Are you one of those folks who always looks at planes and wants to be on one? Do you dream of wearing polyester, working all night, cleaning up vomit, etc.? OK, maybe I’m not painting a very pretty picture, but you know who you are. For many of us, flying the friendly skies is a dream, but how do you turn that dream into a reality?
These days, it’s tough to get a job as a flight attendant. So many airlines are furloughing crew members instead of hiring them. However, if you really want to fly, there are opportunities available. You may have to start at a commuter airline or accept a job out of the country. Regardless, you can still get your wings if you want it bad enough.
These are some important things to think about when trying to secure a flight attendant job.
- It’s all about safety. Most people think flight attendants are onboard to serve drinks. They are actually there for your safety. The FAA says there has to be one flight attendant for every 50 seats on a plane. They are there to get you safely off the plane if something should go wrong. The FAA doesn’t really care if you get a drink or not.
- It’s not as glamorous as it looks. Television shows do a great job of portraying the flight attendant position as very glamorous. What they don’t show is the not-so-glamorous part. Imagine spending 13 hours cleaning up after people. This is especially fun after a turbulent flight where many passengers have gotten sick. Let’s not forget about the dirty diapers, chewing tobacco and used tissues. Flight attendants are some of the only folks I know who smile as people hand them disgusting items to discard.
- You’ll get to see the world. This is true. However, most of it will be seen from a van window as you ride from the airport to the hotel. Many layovers are the FAA required minimum (eight hours) and often follow very long days (10+ hours). Not only is there no time for sightseeing, all you can think about is sleep. Of course, with some seniority, you will be able to hold the better trips with the longer layovers, but that will take several years.
- You’ll rarely get a good night’s sleep. Don’t like getting woken up at 2 a.m.? You may want to reconsider your choice of career. New flight attendants are typically on call and can be assigned a trip anytime, day or night. In addition, you have to be able to get to the airport within two hours of being called. If a crew member is scheduled for an early sign in and wakes up sick, you will be the one called to replace him/her. Again, with some seniority, you will be able to say goodbye to reserve and hold a more normal schedule.
These facts are in no way meant to discourage anyone from being a flight attendant. It is definitely a great job. The time off is terrific, and you can use that time to really see the world (crew members fly free on their days off). Just make sure you’re ready for the reality of the job. If you are, then spread your wings and fly!
It has to be kept in mind that the job of a flight attendant is not at all easy but has a fair share of repercussions and can prove to be quite hectic and time consuming that would require an individual who has high level patience and perseverance in order to do it correctly, especially in private flights where you would have to cater to the unnecessary demands of your boss.