Pros and Cons of Being 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 path.

 

According to Everday Aviationa 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 path.

 

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Benefits Of Being a Flight Attendant

flight attendants cabin crew

If you’re looking for a job that offers an exciting opportunity to travel and meet interesting people, then becoming a flight attendant could be the right career path for you. With great pay, amazing benefits, and the ability to see the world, being a flight attendant is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world.

 

This position has pros and cons, from learning new cultures to dealing with difficult passengers and long hours. In the first part of this article, we will discuss some of these unique benefits.

You get flying benefits(reduced airline tickets)

most flight attendants flight benefits

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

onboard flight attendants

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 who taught me how to eat Korean food correctly.

 

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.

The Pay is Pretty Awesome

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

medical services for flight attendant

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.

 

Flight attendants are provided with excellent medical and life insurance benefits. The airline usually covers a portion of the medical coverage, while the flight attendant may pay for a portion.

 

In addition to providing basic medical care, insurance covers dental and vision care. Most airlines will provide their flight attendants with a life insurance policy that is equal to 1 or 2 times their annual salary.

 

This can greatly benefit in case of an untimely death or disability as it can help support family members who may depend on them financially. Airlines also offer additional optional benefits such as long-term disability, which provides income replacement if an employee cannot work due to an illness or injury for a certain period.

 

Additionally, some airlines offer critical illness coverage, which pays out upon diagnosing a serious medical condition such as cancer or heart attack. Finally, many airlines provide travel accident insurance which covers expenses incurred due to an unexpected event while traveling on company business.

 

This could include medical expenses, repatriation costs, and compensation for lost luggage. Overall, being a flight attendant offers an attractive package of benefits that make it a desirable job choice for many people who want to explore the world while still having access to comprehensive medical and life insurance benefits.

 

Independence

glamorous lifestyle cabin crew

Airlines have different bases. I lived in Doha for several years when I joined Qatar Airways 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.

You meet a lot of people and make lifelong friends

flight attendants make lifelong friends

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 a quick dinner, you get to know them better, and sometimes your bond clicks right.

 

Being a Flight Attendant provides a unique opportunity to build friendships with colleagues worldwide. Working with a diverse group of crew members on each flight creates an environment full of different perspectives and cultures, which is incredibly enriching.

 

As Flight Attendants often work in close quarters for hours at a time, it is not uncommon for them to form strong bonds with their co-workers. These relationships are fostered by taking advantage of opportunities during layovers, such as sightseeing and dinner together.

 

Flight attendants can get to know their colleagues better and quickly build close relationships. It also helps ease the long days in the air, as having friends around can help make the job more enjoyable. Aside from simply creating friendships, working with this wide range of people can also provide valuable insight into different cultures and customs that one may not have been exposed to before.

 

Learning about other countries and cultures can be fascinating and teach one much about life. Furthermore, if there are language barriers between crew members, they can learn from one another to better communicate with passengers onboard flights.

 

The friendships built while working as a Flight Attendant are truly special; since these relationships are formed so quickly and usually involve intense experiences due to the nature of the job, they are often much closer than friendships formed outside of work.

 

Flight attendants can become lifelong friends, especially if you formed a good bond even outside of work.

Boundless Learning Of Other Culture

flight attendants meet interesting people

Flight attendants are exposed to various cultures daily as they travel around the world every day. This provides an excellent opportunity for flight attendants to experience different cultures firsthand and learn about new customs and traditions.

 

Flight attendants can use their time at the airport and onboard planes to observe how people from different countries interact with each other, as well as the way they communicate. This allows them to pick up on subtle cultural nuances they may not have been aware of before.

 

Additionally, they can network with locals during their layovers or stop-overs to gain further insight into the culture of their destination country.

 

Flight attendants may also be able to join cultural activities such as group tours, festivals, and other events held by local organizations, providing them with a more in-depth understanding of the culture in a particular area.

 

Furthermore, chatting with passengers about their lives and experiences greatly enhances their understanding of different cultures. This helps them become more culturally aware and gain valuable knowledge that will benefit them daily.

 

Being an international flight attendant is a great way to learn about different cultures from across the globe. It allows one to experience firsthand how people from different backgrounds come together on board planes, and it will enable them to gain valuable insight into foreign countries that would otherwise take much longer for someone without this job position to acquire.

You get paid to see the world

free or discounted tickets

As mentioned, being a flight attendant will allow you to travel and earn money simultaneously. You will get a layover in a destination with a day off or a layover of more than 24 hours. But of course, there are shorter layovers too.

 

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

 

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

Cons Of Being a Flight Attendant

Being a flight attendant is an exciting job that provides the opportunity to travel and see new places, meet interesting people, and learn about different cultures. However, it also comes with its own set of challenges.

 

Here are some cons of the flight attendant job:

Rigorous Initial Training Program

aviation industry training

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

 

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

  • You need to memorize and recite safety procedures.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Demonstrate airline grooming standards during training at all times.

Irregular Sleeping Pattern

Flight attendants often have irregular sleeping patterns due to their constantly changing work hours. Most airlines require flight attendants to fly overnight, which can make it difficult for them to adjust their sleep schedule.

 

The time zone changes between different destinations can also disrupt a flight attendant’s sleep schedule. This is particularly true when they are crossing multiple time zones while flying back and forth from the same destinations regularly.

 

To cope with these irregular sleeping patterns, flight attendants must be mindful of their overall health and well-being by maintaining healthy eating habits and exercising regularly. They should also adhere to good sleep hygiene practices, such as avoiding caffeine late in the day and limiting screen time before bedtime.

 

Sometimes, jet lag can be unavoidable, no matter how well-prepared or rested a flight attendant is before a long-haul flight. To help reduce jet lag symptoms, it’s recommended that passengers drink plenty of water throughout the flight and avoid drinking any alcohol or caffeinated beverages near bedtime when traveling through different time zones.

 

If necessary, taking a melatonin supplement can help one adjust quickly upon arriving at another destination.

Uncontrollable Base Assignments At The Beginning

airline employees base assignments

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.

You miss important events

no free time

Flight attendants often miss special holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries due to their constantly changing work hours. Flight attendants typically have irregular shifts that can take them away from home for days.

 

This makes it difficult for them to attend family gatherings and other important events, as they’re regularly missing in action during these special occasions.

 

Furthermore, long-haul flights require flight attendants to fly across multiple time zones in one journey. This means they might arrive home late at night or early in the morning and miss out on celebrations with family and friends.

 

Due to the unconventional nature of their job, many flight attendants reported feeling isolated from friends and family because of the frequent absences from special occasions, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and alienation. Flight attendants often struggle with balancing the demands of their job with maintaining relationships outside of work.

 

Notably, some airlines offer compensation schemes such as extra vacation days or bonus pay for working on holidays to compensate for missed celebrations at home, but this is not available everywhere.

 

Overall, being a flight attendant requires a great degree of personal sacrifice in terms of lost opportunities to spend quality time with loved ones due to unpredictable schedules.

Loneliness, Anxiety, And Depression

flight attendant stress worrying

For flight attendants, loneliness, anxiety, and depression can be common experiences. The unpredictable nature of flight attendant schedules and long hours away from home can take a toll on the mental and physical health of those in the profession. Research has found that flight attendants experience higher rates of depression than those who work in other occupations due to the unique stressors associated with their jobs.

 

For instance, they often face tight deadlines while dealing with unruly passengers and may not have access to medical assistance if needed. This can lead to feelings of isolation as well as guilt for not being able to attend family events or meet friends while on duty.

 

Additionally, since flight attendants are responsible for ensuring passenger safety during flights, they must remain alert even during times when they might be tired or jet lagged. This can create intense pressure for them to perform well at all times, leading to anxiety about making mistakes which can further contribute to depression.

 

Moreover, due to their constant travel between different time zones across the globe, many flight attendants experience significant disruptions in their sleep cycles which can impact their overall wellbeing. The resulting fatigue caused by this irregular sleeping pattern can increase the risk of mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.

 

Flight attendants are also exposed to high levels of air pollution on board airplanes due to disinfectants and other chemicals used in cabins which can hurt their mental health over time.

 

Besides, research has shown that noise pollution inside aircraft is linked with an increased risk of hearing loss which may contribute to feelings of distress among workers in this field.

 

Overall, the combination of long hours away from home, poor sleep quality due to noisy environments, jet lag exposure, and responsibility for passenger safety make it physically and mentally difficult for flight attendants. As a result, loneliness, anxiety, and depression are common experiences among those employed in this field.

Unruly Passengers Encounters

stronger person passenger attacking flight attendant

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 PerioFlight attendants often work long hours, sometimes with little to no breaks in between flights. Particularly on international flights, the duties of a flight attendant can last up to 16 hours or more.

 

This often includes preparing the cabin before takeoff, providing meals and drinks throughout the flight, ensuring passenger safety and completing post-flight tasks after landing. Such long durations in the air can cause physical and emotional fatigue as well as pose a risk to personal safety due to the chance of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

 

Furthermore, working long hours with no downtime away from passengers can lead to burnout from feeling constantly overworked and exhausted.

 

Additionally, some airlines require flight attendants to be “on call” in case a shift needs coverage which means that they must remain flexible even if it means foregoing leave for personal activities such as vacations or visits home.

 

All of these factors can make being a flight attendant an incredibly demanding job that requires intense focus and attention to detail for extended periods.

Can Develop Bad Eating Habits

zero control on airplane food

Due to the necessity of long hours in the air and limited access to healthy food options, many flight attendants rely on snacks such as chips or candy bars high in fat and sugar. This can lead to unhealthy eating habits over time and contribute to weight gain as well as other related health issues such as diabetes or high cholesterol.

 

In addition, some flight attendants work unpredictable schedules, making it difficult to plan meals around regular mealtimes. This often leads to grabbing whatever is available when they have a break between flights, leading to an imbalanced diet that does not provide their bodies with the nutrients they need for proper functioning.

 

Moreover, due to their hectic lifestyles, many flight attendants often struggle to find the time and energy needed to cook at home, contributing to unhealthy dietary choices. The resulting lack of balanced meals can increase their risk of developing medical conditions such as heart disease or stroke in the long run.

 

All these factors can significantly impact flight attendants’ physical and mental health if left unchecked, making it essential for those employed in this field to be mindful of what they eat while on duty.

 

It's hard to have relationships

flight attendants love

Flight attendants often have difficulty maintaining relationships due to the nature of their job. They constantly move, traveling from one destination to another, making establishing and maintaining personal connections challenging.

 

Flight attendants work long hours, sometimes days or weeks away from home. This can be particularly challenging for those in committed relationships or families. It’s not uncommon for flight attendants to miss important events like birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries due to their work schedules.

 

In addition, the job can be physically and emotionally demanding. Flight attendants must deal with jet lag, irregular sleep schedules, and difficult passengers. This can affect their mental and physical well-being, making it even harder to maintain healthy relationships.

 

Furthermore, flight attendants may find it hard to build lasting connections with others because they are always meeting new people in different cities worldwide. They may also struggle with trust issues as they are constantly exposed to different cultures and lifestyles.

 

While being a flight attendant can be an exciting and rewarding career choice, it comes with challenges when building and maintaining personal relationships.

Summary: Pros And Cons Of Being A Flight Attendant

To sum up, it’s undeniable that being a flight attendant has its own set of pros and cons, just like with any other job. The amazing travel benefits, the great salary and medical benefits, the independence, and meeting new people are the main draws for many who choose to become flight attendants.

 

Despite having to deal with difficult passengers and missing out on special occasions with family, it can be a gratifying experience. In addition, a career as a flight attendant offers countless friendships and knowledge of various cultures while you get paid – an incredible adventure worth considering!

 

So if becoming a Flight Attendant is something you’ve been thinking about, take time to do some research to decide if this exciting job is right for you.

FAQ

What Challenges Do Flight Attendants Face?

Flight attendants face a variety of challenges in their job. Some of these challenges include:

  1. Irregular schedules: Flight attendants often work odd hours and may have to be away from home for days or even weeks at a time. This can make it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

  2. Jet lag: Frequent travel across different time zones can lead to jet lag, which can cause fatigue, insomnia, and other health problems.

  3. Dealing with difficult passengers: Flight attendants must be able to handle all types of passengers, including those who are rude, aggressive, or intoxicated.

  4. Emergency situations: In the event of an emergency such as turbulence or a medical issue on board, flight attendants must be able to remain calm and take charge.

  5. Language barriers: Flight attendants work with people from all over the world, so they must be able to communicate effectively with passengers who speak different languages.

  6. Physical demands: The job requires flight attendants to stand for long periods of time, lift heavy objects like luggage, and move quickly through the cabin during emergencies.

  7. Security concerns: Flight attendants play an important role in ensuring the safety and security of passengers on board the aircraft.

Overall, being a flight attendant can be a challenging but rewarding career choice that requires excellent communication skills, physical stamina, and the ability to handle stressful situations calmly and efficiently.

Do you think alcoholism is a problem with flight attendants?

Alcoholism can be a problem for flight attendants for several reasons. Firstly, flight attendants are often exposed to alcohol on a regular basis as part of their job. They may serve alcohol to passengers or have access to it themselves during layovers or downtime.

 

Secondly, the nature of the job can be stressful and isolating, which can lead some flight attendants to turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism. Long hours, irregular schedules, and time away from family and friends can all contribute to feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

 

Thirdly, the effects of frequent travel across different time zones can disrupt sleep patterns and cause fatigue, making it more difficult for flight attendants to cope with stress and anxiety.

 

Finally, alcoholism can have serious consequences for both the individual and their employer. A flight attendant who is struggling with alcoholism may miss work or perform poorly on the job, which could compromise passenger safety or result in disciplinary action.

 

Therefore, it is important for airlines to provide support and resources for their employees who may be struggling with alcoholism or other mental health issues.

 

This can include counseling services, employee assistance programs, and training on identifying and addressing substance abuse problems in the workplace.

What are the differences between a Reserve Flight Attendant and a Line Holder?

In the airline industry, there are two main types of flight attendants: reserve flight attendants and line holders. Here are the key differences between the two:

 

Reserve Flight Attendants:

  • Reserve flight attendants do not have a set schedule or regular flights to work on. Instead, they are on call and must be available to work at any time.

  • When a regular flight attendant is sick or unable to work their scheduled shift, a reserve flight attendant will be called in to fill the position.

  • Reserve flight attendants may be required to live within a certain distance of their home airport so that they can respond quickly when needed.

  • Reserve flight attendants typically have less job security than line holders because they do not have a guaranteed number of hours or flights each month.

Line Holders:

  • Line holders have a set schedule with specific flights and routes that they work on regularly.

  • They know their schedule well in advance and can plan their personal life around it.

  • Line holders typically have more job security than reserve flight attendants because they are guaranteed a certain number of hours or flights each month.

  • Line holders may also receive better pay and benefits than reserve flight attendants because of their guaranteed schedule.

Overall, both types of flight attendants play an important role in ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers during air travel. The main difference between them is how their schedules are structured and how they are assigned to specific flights.

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