“Be a flight attendant and travel the world!” I remember seeing vintage ads that made being a flight attendant look so elegant and glamorous. These stylish women were so independent and beautiful in their hats and white gloves.
Today air travel has changed so much. Gone are the days when “stewardesses” carved prime rib plated on silver out in the first-class aisle. The days when flying was a luxury, and people dressed for the occasion have disappeared. Today, I see grownups getting on flights in giant slippers and pajamas.
The days of elegant air travel was before my time. However, I revel in airline nostalgia. I am a flight attendant since January 2006. That may sound like a lot to some, but it is no time at all for the airline industry.
There are flight attendants that I work with that got hired in the 1950s. These people were already working as flight attendants around the time when my mother was born. How’s that for some perspective?
The glam of yesteryear is gone. However, there is still no better job than to be a flight attendant, and I will tell you ten good reasons why.
1. Flight Attendants Get Free and Paid Travel
I have to list the best reason to be a flight attendant because this is one of the best parts of the job. You have to love to travel, or this is not the job for you, because that’s all you do. Free travel is excellent, but how about PAID travel?
Sometimes flight attendants have layovers for days at a time. You can take your family with you or even your spouse or boyfriend. Maybe you have a friend who already lives in that town. You can explore by yourself, with your crew or whoever tagged along.
You also get free flights when you are not working. Not only do you get free travel for yourself on your airline, but for your family as well. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve flown my family back and forth from New Jersey to Hawaii, and I’ve never paid a dime.
As a flight attendant, if your airline has agreements with other airlines (Hint most of them do!), you can fly for free on them as well. Your family will pay a small fee to travel with you, but it’s still much cheaper than any tickets you could buy.
2. Be a Flight Attendant to Learn More About the World
If art is one of the great loves of your life, you can travel the world and go to different museums. Museums that you may never have had the chance to visit if you were not working at such a world-traveling career.
For those lucky enough to be a flight attendant, you can get your Korean skincare from Korea and your compression hosiery from the UK. There will be stores that you get to visit for all of your favorite products all over this amazing planet. Amazon’s got nothing on you, and you can bring your products from China in one day.
The world is literally in the palm of your hand when you are a flight attendant. You can go to Italy for buffalo mozzarella cheese that makes your eyes roll back in your head because it’s so decadent. Singapore has the original Red Bull that tastes like juice, and let me tell you that nectar is delicious.
The Best of Everything The World Has to Offer
It’s beautiful to get out of your environment and learn about new cultures and customs. You can have breakfast in Paris, lunch in NYC, and dinner in Honolulu all in one day.
There is so much good food out there in the world, and eating it straight from the source country always tastes best! This is one of the best reasons to be a flight attendant,
In Paris, it’s fun to walk around the city watching the Eiffel Tower change colors, or you can head to the Louvre and check out the Mona Lisa up close and personal. Before you head back to the hotel, you can end the evening with a chocolate crêpe.
There are a lot of great cities throughout the US, too, where you can find some great food. Who needs always to leave the country when you can find comfort food in some obscure little town?
3. Flight Attendants Get Great Pay
Many flight attendants enjoy making six figures a year. Each year you get a raise for a published number of years. Some airlines have low pay, but many airlines have flight attendants making over $60 an hour. If you are good with your money, you can bank most of it up and work where your world is filled with free travel, discounts and per diem. If that isn’t an awesome reason to be a flight attendant I don’t know what is!
4. No Waiting in Long Security Lines
A perk to be a flight attendant is you can go through exclusive crew lines or employee lines and skip the long lines that the rest of the public travelers must use.
No more bending over and pulling off your shoes, feeling like a criminal just to get on a flight in front of a crowd of people. You may still have to go through the regular lines sometimes, but that is infrequent and you can get moved up to the front. Flight attendants have to get to work!
5. Discounts on Everything
Flight attendants get discounts on almost everything at the airport. Not only that, but many airlines allow you to take advantage of their corporate discount on things like cell phone plans, computers, new cars, rental cars, and so much more.
You never know who will give you a discount as a flight attendant, so it always pays to ask! I’ve even gotten my flight attendant discount at the mall.
6. Bonuses and Profit Sharing
Some airlines offer monthly and or quarterly bonuses that are really nice things to supplement your income. If you are lucky enough to be a flight attendant with an airline that offers profit sharing, you receive a percentage of your yearly earnings as a bonus. That percentage can be anywhere from 1 – 16 percent!
Delta recently awarded their flight attendants with 16.6 percent of their yearly earnings. That works out to about two months salary! This is a nice big bonus that you can use to buy a new car or save or add directly to your 401K. That profit-sharing money is yours to do whatever you want with it.
7. Flight Attendants Make Great Friendships
Crew members are fast friends and family that is one of the first things you will learn on your journey to be a flight attendant. There really isn’t anyone who can understand your lifestyle that isn’t in the aviation industry. You will make lasting friendships with your co-workers that are a bond, unlike any other.
Often when we leave high school or college, we don’t get the opportunity to make a lot of great friends. When some airlines have 25,000 flight attendants, your pool of potential friends is enormous.
8. You Can Make a Difference in Someone’s Life
If you enjoy helping people, this is the perfect job for you. People take airplanes for all kinds of reasons. Once, I had a very unruly passenger who broke down in my arms because he was on the way to a funeral. He was already on his second leg in his second-time zone of the day and starving.
We fed this customer, consoled him, and helped him through a really difficult time. He was traveling alone and hungry. We were his support system and fed him the best we could with what we had. I’ll never forget that connection. It’s important to always look for a deeper meaning behind someone’s actions. For those who love helping people, this is a great reason to be a flight attendant.
9. Flight Attendants Have Flexible Schedules
A flexible schedule doesn’t happen right away, but as your seniority grows, so does your flexibility! Companies are always offering leaves of absences. When you take advantage of a leave of absence, you can take long periods of time off without being penalized.
As your seniority increases, you can hold most of the month off and work the best productive (highest money-making in the shortest amount of time) trips or the longest most coveted layovers on the beach or other fabulous destinations.
10. Meet Your Favorite Celebrities
Celebrities are people too! Many times they will just want to sleep in first-class because of their busy schedules, but often they are almost as happy to meet the crew as you are to meet them.
Robert Deniro was married to a flight attendant for 20 years. Kris Jenner got her start as a flight attendant and is now a significant player in the entertainment industry. Does that make you want to be a flight attendant?
So there you have it, ten excellent reasons to be a flight attendant! Do you think you have what it takes to become a flight attendant? Check out Flight Attendant Jobs Page and see who’s hiring.
Let me know in the comments what you think your favorite reason is to be a flight attendant!