What No One Tells You About Being A Flight Attendant
By DeAnna Taylor
Flight attendants are probably the most important people on your flight. Not only are they there to ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable flight, but they also work to make sure you’re safe while flying.
The average person may think they know what it takes to be a flight attendant, but we don’t truly understand what these men and women go through behind the scenes.
After speaking with a few flight attendants, they have decided to share the inside scoop and even talked about their most memorable flights.
Here’s what they had to say:
You get lonely at times
Flight attendants can work extremely long hours and can be scheduled for any day including holidays. They spend lots of time away from family and friends and are sometimes forced to miss important dates. Naadyra, a flight attendant for over six years, said: “This is a seniority-based industry, so I’m still not able to get certain holidays off. My daughter’s 2nd birthday fell on Father’s Day this year, and I missed it. I couldn’t get the day off.”
You only get paid while actually flying.
While the cabin doors are open, flight attendants are pretty much working for free. When they assist us with storing bags and getting us to our seats, that time is not counted in their paycheck. So next time you enter a plane, try to be a little nicer to your cabin crew.
It’s not that easy to get a job as a flight attendant.
Becoming a flight attendant with Delta Air Lines is on the list for the top 15 things that are harder than being accepted into Harvard University. You have a better chance of being admitted as a student at Harvard, than you do working with Delta.
Living out of airports gets expensive.
Although there may be a slight discount, flight attendants admit that having to buy food at airports constantly adds up. Also, many flight attendants end up being resourceful and find ways to create entire meals from the few resources they have on planes.
The flight privileges are amazing, but they aren’t perfect.
Flight attendants pretty much fly for free. They can live anywhere and still get to work by hopping on a flight. However, it takes careful planning because flying standby can be stressful. Also, they have to pay taxes on any international flights they take on their off days.
It’s usually only a part-time position for many of us.
Being a flight attendant is normally a second career. It gives the flexibility to pursue other careers and passions. Many are also firefighters, nurses, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and even police officers.
We leave with some amazing memories.
Jasmine, who has been in the industry for a few years, shared an experience he had with a passenger.
“One of the best experiences I have had as a flight attendant was to share in my spirituality with a passenger. I cannot remember the destination but I was standing in the gate area awaiting the arrival of a delayed flight, and there was a woman who appeared to be jittery and impatient. She kept asking the gate agent what was going on with the flight and got more and more flustered as we waited.
Finally, we boarded the flight, and this same woman was seated in 1D in the aircraft. I offered her a beverage to calm her, and she explained that she was in a hurry, her mother was passing and she needed to get there. My heart immediately went out to her.
Beyond being a flight attendant, my human nature kicked in, and I thought how can I make this different or soothe her while in my presence? After we took off and I completed the service, I pulled out a napkin and wrote a note to her and emphasized that her faith in whoever would be sufficient to get her through and that I would be praying, and had prayed for her, that whatever the outcome may be that the plan of supernatural powers is sufficient. She shed a tear but came to my galley and hugged me and said, you don’t know how much I needed to hear this and remind me of God’s goodness and the years I’ve had with her. She asked may I hug you? We hugged and when we landed, she winked as she got off.
Honestly, this was one of the best moment in my life and career thus far because I could share something close to my heart — spirituality.”
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.