Fly With Me · Uncategorized

The Truth About Being A Flight Attendant

Hey y’all! I’ve been wanting to write a post, but couldn’t think of anything to write about. This just came to me and I figured it would be a good time to talk about it since I am thinking about changing jobs in the future. I figured I could talk about the things I love and the things I hate about being a flight attendant. I hope y’all enjoy!

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Pros:

I figured we could talk about the things I love about being a flight attendant first. I’m not really doing this in any particular order or fashion…it’s just gonna be random and probably me rambling.

One of the biggest things I love about my job is that it’s not your typical 9-5 job. I never know what my day is gonna be like. There are just so many factors that go into it. I work with different people all the time, I have different passengers all the time, I go to different places (I go to a lot of places I’ve already been but it’s still always a different experience each time), there could be delays, emergencies, etc. I never know what my day is actually gonna look like. Sometimes that can be a negative, but it’s one of the things I love about my job. I don’t think I could have a desk job…I would just get so bored with it.

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I get to see lots of cool places and meet different people. So, I don’t get to go to your typical “cool places” such as Spain or Japan, but I think Mexico can be pretty fun. I also like places like Minnesota because I like to go to the Mall of America. I like certain overnights because I know they have good places to eat. I also just like the nature in some of these places. It’s different and so beautiful. I don’t go out nearly as much as some of the people I work with, but I still manage to enjoy my layovers. It also depends on the crew I’m working with haha. That’s what can really make a fun layover.

Oh, like one time I had a good crew and we went and walked around downtown Philadelphia and that was actually pretty fun. We walked near the water and there was some good food there. We also just walked around and looked in some of the shops and museums. Also, met some weird people so yanno that’s always interesting haha. I liked it…I don’t really have to do anything crazy to find joy in things. Like just walking around outside was fun to me. Some people don’t think that’s fun haha.

Most crews like to go out drinking and to bars though. I’m only 20 so I can’t do that…unless in Mexico. 😉 A lot of people like the nightlife in our overnights and I don’t get to do that so I can’t describe if that’s fun or not. I’ve heard that Nashville is one of our best overnights for drinks and live music. Like I said I find joy in what I can do though.

I love meeting some amazing people. I really do meet some awesome people with awesome stories. A lot of my crews are actually really awesome and everyone has a different story. It’s pretty cool to see why someone chose this career or to be a pilot and what they plan on doing in the future (a lot have certain airlines they wanna fly for). I also meet some interesting passengers. I’m not as talkative as some flight attendants, but I’ll still talk to people and it’s pretty nice. It’s nice to hear why someone may be flying or even what their story is. You also meet people who just warm your heart. I run into a lot of rude people, but the nice ones always make my day.

I love being able to make someone happy and to make their traveling experience better if I can. Some people are nervous to fly or come on the plane with a bad attitude so being kind and seeing their attitude change is always a good feeling. It makes me feel like I’m succeeding at being a flight attendant.

On my most recent trip, I actually had a woman say she was willing to switch meals if someone else wanted it. It was a meal flight and they give us two options and it usually is 5 of one choice and 7 of the other. So, sometimes we run out of one choice quicker than the other. This flight the meal was either pasta salad or grilled chicken salad. She wanted the pasta but said she was fine switching if we ran out of the other option and someone else wanted it. I was actually really surprised because I’ve never had someone offer like that. Anyway, we ran out so she was gonna get the salad which wasn’t her first choice. I felt so bad for her because she just seemed to nice and the fact she even offered was incredibly kind. So I left a note on her tray that said something along the lines of “I’m sorry! 😦 Thank you for being so kind though! I gave you an extra cookie for your kindness! If you need anything else let me know!” She said she really appreciated the note and it made her day. I was kinda surprised that the note made her day since she was the one who was so kind. Anyway, it just warmed my heart. 🙂

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So, I work for a regional airline which means my longest flight is like 4 hours and I don’t go overseas. Some people think that’s lame but to each their own. I’ve thought about switching airlines, but I do love my airline. Do they treat us the best? Nope. I’ve noticed that our crews seem to act more like a family than some crews. I mean for starters with mainline, or bigger airlines, the pilots get different hotels from the flight attendants. We don’t so we usually all go out together and hang out together as well. I also like working on a small plane. I have to deal with a max of 76 people…that’s fine with me. That means there less of a chance of an emergency which is a definite plus for me haha. I like our shorter flights rather than a 16-hour flight. Plus, I can always use my flight benefits to go to those “cool places”. I just need a travel buddy to actually use my benefits haha. I also like having seniority…bigger companies have lots of flight attendants that have been there for 20+ years…so you’ll be at the bottom for a while.

The only reason I would go to a bigger airline is for pay…regionals don’t make much. It’s just the reality of the job. However, I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life which is why I’m still working for a regional. It doesn’t bother me though. Just keep the right attitude and you’ll be Gucci. Haha, that was dumb but it’s late while I’m writing this.

Flexible schedule. As you gain seniority you get more control over your schedule which is really nice! Most big companies you don’t get that as quickly, but I’ve been here for 1.5 years and I got what I wanted for next month! I got my birthday off and I got Thanksgiving off so it’ll be a good time. Plus, you can play with your schedule a lot throughout the month. Like next month I have 18 days off and 3 of those are paid vacation. I don’t know a lot of jobs that will do things like that haha. I’ll be picking up extra work though because I still need a paycheck.

Cons:

So, I’m gonna be honest there are a lot of cons that come with the job. Y’all are probably gonna wonder how I love my job if there are so many cons and that’s because for me the good outweighs the bad. I also do my best to keep a good attitude while I’m at work otherwise the negatives would get to me. Once again these aren’t in any particular order.

Pay. The pay isn’t good…at all. It can be a kinda crappy circle too. Like if you have to pay rent for an apartment but have to pick up more trips to get more hours then you’re hardly even home to need an apartment, but it’s still gotta be paid for. Always good to have a roomie in that case! Which most crews do.

I’m very lucky because I can stay with my family and I don’t have to pay rent. I’m very lucky that I have very few bills to pay because honestly, I don’t know what I would do. I would make it work, but I know it would be a lot harder. I would have gone to mainline or a bigger airline a lot quicker if that were the case. However, I knew what I was signing up for and I knew the pay wasn’t going to be the best. Most people don’t realize it until they’re out of training…but I like to do my research…always have.

Also, I’m speaking for my airline and most regionals. Our pay increases with our time in the company, but regionals don’t pay as much as the big airlines. So, I know for other flight attendants pay isn’t a concern. I know a lot of flight attendants at the company I work for that have second jobs because this one just doesn’t pay enough.

The rude passengers and just how thankless of a job it is. I encounter a lot of rude and entitled people. I know the whole “you never know what someone is going through” but I wish everyone thought that as well. You never know what your crew is going through and being rude to them isn’t gonna fix you. It sucks having people be super rude to you for things like delays due to weather. I have no control over that and it’s literally for your safety. Same with maintenance…it’s such a dumb thing to get mad about…like do you want to make it to your destination or what? People also get mad over basic rules…as if they didn’t know airlines had rules. Like yes, your bag has to go underneath the seat…not in your lap. Why are you getting mad at me for doing my job that’s focused around your safety?

Also, most people have this entitlement that we have to do whatever they want. No, Karen, I’m here for your safety not to make sure you get that vodka cran.

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Like I said this job is also very thankless. People love to thank the pilots, but us flight attendants are chopped liver. It can get pretty disheartening because we are there to make sure everyone is safe and the fact we get treated like we’re nothing more than servants is annoying. Our main focus is safety yet we are treated like we’re just people who weren’t good enough to be pilots. We’re the afterthoughts. So, make sure you’re always kind to your flight attendants and let them know you appreciate what they do. I can’t even explain how much joy it brings me when someone says they appreciate what I do. Always thank your whole crew, not just the pilots.

Disclaimer: this happens every trip and every day at work but I usually have some pretty good passengers. For the majority, people are nice and respectful.

Negative Nancy…every workplace has ’em! I just hate flying with crewmembers that are super negative. Like nothing good ever comes out of their mouth. I understand this job can be stressful and has its bad moments, but leave your attitude at the door. All you’re gonna do is make passengers grumpy and I don’t need that. Plus, their negative attitude makes it hard for me to have a good attitude during that trip.

For example, I worked with someone who did water, juice, and coke service because it was a quick flight. A woman asked for coffee and he said “water, juice, or coke”… as in “no you get one of these”. I understand that it’s more of a hassle and that on those short flights we can’t give everyone what they want. However, all he had to do was ask if I already had some brewed or he could just brew a pot himself. He could even just make her a decaf coffee since those come in single-serve packets. Another thing he could have said is “I will get you some coffee if I have time”. It’s not that hard. I knew the woman wanted coffee though because I made coffee during boarding and she said something about it smelling good and her daughter said: “my mom loves coffee!”. So, she was pretty memorable. I also overheard her talking about how she wasn’t able to get coffee and she wasn’t sure why…so, I got her some coffee. Super easy and it made her happy.

I guess another thing I would say is a con would be delays. I don’t really get bothered by delays that much, because there’s nothing I can do about it and being all pissy isn’t gonna change anything. Plus, it can be a nice time to relax or eat since we don’t get scheduled breaks haha. That’s another thing I don’t like…working for hours without time to go get food. Anyway, delays can be a big con just because flight attendants don’t get treated very well by the airline industry. I can work up to 16 hours without a say but when it needs to be extended past that then I finally get a say…meanwhile pilots timeout quick. I just think we are treated poorly despite needing to be able to function still in an emergency…for some reason, we don’t get to be fatigued.

Pilots can call out fatigued and it’ll probably 9 out of 10 times get approved as that. However, if we call out fatigued it’ll 9.9 out of 10 times get denied and then be considered either a no-show or an unavailable for work. Just kinda unfair that we’re treated like chopped liver by the industry as well.

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Anyway, that’s why delays can be a con because you can end up working sooooo long…even if you’re not working just sitting around makes a day long and tiring in its own way. Especially if you have a long delay and then have to deal with grumpy passengers…then it’s a pretty big bummer. It’s just what goes with it though. Like I said I keep a pretty good attitude so yanno I don’t dwell on such things and I like to use delays for ‘me time’.

Honestly, there are a lot of small things I dislike as well and would change within the industry and within the company I work for, but I don’t wanna go over such things. That’ll take too long and this post is already pretty long haha.

This is gonna sound mean but the sheer dumbness of people. Like I’ve been asked some pretty dumb things…and people do a lot…A LOT…of dumb things. Seriously I don’t know how most of these people get dressed in the morning.

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Like my wings say my company’s name on them and someone asked if that was my name. It also says the company’s name on my lanyard. Yes, sir, I have my own airline…Also, when I said “no,” he asked, “oh, then what it is?”…”the company I work for”. Most people don’t realize I’m not an actual United flight attendant. However, I’ll let that slide because that’s kind of a weird thing and unless you’re a frequent flyer you may not get it.

The biggest thing is people don’t know how to us a door apparently. Our bathroom door is just another door and people NEVER know how to open it. They tug on the door and then look at us for help. “You just twist”. The door even says “no smoking in the lavatory”, and people still ask if there’s a bathroom. We also say that there are two in our announcements…so there shouldn’t be a reason for me to be asked that. Also, people look at our emergency exits as if either of them could be a bathroom. Sure…give it a shot.

I’ve had someone ask if when we go into the flight deck to let the pilots use the bathroom if we fly the plane. Yes, Susan, that’s why I’m paid so poorly despite being qualified as a pilot and a flight attendant.

I’ve seen so many people not understand how overhead bins work. “My bag doesn’t fit what do I do?” Well…you can either gate check it or…yeah that’s it. I’ve seen people put small purses in overhead bins because apparently having it at their feet is too much for them. I’ve seen people put backpacks in overhead bins just to take it out like 3 times to get stuff…*looks around confused*. I’ve had people say their bag doesn’t fit and then ask if the other overhead bin is bigger. Does it look bigger? Rule of thumb don’t overpack and don’t put small bags in the overhead! Oh, don’t argue with a flight attendant if she/he tells you to gate check your bag. You’re more welcome to try and find a spot even though I told you we had no more space, but just know your walk of shame gives me joy. Also, people ever know how to close the bins…I wish they wouldn’t try either. It just holds up boarding and makes them look dumb. Sorry.

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I could go on all day about how dumb people in airports and on planes are, but for y’all’s sanity, I won’t. I had another con, but now I can’t think of it.

I know for lots of people a con is weight gain which is super common because you’re always eating out. I don’t have that problem. I also know a con is expenses. You spend a lot of money on food because you always go out or buy airport food. It adds up for sure and I don’t like it haha.

Another con is being away from friends and family. I don’t really have friends so that part doesn’t apply to me haha. You are away from family a lot and planning things is very hard because other people work normal jobs and get weekends off. Meanwhile, you may work every weekend and only have weekdays off. That’s definitely a con and for some people, it’s a very big con. It also kinda goes along with the whole struggle of time off. It isn’t easy to get time off unless you bid for it so when someone makes plans with short notice..you most likely won’t be attending. I say that goes together because usually, that’s what happens with my family. It’s hard to plan things unless I have a lot of time to actually bid for my schedule.

There are more things that annoy me about the job but then I think I’ll be getting out of cons and just into annoying things haha. I’m sure I could think of more cons but this post is really long and I’m tired haha. I know it’s only the morning, but I’m already tired. I hope y’all enjoyed this post even though I just cut it off kind of bluntly. Have a great day y’all.

4 thoughts on “The Truth About Being A Flight Attendant

  1. Oh this is such an interesting post! Thank you so much for sharing your experience, I always wondered about the life of flight attendants and the rhythm and everything else as well. I’m so happy you’re enjoying it despite the cons of it all. I’m always thanking everyone whenever I travel and leave the plane, especially the flight attendants because some are always so sweet and caring and that means so much to me, as a nervous flyer haha 🙂
    Lovely post!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was really interesting Abigail especially as I have fear of flying and can’t understand why someone would choose to work on a plane LOL. But I promise you that I am always respectful even if I am scared to death and always thank the attendant because they make our life easier and as you said, they are here for our safety!

    Liked by 1 person

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