Being a Flight Attendant as a Good Enough Job

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Being a Flight Attendant as a Good Enough Job

Postby AleciaBangBang » Sun May 29, 2011 8:48 pm

I just quit my job as a flight attendant after a year (I'll share why in a sec) but wanted to share why this might be a Good Enough Job for the right person:

1) Flight benefits. Being able to fly free/cheap can open up a lot of possibilities. Granted, you have to have enough time/money/energy to be able to go anywhere, and you're flying standby... but it can still be pretty sweet.
2) The job itself is so easy. You do the same little things over and over again. You wear the same things over and over. Yes you deal with a lot of variables (people, weather, aircraft) to keep you from being bored but the basic functions of the job are fairly monotonous, which might drive some people nuts but it let me think about other things while being on "auto-pilot" at work, so to speak. ;)
3) There's not really a boss breathing down your neck while you're working. You have a flight crew you work with and the pilots are in charge but they can't fire you. If you work for a smaller airline, you might be the only FA on the plane, which is nice if you like to work independently. As long as you do your job (and do it well, hopefully), no one will bother you. I got a lot of reading done while I was in the sky, getting paid.
4) Most importantly: YOU HAVE A TON OF DOWNTIME! Even if you get to work and everything goes 100% according to plan, you're going to be waiting around for something. But things never, ever go according to plan! The aircraft will be late. Or one of the crewmembers is stuck in traffic. Or the flight will be delayed/canceled because of the weather. Yes these things are incredibly frustrating for everyone, but I was generally laid-back about it as long as I had something to read/do. And that's just at the airport--I also had a lot of quiet alone time during layovers, goofing off in my hotel room or exploring whatever city I was in.
If I had had an income stream using the internet, I could have made money doing that while still getting per diem from the airline. Nice. And many crewmembers had 2nd jobs (not always by choice though!) and businesses on the side. One pilot I worked with had a business selling aquarium lights, another went on and on about his potato-based vodka, others ran crashpads/vacation homes. Some FAs made jewelry, wrote blogs, sold Avon, etc. Flight attendants at my airline had 12-15 days off per month, on average, but you can get a lot more.

Why did I quit?
Long story short, I wanted to be at home (Las Vegas) with my boyfriend, and we'd already relocated once for my job and I couldn't bear to do it again. Las Vegas is an affordable place to live and this is where we will be for a while, but my airline doesn't have a base here. I tried commuting to/from LV but that didn't work, I could never get home. I'll just say that if you're willing to move to (or already live in) one of the airline's bases, you'll be a lot better off. And if you're single with no one waiting for you to get home, even better! :wink: It's a cake job in many respects and I really tried to make it work.

Also the pay isn't great, especially when you're starting out. :cry: But you have health benefits, 401k, yadda yadda

And funny as this may sound, I also quit because I want to travel! We're going to Europe and will stay for at least a month.

Anyway, just thought I'd tell people in case anyone was interested. It's not the easiest job to get but definitely doable, especially if you focus your attention on the regional airlines where there's less competition. (I worked for SkyWest.) If you only try to work for the big ones like Delta/United, you'll be competing against hundreds of thousands of applicants. Regional airlines are less glamorous and you won't go overseas (on company time, that is) but still worthwhile. If you go to Flightattendantcareer [dot] com they have a free job listing page.
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Re: Being a Flight Attendant as a Good Enough Job

Postby soul_sista » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:18 pm

Thank you for posting this!!! I'm single and I love to travel I was just thinking about that this AM, plenty of downtime would be fabulous because I am working towards my long term goal of being a successful singer/songwriter!

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