I want to be a flight attendant…. but I’m a single mom


I’m thinking about applying to be a flight attendant and I have a 1 year old son and I’m not too sure if its a good idea. I watched the Flight attendant video Delta airline shows and it scares me. They say the pay is low! I’m not with my son’s father so we switch weeks. My son is with him one week and with me the next. I want to do this because it’s a career oppurtunity but all I hear is the bad part of being an attendant. Do you think it’s for me? Or should i try something else? – Angel G

Those first few years as a flight attendant are tough. It’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. This is why flight attendants only last a few months or an entire life time  It’s that extreme.  As for the pay, nobody becomes a flight attendant for the money.  New hires average between 14K-20K the first year – unless they work insane hours, in which case they’re never home.  What kind of life is that when you have a young child at home?  (You can read more about how much flight attendants make HERE.)  Most flight attendants start out very young, that or this is a second career later on in life after the kids have grown.  I don’t want to squash your dream, but starting this job with a young child at home will be difficult.  There’s a good chance you won’t get based where you live.  Sure you’ll have days off to fly home and you’ll be able to use your flight benefits to get there, but unless you have a 24 hour support system while you’re away it’s going to be hard.  Add bad weather, flight cancellations, and full flights into the mix and you might not even make it home.  That’s why you have to be flexible. Why you always have to have back up plans A, B, C, and D. The hardest thing about the job is reserve.  It’s a killer.  You’re at the airlines beckon call.  Research each airline to see how their reserve system works.  Some airlines require flight attendants to work an entire month of reserve until you’re senior enough to hold off.  Other airlines only require flight attendants to work a few days each month.   If the airline is at the end of a hiring spree, you might get stuck on reserve for a long time.  If you’re one of the first to be hired or you know the airline will continue hiring, there’s a good chance you might not be on reserve for long.  But that also depends on where you’re based, and how senior the flight attendants are at that base.  Reserve is what breaks most flight attendants. You should also know that most airlines don’t pay for training.  Training averages 4-7 weeks, depending on the airline.  If you have a good support system at home, I say go for it!  If you don’t like it you can always quit.

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