No matter the industry, there are always going to be Pros and Cons to anything. Before you take the leap to becoming a Flight Attendant let me share with you what I consider to be the ups and downs of this lifestyle. First, let's discuss the Pros. . .
Obviously I don’t need to tell you that the biggest pro of being a Flight Attendant are the FREE flight benefits and travel! Having a job that pays you to travel and your hotel-stay is a pretty sweet deal. You can also travel for free at your leisure! Oh, and your family can also fly free. Being a Flight Attendant has afforded me and the people I love the opportunity to fly all around the world.
This job gives you a sense of freedom that you simply can't find in other behind-the-desk jobs. Picture this: You wake up on a cold day in New Jersey, work a flight then end up in sunny Costa Rica for 24 hours. It’s just after noon when you arrive to your hotel and you have the entire day to enjoy and explore a city for the first time. This can be a typical Tuesday for me. And did I mention you’re being paid for the entire layover? You're free to do what you want with no one micro-managing you. And you're not stuck behind 4 walls all day.
Meeting New People
If you’re like me then you enjoy meeting new people. This is definitely a job where you will interact with different people from all over the world daily; in the airports, on the plane, layovers, everywhere! And you can also make plenty new Flight Attendant friends. I love my fellow Fly Girls that I call friends because they can relate to this extraordinary lifestyle that many people just don't understand.
Experience and Culture
Since I’ve been a Flight Attendant I have had some of the best experiences of my life! Zip-lining in Belize, visiting London, attending Superbowl weekend in San Francisco, lounging in Hawaii on Waikiki Beach, eating pizza & drinking wine in Italy, and I even visited Scotland! It was never even in my dream to see Scotland but it was an amazing time. As an Flight Attendant you will most definitely create memories that will last a lifetime. You don't even know what you’re in for yet but trust me, it will amaze you!
But just like anything else there are Cons to this lifestyle as well. . .
A lot of time away from home
As a Flight Attendant you will be away from home quite often. I would estimate it and say that we’re usually away from our homes about 50% of the time. Maybe more depending on where you're based and if you commute. Being away from home is something that comes with the job. We have to get use to being away on some Holidays and sometimes even miss simple family functions. It happens. These issues usually happen early in your Flight Attendant career. As times goes on, the more seniority you acquire it gets better because you have more "rank" to get your requested days off and maybe even score a holiday. It's all fun and new in the beginning but there does come a time when you miss sleeping in your own bed and just kickin' it on the weekends with your best friends.
Reserve Life and Being on-Call
The reserve life at the beginning of your career as a Flight Attendant will be an interesting experience to say the least. You will pretty much be at the airlines beck and call. A lot of airlines place reserve Flight Attendants on 24 hour on-call status, like a doctor. During your time on reserve your life will pretty much revolve around your airline and you must report to any destination they send you. There are times when things are crazy and you feel like you’re being pulled in all kinds of directions. Then there will be other times when you will be stuck sitting around your crashpad because there's no reserve flying available.
There's this misconception that Flight Attendants are poor. Well that's not exactly true because we make more than people realize. But this definitely isn't a career that will make you rich - unless you put in 20 years of service (those senior mamas are gettin’ money!). But since you’re probably just starting out you won’t be making $60/hour anytime soon. As a Flight Attendant I am far from poor but I don't make as much as I could make if I were working in a traditional 9-5 corporate gig. I like to think we’re mostly paid in experiences lol. As a Flight Attendant you simply have to learn your budget, live a minimalist lifestyle, and capitalize on available flying to make the most money. Do not do this job for the money, do it for the life experiences you will gain instead.