1. “So like, are you always just on call?”
NO! There are a few airlines that still have flight attendants on what is called “reserve”. However, I am fortunate enough to never have to deal with the agony of being on reserve. Even as a new hire flight attendant, I was always given a set schedule which does include 6 days of being on call a month. With our schedule, you can easily swap, drop, and pick up trips whenever you want. Our schedules are basically whatever we want them to be, to wherever we choose.
2. “You guys still have to go back to your base tonight right?”
Yes sir, we just flew 8 hours all night to get you to London and now we have to work all day to go straight back home without any rest…since I can’t roll my eyes in front of passengers, I try to see if they can pick up on my fluent sarcasm when they ask stupid questions. Of course we don’t just turn around and go home right away! On international flights we can have anywhere from 24 hours(most common) to around 80 hours(rare but glorious trips). For domestic layovers, we usually stay from 10 hours to 35 hours in any given place. Some days you might work long hours, but for the most part, you are working the same amount of hours you would in any typical job, you are just ending the night most times in a different city.
3. “How does your pay work?”
People who don’t work in aviation just don’t understand how the pay or hours of this job work and they wont ever fully understand it no matter how well you explain it to them. Flight attendants only get paid their main wage for flight time. The rest of the time we get a very low per diem, but that is from the time we sign in for a trip until the trip is over and that does add up to a decent amount. Basically during the hardest part of our job, we only make about $2 an hour. We do not get paid our flight pay for the never ending boarding process where people can’t seem to figure out where their seat is. Really, I know there are letters and numbers together but even if you failed geometry, I promise you that you can figure this out. And when we say to please only place one item in the overhead bin while you are stuffing your suitcase, purse, laptop case, jacket, first child, and pet monkey you brought onboard as your “emotional support animal”, we are only getting paid $2 to stay patient with you and let me tell you, that $2 worth of patients runs out fast, so please just try to corporate with us since we really aren’t even getting paid yet.
4. “How long do you have to work before you can fly international flights?”
We aren’t trained on routes, we are trained on aircrafts. This means we can work on any aircraft that we are trained on whenever we want. You might not be able to hold an international trip on your line, but you will definitely get used for international trips when you are on call, or you can pick them up or swap for them. You do not need to work “X” amount of years before you can fly internationally.
5. “How do buddy passes work”
6. “Can I have a buddy pass?”
Really buddy passes might as well be a myth. We do get a certain number of buddy passes but what people don’t understand about buddy passes is that you still have to pay for a buddy pass and it is only for STANDBY. Not only is it for standby, it is also one of the lowest standby codes you can fly with so that means everyone else on standby is more than likely getting on before you, filling the last empty seats. Do not ask for buddy passes because I can promise you, you can fly on a confirmed ticket for a cheap airline for the same price as what a buddy pass is going to cost you.
7. “Do you work with the same people all of the time?”
there are over 20,000 flight attendants with the company that I work for. It is rare to fly with someone more than once in a year! Occasionally you will fly with a familiar face, but most of the time you meet your crew members an hour before the trip starts and you become instant friends for the next 3 days (or however long the trip is) and then you don’t speak to them again.
8. “Did you have to pay for your uniforms?”
HELL NO! I am not spending $500 on these outdated, poor quality uniforms. I am sure there are companies out there that will make you pay for your uniforms but if I can give
you any advice, it would be to stay far, far away from those companies.
9.”What do you learn in training?”
I am not joking when I say a pilot actually thought that flight attendants spent 2 months in training learning how to serve cokes and peanuts. I couldn’t see my facial expression, but I could imagine it was something along the lines of Lydia Deetz’s permanent facial expression in Beetlejuice. It is insulting to have people think you need 2 months to learn how to serve beverages. Yes that is truly what you do the majority of the time, but training is 1 month of extensive emergency and medical training, and 1 month of aircraft training. This is not stuff that you will be using everyday, but it is the reason this job pays as much as it does for a customer service job. Safety is always first, and you have to be prepared even if you don’t use your training everyday.
10. “How do you like being a flight attendant?”
This is hands down my favorite question! I love being a flight attendant! I might get annoyed every once in a while, but there is honestly nothing else I would rather be doing. This job is virtually stress free; you never take your work home with you, if there is any drama it is kept at a minimum since you aren’t working with the same people everyday, and you get to explore new places all of the time. I tell people that you really do become addicted to this lifestyle of being able to wake up in the morning and decide to hop on a plane to Paris if you feel like it, or fly out to LA for the day if you want to grab lunch and go shopping. There is simply nothing better than being able to go wherever you choose and the life of adventure never ends when it becomes your occupation.
If you have any questions that you would liked to be answered comment below!