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Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Flight Attendant

Flight attendant speaking with the passenger

“To be or not to be?” Have you ever thought of flying for a living? That is the question people ask themselves before taking a decision to pass their first selection. As many people think the flight attendant job is the most glamorous job you can only imagine. It is important here to discover if being a stewardess is something that everybody can do? Can somebody understand whether this is the job for him or not? Today we will give some sort of idea of what it means to work in the sky. 

Well, many of  you saw this movie with Leonardo Di Caprio I suppose? When he walks through an airport as a pilot with a group of beautiful cabin crews in nice uniforms. We see a part of graduation day in the movie as well. By watching that part we can understand that it is a dream job for many. For many, the flight attendant job is very prestigious. As well it attracts the attention of other people around. 

On other hand, a flight attendant job is often viewed by passengers as a waitress working on the plane. But, the truth is - this job is much more complicated and demanding. It is much more than only distributing snacks and drinks to the passengers. During the flight cabin crew must perform many safety checks. Also they have to handle customer service issues on flight, as well as on the ground. Moreover flight attendants have to communicate with the flight crew. This is important to make sure that the flight will pass as it should. 

pilots and a flight attendant in the cockpit

Sometimes the job of a cabin crew can look like from a movie screen or a magazine. It can seem to be a dream job which is perfect from all the sides. Thus there are a lot of advantages as well as disadvantages. You should be aware of those before getting into this adventure. Here in this article I am going to explain to you all the aspects of a flight attendant job to make it more clear. So let's start with the advantages first.

Different travel benefits within the airline or partner airlines

The main advantage of a flight attendant job is the ability to travel for a very low price. Most of the airlines give discounts for the flight tickets to their employees. As well discounts are available for their close family and sometimes even friends. Also many of the airlines are cooperating with other airlines. So you and your family could get some discounts for the flight with other carriers that the one you work for as well.

Some careers are providing their crew with a certain amount of free tickets. Some are providing the turnaround free tickets to their home country and back. In other cases the crew is covering only taxes to get a ticket. Those tickets are almost always standby tickets. It means that you can get or upgrade your seat depending on availability. One more good thing is that the crew could get a free upgrade.

passport and a flight ticket

Airlines pay you for travelling

The best of all benefits in the cabin crew career is to get a salary to travel the world. Do you imagine a kind of holiday when during the month you are flying to different destinations. Imagine that all the time you stay only in 4 or 5 star hotels. All hotels are  always covered by an airline as well as food expenses. Imagine enjoying shopping in London, street food in China or sunbathing in Mauritius. Usually layovers are from 24 hours up to 72 hours depending on destination. Unlike low cost airlines, when the crew do not stay at any destinations, having a turnaround.

old suitcases

Absence of a daily routine 

Are you having enough of a schedule where you work from 8 to 16 every day? Do you have enough when you have your off days always on Saturday and Sunday? Then the job of a flight attendant could be good for you. All airlines are working 24 hours, 7 days a week. So you will not get the same off days and rest time every day, every day is different. Also as a cabin crew you will have the opportunity to bid for your off days. You can enjoy empty supermarkets and queue-less shops during the week.  Most of the daily routine is easier when everybody else is working. As well you can complete some paperwork or duties that demand your presence.

Best office you could only imagine

Imagine not having a routine to come to the same office, to the same working place from day to day. Working in the plane will completely change your imagination. You will change your imagination about every day office view. Imagine seeing pyramids of Egypt from a window flying above. Imagine seeing the view of Maldives or Bahamas from above. You could spot a northern light or you could appreciate the view of the Alps through the window. You could experience the best sunsets you have seen in your life. Also, you will have the opportunity to see the thunderstorm and lightning strikes.

view from the planes window

 Meeting a lot of people

Usually there are thousands of employees each airline has. That means that you meet a huge amount of people through your career as a flight attendant. You can make lifetime friends working in an airline. Then you can try to bid to fly to the same destinations and enjoy your time together. You can visit some places or restaurants together. In general among all crew you always will find some to visit the city with or with who to go out. You always will find people with the same personality and passion. As well if you do not like somebody or you have different personalities, there is some good news for those as well. You can be sure that you will not see each other any more, or at least for a very long time. Every single day you work with different people.

group of young people next to the fireplace

Discounts and benefits

Besides all that, the flight crew has many benefits and discounts. First of all, the crew gets discounted prices in the duty free. Some airlines provide their employees with discount cards. Such cards offer several discounts and advantages in many restaurants. As well in amusement parks, hotels, sport complexes, shops and spas. Sometimes you can get discounts even for some medical services. Not all airlines have a retirement scheme. Thus, they always provide their crew with insurance. Often, cabin crew are moving to other countries to join one of the airline's bases. They then live in shared accommodations.

As the airline pays for layovers, which means it recompenses the cost of hotel and meals. As a result you can put aside quite a good sum each month. As any other job, a flight attendant job also has its disadvantages. This list should not discourage you but the opposite should help you to be aware of the other side of the coin. Those disadvantages could become pros of the job as well. It all depends on the perspective of view and your flexibility. I can say that a cabin crew career is a life changing job, that is why it is not for everybody. Usually you love it or you leave. So let's discuss now the cons of being a flight attendant.

Tiredness

This one is the most obvious disadvantage. Imagine how difficult the long flight was for the passengers. Then think how is it to work all 12 or 14 hours long during the day or night without any break between. It can happen that within a month you will go through several time zones. There can be days when you will have many flights to do, you will have to deal with delays and turnarounds. That follows with the consistent tiredness and lack of sleep. Sometimes you do not know where you are and what day it is. With such a schedule it is difficult to have your sleeping routine. Then, even once you have a few days off in a row you spend them in bed. Usually you try to catch up on sleep instead of seeing friends or travelling. 

a girl lying on her bed

Missing important events 

The job of a flight attendant requires you to travel a lot, which means to be away from your family a lot. All airlines are working 24/7, there are no off days on New Years Eve or Christmas. You can work on your birthday or a wedding of your friends or relatives. Of course you can try to bid for an off day to get time off and stay with family and friends. But, bear in mind that it is not always possible. Usually, once you start your career, you will be working on the busiest holidays. Being away from home for a long time can be bearable if you are still young and you do not have any commitments. We will talk more about this point in the next chapter.

a dog celebrating its birthday

Difficulty of having relationships 

As we discussed above it is difficult to bid and always get requested off days when needed. Cabin crew job always demand working long hours, sometimes night shifts. If you work in the long haul airline you are often absent for days. That makes it difficult even to have a pet. As pets demand some care and attention every day, it makes it impossible to keep one. As well, it is difficult to keep a long term relationship. Often it is difficult for the other half to bear the relationship in the distance.

You never can plan anything in advance, as you get your roster only one month in advance. In some airlines you get your roster only one week in advance. You can be called from standby as well. So for many people it is difficult to be in a relationship with the cabin crew. But also there is another side of the coin. You can be the lucky one to meet a person that will understand the aspects of this job. Then your other half will understand the difficulties you have to face. Such a person will always support you no matter what.

Health

As you might have heard, flight attendants are having vein varicose. This is a result of a pressure difference that they experience at least a few times a day. The skin becomes very dry as a result of the very dry air onboard. Also its quality is decreasing with time, as all flight attendants have to wear make up. The nails become weak and are easily broken, as in most of the airlines you need to have nail polish or fake nails. Besides all these, you start to have some bad habits of eating at night. As well, a lot of flight attendants are eating a lot of fast food. This is happening because most of the time they are too tired to cook or even to do some groceries. 

It is also important to mention that the food onboard is not always very healthy either. You should remember where all this crew meals come from. There are certain catering organisations that are cooperating with the airlines. They prepare these meals beforehand and then deliver it onboard. This food is not always good for your health, as it contains a lot of preservatives, oil, salt and even sugar. So as you can understand it is very important for all cabin crew to take extra care of themselves. It is important to do some sports and to keep yourself in good shape.

a girl is doing sport

Conclusion

To conclude I could say again that a Flight Attendant job has its pros and cons as any other job we could think about. I have gathered some of the pros and cons that I find are the major. It is more important what are your priorities, and what you are ready to sacrifice. You can manage some of the disadvantages by a good organisation of your time. It is important to mention that despite all the disadvantages this job is rewarding. It is a great experience for those who look for a bit of adventure and who are ready for the new challenges. 

Would you like to become one of those flight attendants?

Have you ever dreamed of working in the office with the best view?  If yes, it is very important to know all the advantages and disadvantages of the job. This is not to discourage you, but to give you a basic idea of what could wait for you if you get to one of those airlines. In the aviation industry everything is very simple: “You love it or you leave it”.

Being a flight attendant is an amazing opportunity. But also on the other side puts on your shoulders huge responsibilities. You will have to get used to sleepless nights and long shifts. You will have to get used to jet lags, demanding passengers and many other things. You should be realistic about what is waiting for you in this career. If you only imagine this job as glamorous, then you could hit the ground hard when you see the reality.

If you would like to know more about cabin crew open/recruitment day you could visit our website. To know how to master the cabin crew recruitment day, you could click here to get some more tips and advice. If your dream is to work for the world famous airline, such as Emirates, you could read here about Emirates Cabin Crew recruitment.

a plane in the sky


 

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