Hi Heather, My wife is a flight attendant and for some time now I’ve been looking to make a career change and was thinking ofbecoming a flight attendant myself. I can see how she enjoys it and has fun with it and I’d like to try it, too. Do you think it would be a good or bad thing to bring up in an interview situation that I am married to a flight attendant or does it matter at all? Obviously being married to one gives me a greater insight and depth of understanding of the job and what it involves compared to many other candidates. I have a degree in Microbiology so I have somewhat of a brain, although my wife might debate that with you. I also co-managed a bar in Ireland before I came to the United States so I know what it’s like to have to deal with difficult and intoxicated customers. I also was an airport screener for a while and I’m a state certified emergency responder. I’d like to think these things would make me a strong candidate. Just curious what you think. Thanks for your time, Brian.
Based on your work experience alone, you sound like the perfect candidate to me! You’re comfortable cutting people off handling intoxicated passengers, you’re familiar with the responsibilities that go along with working at an airport, and you have a pretty good idea of what life is like in the sky. Being a certified emergency trainer will only make you more attractive to the airlines. Your wife, I’m sure, has mentioned that no one ever dies in flight, right? At least not until a doctor can make an official pronouncement. This might be why so many flight attendants have nursing backgrounds. Some are even senior enough to hold a flying schedule that allows them to balance a nursing career at the same time. These are always my favorite flight attendants to work with because when there’s an emergency in flight, they tend to take over. That being said, I truly believe it’s your wife that makes you a standout.
“Wouldn’t it be nice to be served by flight attendants that are actually excited to come to work? Yes, safety training is important. But there is no reason to believe that a fit and alert 29-year-old should perform less safely in an emergency than a weary, overweight 60-year-old.” –Bill Frezza, Forbes.com
If you want to talk safety, Bill, let’s talk safety. But what’s with using “weary” and “overweight” to describe 60-year-old flight attendants? Maybe the point you were trying to make in your article about airline bankruptcy is that new labor is cheap labor. What you’ve seem to have forgotten is times have changed over the last thirty years and some airlines now deliberately hire older people in an effort to save money on retirement and pensions. And did you know new flight attendants start out making between $14,000-18,000 in the first year? Each year we’re given an across-the-board raise with most flight attendants maxing out around the 13-year mark. Flight attendants don’t cost the airlines half as much as the airlines would love the flying public to believe.
Going back to safety, Bill, let’s ask the passengers on board US Airways flight 1549 how they felt about the crew who evacuated a plane full of 150-plus passengers after the aircraft ditched into the Hudson River. The entire crew of the “Miracle on the Hudson” (including Captain Sullenberger) was over 50, leaning closer to 60. I’d say they did a wonderful job of getting passengers out safely. Personally, I’d be more concerned with my fellow passengersmoving quickly than I would be about flight attendants of any age – after all, we are only allowed to work if we can pass a yearly recurrent training program. Passengers just have to buy a ticket.
Now, as for being excited to come to work, it’s true that sometimes it’s hard to love passengers who verbalize how miserable they feel about flying, especially when these same passengers go on to wonder why we aren’t younger and prettier. Last time I checked, flight attendants were people, too. I know it’s hard to believe but we, too, are allowed to grow old just like passengers. I’m talking to you, Bill!
But Bill is not alone.
[photo courtesy of alexindigo]
Hello! I have been just recently hired as a flight attendant for a commuter airlines called Colgan Air. I am just emailing you to ask for some advice on starting out, tips of the trade! I hope to hear from you soon!
Even in this day and age of travel when being a flight attendant isn’t quite as glamorous as it once was, airlines receive thousands of applications each month from people who are interested in the job. This means competition is fierce. Airlines choose only the best candidates. That, Leilah, says a lot about you. Congratulations!
When it comes to flight attendant training, as well as those first few months on the job, my advice to you is simply this, do not quit! Trust me, at some point you will want to. I’ve been there. We all have. Just remember that no matter how frustrated or tired you become, do not give up. Training will only last a few weeks and when it’s over you’ll have a lifetime of adventure ahead of you. No matter how much you miss your friends, family, and loved ones, do not throw in the towel. Stay focused. Think about all the great places you can take your family and friends once you get your travel benefits. No matter how much someone misses you and begs you to come home, don’t quit. Just think about all those days off (at least twelve of them) that you can spend with them when you’re not working a nine to five job – Every. Single. Day. No matter which crew base you’re assigned, do not make any rash decisions. The job is flexible and in time you will figure out how to manipulate your flight schedule so that you can be exactly where you want to be whenever you want to be there. Remember, the job is unlike any other job, so it only makes sense that it will take some getting used to. Eventually you will figure out how to make the job work for you.
Continue reading GALLEY GOSSIP: ADVICE FOR FLIGHT ATTENDANTS IN TRAINING
I am an attorney, but I stopped working to go back to school for a tax-law post graduate degree and learned so much in school about flight attendants – weird right? Well it’s not really that weird because my professor used to work as a tax lawyer for an airline, so income tax and flight attendant benefits were a big topic! It really got me thinking… wait a minute… this could be an AWESOME way to see the world and have fun being in customer service. I’m a pretty personable person and love meeting people and helping them out. Does it take a certain type of person to be a flight attendant? I just really want to have some fun and adventure. I know there is a lot more to the job than that, but is there ENOUGH fun and adventure to make the not -so -glamorous parts of the job worth it?
Believe it or not, you’re not the only attorney interested in becoming a flight attendant. One of my colleagues who works part time for the airline owns his own law firm in Boston. There’s a reason he still flies when he really doesn’t have to. That’s because the job is still filled with enough fun and adventure to make the not-so-glamorous parts of the job worth it! But it’s up to each flight attendant to make the most of the job, to focus on the positive and take advantage of the flexibility and flying benefits. You’d be surprised to learn how many flight attendants don’t do that. Otherwise it becomes just like any other job. And remember no one ever becomes a flight attendant for the money, but you probably already learned that in tax-law class.
Continue reading GALLEY GOSSIP: LAWYER WANTS TO BECOME A FLIGHT ATTENDANT
photo courtesy of Dmytrok