Real talk: people think that flight attendants live such glamorous lifestyles. That we stay in fancy hotels, always traveling the world, staying in luxurious/exotic locations, meeting famous people, etc. And while some of the former may be true – we do stay in some nice places, we travel internationally and sometimes we meet celebrities – it’s not the typical day-to-day job.
Some days we work 12+ hour shifts. We stay in hotels in the middle of nowhere. We travel domestically to places that don’t exactly scream “globe trotter” (Newark, NJ anyone??). Even then, we do make the best of our time in each city. Sometimes it’s going out and exploring what we that town, getting drinks with the crew to debrief (as we call it) from the day or other trips, it’s to purely catch up on sleep! We do get amazing benefits and perks, don’t get us wrong, but there are downsides. We don’t get paid the big bucks (or enough, really). We may spend months apart from our families. We end up working holidays. We work on call. We get blamed for the flight being delayed or if a passengers tv doesn’t work, or if the flight becomes full and there’s no more space for their bag. Aside from dealing with difficult or disgruntled passengers which can be draining in itself, the change in time zones, working wee hours in the morning to staying up all night on a redeye, and trying to find a bite to eat or get a workout in between while rushing to get to your next flight is exhausting. Most of us don’t live in the same cities we are based. We fly standby and a lot the times flights are full and a free seat can be hard to come by! And forget Covid – with the depletion of many routes, less flights, and blocked seats – it’s a commuting flight attendants hell!
But this job is what you make it to be. We wouldn’t change it for the world (no pun intended here) because when you get to travel the world, you meet people from all over. The life experiences and adventures you can’t trade for anything. You work with some pretty amazing people and visit some incredible places you probably wouldn’t have ever had the opportunity to travel to otherwise! All of these pros outweigh any sized carry on a passenger try’s to bring onboard and then blames you for it not fitting. This career isn’t just a job to us, it’s a lifestyle which makes it hard to just give up. “For once you have tasted flight you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turns skyward, for there you have been, and there you will long to return”