Are you considering working for the airlines? Good idea. It's wise to keep your head in the clouds. Besides exotic lands, generous travel benefits and your new "cool" status at cocktail parties, you'll likely also enjoy a solid financial future. Did you know that the average hourly salary for a flight attendant climbs from about $15 per hour to over $40 within 20 years?
To find out more about what it’s like to be a flight attendant, I spoke with a friend who has been a flight attendant for 18 years. Her name is Jaime and she says that safety and customer service are top of mind for every flight attendant. Here are her answers to some questions about the job:
Q: What’s your advice to people applying to be flight attendants?
A: Emphasize that you are an excellent team player and are willing to do whatever it takes to provide first-class service to everyone on the plane. Be impeccable in your appearance and very positive in your replies the interviewers’ questions. No matter what they say, whatever situation they pose, always say that you can do whatever it takes to take care of it. There’s not a situation they can propose that you can’t deal with.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the job?
A: The other flight attendants. We have so much fun. There’s so much camaraderie between us. They’re supportive. When you come off of a medical leave or a death in the family, they’re so welcoming. It makes you feel good. They’re like family.
Q: What’s hard about being a flight attendant?
A: It’s not hard but, even if you’re coming off of a death in the family or a tough situation, you have to be present. You have to be there for the passengers. You have to put your situation on the back burner so that you make the customer’s experience good and pleasant so that they’ll want to come back.
Q: What’s your favorite perk?
A: The health benefits and the support that you have to do well in your job. We have training seminars and the company is always updating everything and once a year we do a recurrent training of what’s going on. You feel really confident. You see how it was exemplary what happened when U.S. Air landed on the Hudson. The flight attendants knew what do you. We’ve all done it a lot of times. You’re trained in first aid and everything. You’re there to make the passengers feel good and safe.”
Still interested? See that salary and benefits information below from PayScale’s database for work as a flight attendant. Salary isn’t everything, according to Jaime. But, it’s nice to know that you can look forward to some raises over time.