Flight Attendant Career – Pros & Cons

The Highs And Lows Of the Flight Attendant Career - Can You Become A Flight Attendant?

The flight attendant career is one of the most rewarding careers in the world.

According to Everday Aviation, a flight attendant job is a great career with great pay, amazing benefits, and the ability to see the world, but it is not for everyone.

That’s why becoming a flight attendant is a dream job for many. But, can you become a flight attendant?

If you want to know if the flight attendant position is right for you, here are the pros and cons, requirements & qualifications of the flight attendant job to help you decide if this is the right career for you.

Benefits Of Being a Flight Attendant

Amazing Travel Benefits

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Once the airline considers you a full-fledged flight attendant, you and your family will get fantastic travel benefits.

You and your dependents will be eligible to book airline tickets through the airline’s travel software.

Some airlines have contracts with other airlines, where flight attendants receive tickets from other partners.

Some airlines have buddy tickets where you can register your relatives and close friends.

Limitless Interaction With People From Different Walks of Life

United Airlines flight attendant serve food

You will work in a closed metal tube with passengers (even colleagues) from different backgrounds.

I worked with over 100 nationalities in my previous airline, where I learned something new on each flight.

There was a time in my career when I flew with a Korean flight attendant, and she taught me how to eat Korean food the right way.

After that, Korean cuisine became my favorite, and I love their food so much that I look for good Korean restaurants everywhere in the world.

Competitive Salary

The flight attendant jobs is listed as the #4 in US News Highest Paying Jobs Without a Degree.

Flight Attendants made a median salary of $59,050 in 2020. The best-paid 25 percent earned $71,550 that year, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $43,080.

I interviewed one senior flight attendant who was flying for 15 years with the company. She said she made over USD 100,000 last year.

Great Medical & Life Insurance Benefits

Aside from the amazing travel benefits and competitive salary, new flight attendants will also get great medical & life insurance.

Being a flight attendant can expose you to sickness and sometimes life-threatening situations.

That’s why you’ll also get great medical & life insurance.

Independence

Airlines have different bases. When I joined Qatar Airways, I lived in Doha for several years because that’s where their base is.

Since I was away from my family, I learned how to decide for myself, and I even learned to cook since there was no one to cook for me but myself. 

As a result of that independence, I learned how to travel alone in other countries too.

This job taught me how to take care of myself better.

Countless Friendships & Acquaintances

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Flight attendants fly with different sets of crew most of the time.

Though you don’t get to work with the same team at all times, the chances of creating friendships are high.

When your crew goes out on a layover for sightseeing or just a quick dinner, you get to know them better, and sometimes your bond clicks right. 

Boundless Learning of Other Culture

airline workers, caterer, senior flight attendants, cleaners, agents

Traveling to different places exposes you to interacting with people and learning some of the nation’s traditions & beliefs. 

When I first visited a famous temple in Thailand, I was wearing shorts. I didn’t know that you couldn’t come in wearing those.

Though they let me borrow a sarong, I wore pants instead the next time I visited a temple.

After becoming a flight attendant, I became more respectful of other nations’ cultures and beliefs, which I think made me a better person. 

The Power To See The World While Earning

As I already mentioned, being a flight attendant will allow you to travel and earn money at the same time.

You will get a layover in a destination where you will have a day off or a layover of more than 24 hours. But of course, there are shorter layovers too.

That’s enough for you to see the city and rest before your next flight.

Plus, you get to stay in a comfortable hotel room during your layover.

Cons Of Being a Flight Attendant

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Rigorous Initial Training Program

There’s no guaranteed employment after passing an in person interview, background check, and receiving a conditional job offer. You need to undergo and pass a flight attendant initial training program that is known to be super hard!

Some flight attendants say that this flight attendant training is one of the hardest training they had in their lifetime. Here’s why:

  • You need to memorize and recite safety procedures.

  • You need to learn and demonstrate profeciency in first aid procedures.

  • You need to demonstrate in front of the class the service procedures of the airline.

  • You need to pass an observation flight and satisfy a checklist of things to do in your first flight.

  • You need to demonstrate proficiency in evacuation procedures and deliver the right commands with urgency.

  • Prepare cabin and passengers safe for an unplanned emergency landing.

  • Demonstrate airline grooming standards during training at all times.

Irregular Sleeping Pattern

flight regulations - fatigue

The flight departs 24/7, and you will not have a fixed schedule for what time you will work.

Most of the time, your body will have difficulty adjusting to your day-to-day scheduling, causing you not to get enough sleep.

Uncontrollable Work Schedule

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Some airlines have a reserve system where you don’t control where you want to go.

The crew scheduling gives you a flight, and you have to do that whether you like it or now.

However, as you gain seniority in the United States, you can get a “line” for more control of your schedule.

Line holders may drop flights and give them to those on reserve or trade flights with other line holders.

Uncontrollable Base Assignments At the Beginning

In the United States, major airlines have different bases around the country.

After graduation, you will be awarded a base depending on the airline’s operational needs.

Although you can submit your transfer requests, there is no guarantee that you will get your top choice.

For airlines with only one base station, you don’t have any choice but to commute or live wherever you get assigned.

Absent On Special Occasions

Flights run 24/7, and that includes holidays and special occasions.

I missed a bunch of holidays, family gatherings, and birthday celebrations up to this date because of the nature of the flight attendant career. 

Loneliness, Anxiety, and Depression

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Lack of sleep results in anxiety and depression.

Many flight attendants have sleepless nights and get prone to anxiety and depression.

Furthermore, being away from your loved ones most of the time will make you feel lonely.

That’s why many new hires resign after a few months realizing that this job is not for them.

Unruly Passengers Encounters

Sad to say, some people don’t follow airline rules.

Once in a while, we encounter unruly passengers who will test our abilities to the limit.

Though it is very stressful to handle this situation, airlines provide training to solve this kind of problem.

Working For Long Periods

Get ready to work at any time of the day especially when you are on reserve. There are flight that can go up to 18 hours especially when you work for international airlines.

Qualifications, Requirements, & Job Responsibilities Of A Flight Attendant

  • A high school diploma. However, in some countries, a college degree is a must or a plus.

  • Can lift heavy objects

  • Can adjust to the job’s physical demands, get used to the pressurized dry air in the cabin, and deal with sickness caused by traveling.

  • Can complete a rigorous flight attendant initial training

  • Can pass a drug test required by the Federal Aviation Administration

  • Possess a valid passport

  • Can carry and operate different emergency equipment in the aircraft

  • Demonstrated proficiency in safety, service, first-aid, and evacuation procedures

In a Nutshell: The Flight Attendant Career

The flight attendant career is one of the most rewarding careers globally.

There are a lot of pros; however, just like any other job, it can also take a toll on you. 

If this is your dream, then you should pursue it.

But if you only want to try it, then this job is worth trying!

The flight attendant career is one of the most rewarding careers globally.

There are a lot of pros; however, just like any other job, it can also take a toll on you. 

If this is your dream, then you should pursue it.

But if you only want to try it, then this job is worth trying!

Are you You Ready To Become a Flight Attendant?

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21 Smart Answers To Common Flight Attendant Interview Questions

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100 Common Flight Attendant Interview Questions

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Flight Attendant Application Checklist

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Hi, I'm Jezee!

How To Become a Flight Attendant - WingsPro Jezee

I’ve always had a spirit of adventure, a desire to traverse the globe, meet diverse people, and immerse myself in different cultures. Being a flight attendant has allowed me to fulfill these aspirations, turning my dreams into reality. It’s been an incredible journey, one that allowed me to overcome self-doubt and transcend my personal challenges. My career has been more than just a job, it’s been a life-changing experience that has shaped me into the person I am today. If you want to know more about my journey, you can find it here.