Flight Attendants Reveal All

Who doesn’t love hearing people anonymously dish about their jobs? The Los Angeles Times talked to a few flight attendants and asked them to reveal a few things passengers don’t know, like:

Airlines used to pay their flight attendants when they showed up for duty at the airport. Not now. That changed to getting paid when the cabin doors closed, then to when the plane’s brakes were released and now, often, when the wheels leave the ground (“wheels up” in airline parlance). There can sometimes be hours of delay between the time they show up for work and when they’re airborne. Different airlines have different policies, but it’s a way for them to save money. So when flight attendants greet you at the door, it’s very often for free. No wonder the smiles sometimes seem fake.

Plus, according to the article, if a flight is late, airlines could be required to pay their flight attendants overtime, so if there’s a delay, attendants may make sure the flight is delayed just long enough so that overtime pay kicks in. So while we’re stranded at the gate, at least somebody is getting paid.

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6 Comments / Post A Comment

MissMushkila (#1,044)

I have a friend that worked as a flight attendant for a little over a year after college, for the travel. After a year she said it wasn’t worth the travel. She would rather be able to pay her bills and see her friends and family. She got a job as an HR assistant shortly thereafter, and now can afford to go on just as many vacations as she could as a flight attendant. (seriously)

Also, the “job travel” was mostly to North Dakota.

yeah, hearing friends talk about being a flight attendant does not make me want to be one. By all accounts as well, pilots are great for being misogynist entitled self-important douchebags. (Was that redundant?)

BananaPeel (#1,555)

“Taking your computer or a newspaper into the lav is a problem because it means you’ll be occupying longer than you should. Don’t do it.”

Computer??? Who are these people?

janiebee (#1,655)

my brother is a pilot for a large commercial airline. he also only gets paid after wheels up. which means when he’s doing his preflight check, physically walking around the outside of the plane to make sure its in the condition the airline says it is, whether its snowing in Chicago or 113 degrees in Texas, he’s getting paid diddly. be nice to your pilots and flight attendants people! often they’re getting a worse deal than you.

cmcm (#267)

Is there anywhere on the internet to leave (positive!!) feedback about flight attendants? I just flew Aer Lingus from London to NYC via Shannon and they were the NICEST EVER. They went out of their way to let people move seats because the flight was half empty. They spent literally 20 minutes searching for and warming up a vegetarian meal for me even though I forgot to specially order it. THEN on the return trip I had the same crew (who actually remembered me?!). The flight was over New Years and we received complimentary coffee and cupcakes at Shannon airport when we arrived. SO NICE.

Megano! (#124)

Wow, that is some straight up bullshit, considering they’re usually still doing work during that time.

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