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manolla's avatar

Advice from Flight Attendants?

Asked by manolla (795 points ) January 16th, 2011

I have no previous experience as a flight attendant, I have worked as an Assistant before and have experience working as a sales person and a paralegal. I speak 3 languages, what would be useful to include in my CV if I am applying for a flight attendant job?
How long do flight attendants work in a day, and how is the work?

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5 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

This might help, and contacting the FAA for regulations concerning allowed # of hours, as well as the individual carriers for their training and requirement information.

missingbite's avatar

I’m not a Flight Attendant but I am a flight crew member. What I would do, or advise you to do, is have a cover letter that explains why you think you would be a great flight attendant. Make sure you list that you speak three languages. Make sure you let them know you have sales experience.

The number of hours you work in a day can vary from carrier to carrier and also from trip to trip. Most of the time you will be working three or four day trips. I look at it as if I’m away from home I may as well be working. If you are working for a “legacy” carrier and plan on doing international trips you will work fewer days but longer days as well. A flight from Newark to China is about 14 hours long. If you work for a LCC, low cost carrier, you will be mainly domestic and probably no more than 10 hours a day with breaks between trips.

Keep in mind that the pay that flight attendants make is not the greatest. Most of them do the job for the perks like free travel. If you have illusions of it being a romantic job, it’s not. Especially since September 11th. Be ready to pass a 15 year FBI background check. If you can’t, you won’t get hired.

Some of my FA friends love their jobs and some hate it. It is all seniority based meaning as a new hire you will be working all the trips no one wants. As you get more senior, you can pick the flights you want to work. That goes for days on and off as well. You probably won’t have a major holiday off for a few years. Airlines are 24/7/365. You will miss birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and so on. But you will also meet some of the most interesting people in your life.

Some of my FA’s have been lawyers, doctors, nurses, and so on. Your main job is safety, not service. Service comes second. So if you know CPR, let them know. If you have taken advanced first aid, let them know.

Airline travel and crews have changed a lot over the last several years. With that said, it can be a very rewarding career.

Good luck.

gorillapaws's avatar

I would also stay away from express carriers if possible. They can work many short flights in a day, but only get paid when the wheels lift off the ground to when they touch down, so if you get stuck on a 3 hour Air Traffic Control hold on the ground with a plane full of angry passengers, you’re making $0/hour for that. Express carriers are so bad because having so many flights a day radically increases your odds of having delays and problems. Also everything @missingbite has said was spot on. I’ve never been a flight attendant, but I’ve worked at as ground crew at a small airport a few years ago, and had a former flight attendant roomate (so I’ve heard lots of stories).

manolla's avatar

Thanks alot guys for your input, that is alot of very usefull information up there that helped me get a better understanding.

@missingbite wow I never knew about the 15 year background check thing, it kinda sounds scary because I am really not sure what they will be looking for !!

I think that missing out on important events won’t be a major issue for me because I have a small family circle and I usually spend all the time that I am not working with them.

I always wanted to be part of the aviation world, I used to dream of becoming an astrounaut when I used to be younger( untill I discovered that my intellegence level doesn’t match the requirements ^_^ )

I am just sick of sitting behind a desk for more than 8hrs a day, I just want to fly, break free and be always on the move =D

missingbite's avatar

@manolla Then go for it. Like I said, some love it and some hate it. You won’t know until you try but it is a great field. Don’t let the background check scare you. As long as you don’t have a felony conviction or stays in a mental health hospital, you are probably fine. They don’t care about things like underage drinking or DUI. It has to be serious.

Good luck.

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