home. Basically if youre stationed in Houston you must either live there or suffer a long commute just to show up for work. You dont get to swap HUBS until much higher up in seniority, everyone wants to be in the Hawaii HuB but you need some 30+ years for that kind of seniority. Overall a great gig, great benefits, awesome pay, but a young players lifestyle. It isnt really sustainable and MANY flight attendants move on. The airlines encourage this making it easy to leave and even offering buyouts because they can replace higher pay seniority with fresh new graduates at 1/2 to 1/3 the pay.
04-06-2017 10:42 PM
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Nineteen84 Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
Gay
04-06-2017 11:33 PM
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Peregrine Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
defguy, you didn't mention that the hourly rate is flight time only. You don't get paid until the plane leaves the gate. If there's a delay, you're not getting paid while you sit on the plane.

Furthermore, what are your exit opportunities if and when you want out in a few years? Seems like a dead end to me.
04-06-2017 11:48 PM
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Hoser Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
Defguy, how many straight males did you meet working as flight attendants? It's almost the most important question.
04-07-2017 12:28 AM
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Hoser Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
Also, if one is willing to spend years doing this, getting your wings is a no-brainer. That's an actual career (although you're still doing the same job day in and day out, no matter how much seniority you get as a pilot). Airline pilots are the highest-paid profession by a long shot, surpassing doctors and lawyers by a country mile (again, hourly), and it's arguably way cooler than either.

If I had good color vision, I'd have become a pilot instead of a lawyer, not even a moment's hesitation.
04-07-2017 12:33 AM
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Belize King Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
I worked for Southwest in a management program from 15-16. A flight attendant makes bread. Everybody is hiring. At SWA, we didnt hire for 4 years and now are adding them like crazy. Starting pay is 22hr, its true that you only get paid when the plane leaves the gate, they top out after 16 years at 60hr. You will be on "reserve" for years. Literally for 5 years you won t be able to pick your own routes. They fly you where they need you. Also, you first few years it will be hard to get hours as in you may not hit 80 hrs in a pay period. Once you make it out of the reserve status, they you bid on the routes you get. You can work 3 days a week or 4. You can pick up days of somebody is giving them away. You can literally work 3 months straight and give away all your routes for a month or two.

I'd say 80 percent of them are flamers. I assume they are all gay. It is what it is. You're about that money and the free travel. It can be lonely. Can you imagine working with flamers and women all day? If you have any questions, let me know. The big four airlines have the same pay structure. Our FA's just got a new contract based on delta's contract which was higher than United.

A ramp agent makes alot less but same flight benefits. Top out at 31hr after 10 years. I'd go that route. I know guys who make over 100k a year picking up extra days.

The cycle of disrespect can start with just an appetizer.
04-07-2017 01:43 AM
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
(04-07-2017 12:33 AM)Hoser Wrote:  Airline pilots are the highest-paid profession by a long shot, surpassing doctors and lawyers by a country mile (again, hourly), and it's arguably way cooler than either.

That's a little misleading, because while hourly it's great, yearly not so much by virtue of the limited hours you fly. And this is also for very experienced pilot's on large jets, and there is lots more time you're doing things where you aren't flying, and tons more time away from home.

I have numerous friends with commercial licenses, who were instructing for $15 an hour trying to build time. Others flying bush planes in middle of nowhere for not much more. 15+ years after I got my PPL, over half have gone on to do something else, another maybe 20% are scraping by, and maybe 1/6 are actually climbing the ladder on corporate small jets or regional carriers, but still not on big jets with the majors.

It reminds me of a joke: How do you end up as a rich pilot? Start off as a very rich student.
04-07-2017 06:35 AM
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
My brother worked for Emirates, and Etihad. He said whilst the job and pay are mostly shit, he did the most fucking in his entire life. The girls out in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are mostly sex starved because there are very few decent men working out there. A plus is that they only really hire attractive girls for the positions.

He had a few side hustles, and he and his wife were able to buy a villa in a new development which they sold for the equivalent of half a million pounds.
04-07-2017 07:01 AM
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Sonoma Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
Old roommate was a flight attendant. And like Kona could've guessed, he was gay. If you live in a shitty part of the US, try it out, but it's certainly not a career.

If you really want to travel the world, honestly become a teacher and then you'll get usually 2+ months in summer, 2 weeks for Christmas, and a full week each for Thanksgiving and Spring Break. And depending on where you live, the starting pay is 40-50,000, or even higher
04-07-2017 07:23 AM
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Hoser Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
(04-07-2017 07:23 AM)Sonoma Wrote:  Old roommate was a flight attendant. And like Kona could've guessed, he was gay. If you live in a shitty part of the US, try it out, but it's certainly not a career.

If you really want to travel the world, honestly become a teacher and then you'll get usually 2+ months in summer, 2 weeks for Christmas, and a full week each for Thanksgiving and Spring Break. And depending on where you live, the starting pay is 40-50,000, or even higher

In the same study that I shared above re: pilots' hourly pay vs other careers, teachers made 67% as much, per hour worked, as did lawyers, and about 64% as much as doctors.

All these teachers unions bitching about how teachers are paid so little... Again, their figures are highly misleading. Considering how much time off teachers get, they've got it very good. My father, for example, was a teacher, and almost every summer we'd take a a massive road trip in the camper for over a month at a time. We saw all the national parks and every body of water surrounding the country. At the time, I had no idea this wasn't normal, and that other families got maybe two weeks off each year.

In fact, I'm trying to get out of law practice and into college or law school professorship because it's such a good gig. Can still have a few favorite clients on the side, too, and have time to take care of them.
(This post was last modified: 04-07-2017 01:47 PM by Hoser.)
04-07-2017 01:38 PM
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
As for being a flight attendant, you usually have to start out with small commuter airlines and their pay and benefits are usually less; people with experience on regional jets apply for the jobs with the majors.

Also, as a unionized environment, there is a big seniority system and you have to put your time in.

All of that is a way of saying that don't expect the first 5 years to be as good as the next 5 years, and if you expect to get out in 5 years then it might not make as much sense as you are expecting.
04-07-2017 01:53 PM
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Kona Online
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
(04-06-2017 10:42 PM)defguy Wrote:  No disrespect to Kona but none of what he has said is accurate; definitely not for the entire industry. Plenty of straight flight attendants who get to hook up with other flight attendants. Not everyone is a scumbag, that goes for all industries not just flying.

So nothing I said is accurate, but all of the horrible things about being a stewardess you posted are?

Describing a job that takes you 15 years of torture to get to $60 an hour is just terrible. This is how flight attendants look after 15 years on the job:

[Image: Eastern05.jpg]

Maybe you met the one that didn't, I don't know. And you also seem to have met the one male stewardess that wasn't gay. It happens.

Strange, I just reread what I posted, and nthats as accurate as it gets. Have a nice weekend.

Aloha!
04-07-2017 04:45 PM
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
(04-07-2017 04:45 PM)Kona Wrote:  So nothing I said is accurate, but all of the horrible things about being a stewardess you posted are?

Describing a job that takes you 15 years of torture to get to $60 an hour is just terrible. This is how flight attendants look after 15 years on the job:

[Image: Eastern05.jpg]

Maybe you met the one that didn't, I don't know. And you also seem to have met the one male stewardess that wasn't gay. It happens.

Aloha!

Haha dat broke da mouth! His head all jam up....
04-07-2017 11:00 PM
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
Deglamorize your mind. Airlines are now the buses of the skies. The glamour only applies to some premium service flights/airlines.

That being said the work is fairly easy for a decent wage. You have some nice perks like free travel and paid hotels in foreign cities, but again it's not so glamourous when you actually experience tbe reality of being a FA.

The main problem for the OP is getting hired and getting seniority. Say you do get through training. Be prepared for years of criss cross air-busing the US in a single day. Then maybe getting a hotel room, but probably going to sleep in the bunk bed of a crash pad you share with 10-15 other people.

Some of the senior crash pads are quite nice. It's kind of like a sorority (I didn't say frat). You're still sleeping in a bunk but for only $200/month. Maybe only 4-5 are there at a time. Occasionally you might get nights all to yourself.

If you don't live in a hub city that will be your reality. You'll have dead days stuck in the crash pad. If you're "lucky" it'll be in a hellhole like Newark where you can at least take mass transit into the city.

You have to work the next day so you're not running game. And no chick will follow you back to Newark anyway. The weather is also shit. If they cancel flights you get paid but your stuck at the crash pad. You can't get a flight to your condo in FL bc all the flights are canceled.

Fast forward 20-30 years and you're "senior". You still need to trip trade and network jus to hold a decent line. Most FA want the Asian routes bc they are high time, less jet lag, you get a paid 4 hour break to sleep in the plane, and the passengers sleep too. If it's Japan the passengers are polite. If it's China the passengers will be rude (but that's one more hour pay).

You will stay in nice hotels like the Narita Hilton or Shanghai Marriot. "Tokyo" is Narita which is actually Chiba prefecture, so forget about going out in Tokyo. You'll go to the dive bar in Narita which isn't worth it. You should sauna, workout, or just "slam-click" the door.

The Shanghai Marriot is right in town. However again, the airport is not. You'll be bused over from Pudong. 1-2 hours depending on the traffic.

That's a long ride after a 15 hour flight when you're still in uniform and hoping to get cleaned up and go do something productive with your short layover. Maybe you can hit a museum or walk around the city core. That's about it.

Most cities have moved their airport well outside striking distance of downtown. Depending on the ever-changing contract negotiated by your shitty Union you may or may not be getting a hotel downtown.

Often you'd rather NOT be downtown bc it'll take 2-3 hours in traffic. One airlines pilots recently renegotiated their contract and got all these perks. Only to realize their limousine bus ride downtown was stealing 4-6 hours of free time from every trip layover. Oops.

Some airlines give you longer layovers. I've banged girls from premium airlines who essentially got a whole day off the next day. That was enough time for them to go out dancing the night they got in, bang me, sleep till afternoon, hit the department store, and cram their suitcase full of shopping.

The real benefit is being the enrolled friend of a flight attendant or other airline personnel. The employee themselves doesn't have time to fly standby. Just to get to their hub they often have to jumpseat on another carrier that hubs from the city they are living in.

If you get in that kind of relationship it works best if your job is flexible. If you give yourself a 3 day window to fly you should be able to pick an empty day and get first class. Ironically the hardest flights are often the domestic routes that have 12/day vs the long-haul that have 1.

Why? Less people travel overseas and when they do they book far in advance. You can look at the loads two weeks out and have a good idea if you'll get on. With a domestic NY>LA route it will change overnight. Even NY>Rome is all over the place. At times going negative space. Then you have this vacation pass bullshit that allows junior people to jump ahead of you even when they're traveling alone.

$50-60/hour is not bad for pouring a coke. But consider the othwe factors. I didn't even go into the merger, contract, bankruptcy issues that most big US carriers are dealing with.

The reality is I know of FA with 30+ years who can't hold high time trips and are barely scraping by. Many have second jobs as nurses.

Then you retire and you're free to finally jetset. Wrong. Your retiree status drops your seniority to the bottom. You'll be last to get on or bumped into first. So many FA keep working into their 60s-70s doing the minimum line and trading the rest of their trips away in a mafia-like system where the other senior FA have a difficult time picking them up.

It's not like in the movies. Being a FA isn't particularly hard work. But the shifts are long. In reality they start a day ahead when you fly to the crash pad and iron your uniform.

Maybe you get to spend 8 solid days at home every once in awhile. It's no wonder there is a lot of fronting and cheating. FA are forced to spend most of their adult life away from home. They're getting bounced around like pinballs most of their career. It takes its toll.
04-08-2017 12:07 AM
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Sonoma Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
Why would a FA have a second job as a nurse?

Nurses get paid out the ass
04-08-2017 07:24 AM
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Cobra Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
More to a general concept:

Don't shit where you eat.

Let's come up with another variation of this:

Don't find a place just to shit and then eat there too.

Now, since you travel so much and don't bang other coworkers, then it could be okay but it still boils down to my variation above IF that's one of your reasons for doing it.

I'm curious, why not try your hand at something more in line with a solid career instead of wasting time in one that won't go anywhere like this one? You can still travel enough and you will have enough money to do it in a more independent and controllable way.

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(This post was last modified: 04-08-2017 07:47 AM by Cobra.)
04-08-2017 07:40 AM
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polar Offline
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
Remember, when you're flying into a lot of airports, you're still an hour or more outside the city center. Most airlines will put you in a motel 8 near the hotel, not the Four Seasons in the center of the business district.

On the plus side, you can always come home with bags full of nibs of booze and hotel soap. But that's not exactly a huge perk.

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04-08-2017 09:16 AM
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RE: Considering a gig as a flight attendant, anyone have any knowledge?
Gentlemen, thank you for the extensive replies, rest assured I am reading each and every one of them and will continue to follow the thread until it peters out.

My plan after college is to teach English abroad for about two years while paying some debt down, and I was tossing around working for a few years as [insert job here] either before or after that to completely finish off the debt. This is one of many jobs I've considered.

With this gig, it seems like you certainly get to hop from city to city, but you hardly control much of it, get run ragged, and work with some pretty awful people. (I also assume that if the job is THIS easy, the maturity level of the workers can't be too high either - hence the high concentration of homos and women who don't think they've hit the wall yet.)

I still haven't completely ruled it out, but I'm also in my very late 20s. I could have done a job this crappy for the unique benefits at 22, but do I really want to at this point in my life? Probably not.
04-08-2017 10:12 AM
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