Friday, August 26, 2005

Q & A

When people find out that I’m a flight attendant they always want to ask a bunch of questions. Here are some of the basic ones. Feel free to make a comment if you have a question of your own.

Is it tough to get a job as a flight attendant?

Yes. The competition for the job is very stiff. Even with everything going on in the industry, there are hundreds of applicants for every job opening. Think of it like an open casting call.

What is the pay like?

Well, if you’ve read any of the news stories lately, you know that pay cuts have become an industry trend. Starting pay is very poor. As you move up the pay scale it gets better. If you’re at one of the airlines that hasn’t been hit too hard, the pay allows you to make a decent living.

If it’s that bad, why do people still want the job?

It’s the lifestyle. The flexibility of being able to manipulate your schedule to make it fit your life. Working with friends, the adventure of every day being different. The dread of getting into a rut by working 9-5 every day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year. And because even though you can have a bad flight, a bad trip, a bad month, most of the time when we go to work, we have a really great time.

Do you get airsick?

No. Thank God!

How many days a week do you work?

It all depends on your seniority and the schedule that you hold. Most airlines allow for a fair amount of flexibility in trading around your schedule. Some people like working a consistent number of days each week. Others like to bunch all their flying together and then take a week or two off. I like both options, it just depends on what’s happening in my life.

Are you afraid of flying?

No. I learned back in a physics class what makes airplanes fly. I didn’t really get it then, and I don’t get it now. I still believe it’s all smoke and mirrors. Whatever it is, it seems to work. I’m comfortable with that.

Do you like staying at cool hotels?

The hotels are chosen by the company, and the decision is largely based on price. Some are nicer than others, but there are not very many cool ones. Regardless, living on the road has its perils. You learn to adapt and love it, or leave the job. There doesn’t seem to be much in between.

Do you get to travel to all sorts of exotic places?

If I buy a ticket, I do. Travel benefits are not what they used to be. We fly on a standby basis, which means the only way we get a seat on the plane is if it would otherwise be empty. If you’ve traveled lately, you know that there aren’t a lot of empty seats on planes. Still, with careful planning, the benefits do allow us travel advantages and opportunities unaffordable to most of the general public.

1 comment:

LJK said...

Two run of the mill ones then (actually 4).

1/ What's the most exotic place you've been a steward to? Which place would you most like to steward to?

2/ What's the stupidest/craziest thing you've seen someone do on a plane?