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What does a flight attendant do? How much Money does a flight attendant make? Why become a flight attendant? Pro’s and Con’s of Being a Flight Attendant? Flight Attendant Quotes
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No matter what you call them – air host/hostess, steward/stewardess, flight attendant – this dream travel job has always been one of the most glamorous. But while many would love to become a flight attendant, the reality is that the jobs are few, and the perks, while good, often do not outweight some of the negatives of the job. The training required and the seniority of each employee can make life as a flight attendant pretty difficult for the first few years. Nonetheless, many love it, so it’s worth exploring your options. Don’t forget to check our travel jobs board also for flight attendant openings.

Here are interesting facts about them and information on how to become a flight attendant (and why you would want to become one).

What does a Flight attendant do?

A flight attendant’s role in a flight may sound simple in the way that they are being portrayed in movies and television, but their role is important. Many people have the wrong notion that a Flight Attendant’s main task is to give quality customer service to their passengers. Actually, their main task is to secure the safety of the passengers and the enforcing of security regulations during the journey.

A flight attendant’s tasks include: public briefing before and after take-off, pre-flight safety demonstrations, conducting safety checks and cabin securing which involves ensuring that every customer has his seat buckled, tray tables stowed, etc. They are also extensively trained to administer first aid procedures to the passengers physically or emotionally; from mending to small cuts and bruises and caring for the ill to calming down intoxicated, aggravated and stricken passengers, and are also trained on desert, sea and ice survival and firefighting. Let’s not forget, air travel does come with its risks!

These are the main requirements on how to become a flight attendant, customer service comes second. Having experience in customer service, is a must for aspiring flight attendants since the traveling public isn’t necessarily the easiest to deal with.

Flexibility is also expected out of Flight Attendants;an airline may require you to be located to one of their major airports. For many many months (or years), you may also fly on a “reserve” status, meaning you will not know where you’re flying (or if you’re flying that day) until just hours before you’re called in. For some, this can be a nightmare, but others don’t mind it. You’ll also need to be quite flexible because when you do not have seniority, you’ll be required to work the less desirable shifts, weekends, and holidays.

Lastly, being able to speak different languages, such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Hindi, French, Arabic, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian are just some of the languages which will be considered as a plus factor for flight attendants; they get additional stipends for mastering these languages and these will help you get opportunities for the more popular routes.
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How much money does a flight Attendant Make?

A flight attendant’s salary varies a lot, which typically depends on these factors:

  • the airline (s)he is affiliated with
  • the number of hours (s)he serves while on flight
  • (his)her current flight attendant position, and;
  • the amount of additional (s)kills she possesses

On average, a flight attendant’s salary range from $28,000 to $57,000. The range increases with the flight attendant’s level of seniority; first year Flight Attendants may have their salary at $20 per hour, while on their sixth year, it increases to $30 and in their fourteenth year it increases to $40. This of course, depends on the airline contract, which is changed annually.

The hours involved in the calculation do not include the pure number of the flight attendant’s working hours; the travel time from her home to the airport, her time spent between flights and her service while on the airport are not included. Rather, a flight attendant’s salary is based on the hours she is inside a plane, from the time it took off up to the time it landed on the tarmac of its primary destination. This is referred to as the ‘flight time’, the ‘block time’ or the ‘hard time’. Food and Hotel expenses are included as well.

Having additional skills also add to a Flight Attendant’s salary. After all, being able to speak many languages, having good interpersonal skills as well and having a pleasing personality are only some of the requirements on how to become a flight attendant.

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Why become a Flight Attendant?

As mentioned earlier, a flight attendant’s role is vast and can be strict, but there are a couple of good reasons on being a flight attendant:

  • Flight attendant work can be quite social, interacting with passengers and other crew members – you’ll rarely work alone, for sure.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to see many foreign destinations, even if just for the night since the airlines are regulated in terms of flight crew downtime.
  • Perhaps the greatest benefit of being a flight attendant is that travel is nearly free for the attendants, and some airlines offer “buddy passes” an employee can give family and friends. These are of course subject to full flights, but if you’re flexible they can be very helpful.

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Pro’s and Con’s of being a Flight Attendant

Pro’s

There is always a positive and a negative side to things. In this case, being a flight attendant has its perks and sacrifices a well.

Here are the following perks on being a Flight Attendant

  • The flights are nearly free and you get to go see great places once in a while.
  • Food and hotel lodgings are paid for, which is a treat especially when your flight’s stop-over is in great places like Vegas
  • You get to meet and interact with all sorts of people
  • Great discounts when you’re shopping at the Airport Terminal stores
  • All the free peanuts, coffee and bread you could ever want
  • Great schedule. Sometimes you’ll only go to work four times a week.
  • You get to better yourself, physically, socially and psychologically

Con’s

It isn’t always sunny side-up for flight attendants though. There are also things that make a flight attendant’s task stressful and tiresome.

Here are the disadvantages to being a Flight Attendant:

  • It can get hectic while you’re in flight. We all know how cranky and difficult airline passengers can be.
  • The training on how to become a flight attendant can be get rigorous, as you are tasked to master all safety procedures and first aid operations
  • Flexibility is also a must; it bears repeating - you will have to work weekends, holidays, you may be required to move to a city close to your airline’s major airport, and you may often fly “reserve”, not knowing your plans until just a few hours before flight time.

Many flight attendants would agree that the benefits far outweight the negatives when you’ve got a few years under your belt and have a decent seniority. Having said that, the beginning years can be tough, particularly for those with families, children, or have a hard time with the flexibility of schedule required.
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Flight Attendant Quotes

Not convinced with being a flight attendant yet? Well, here are some quotes from people and flight attendants themselves on what they think with Flight Attendants:

If you have a love of travel and are eager to pursue something you have always wanted to do, there is no limit to the amount of fun you have in store with a job in the skies!

—By Wendy Stafford, a former flight attendant and president and senior consultant at Airline Inflight Resources

OK, an SWA 737 lands pretty hard at Burbank…I mean pretty damned hard. As it slows to taxi, the Stew starts her safety briefing, stating, “Please remain seated until Batman and Robin park what is left of the aircraft at the gate…and thank you for flying Southwest. LOL They’re a fun bunch.”

— found at www.ask.yahoo.com on the topic “Your fun experiences in the airport

So far, being a flight attendant is the best thing that’s happened to me. It’s where I’ve met my husband!

— Lisa Cruz, Cebu Pacific Airlines flight attendant

“Reasons to Be a Flight Attendant? Free flights, All the peanuts you can eat, Cool overnights, Slipping “We know you’re in there” notes under the lavatory door to bust couples that thought they had snuck in without being seen, Getting an in-uniform discount off our McDonalds fries in airports around the world, Sometimes having 16-17 days off a month, if we worked our schedules right, The wonderful and interesting people you meet, Seeing the look on your friends’ faces when they ask where you got a particular item they admire, and you reply, “Oh, Paris I think. Or was it London?… to tell you honestly, it already had me with the free flights”

-Lisa Tossey
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Don’t forget, we’ve got a travel jobs board with plenty of flight attendant jobs on offer.