Cabin Crew – we all have our own pre-made perceptions of what it is like to work as one. Most of us are guilty of thinking that it is easy. That most can do this job. This is very much not the case. For those who want to become part of the cabin crew, be prepared – it is hard work.
Most don’t realize that flight attendants have to go through very intensive emergency training, are required to know EASA rules and regulations and that it can be physically exhausting, leaving you with aching feet and headaches from the dry air and pressurisation changes.
A regular flight attendant’s day looks like this – around five flights of attending, greeting and smiling to about 750 passengers. Pushing heavy beverage carts, being exposed to a variety of environmental conditions and on top of that, fighting jet lag from crossing multiple time zones back and forth. They also have to kindly convince hundreds of people that their suitcase will physically not fit in the overhead compartment.
This is indeed hard work. But this is what makes it so outstanding. This is a job for one who is strong, confident, and a positive team player. Pilots need them, we all need them.
And as any hard work, it comes with its own rewards. And it’s more than just travelling! Whether it’s low-cost, mid-range or luxury, all airlines offer their cabin crew great benefits, because just as we know it now, there wouldn’t be an airline without them. Here are some of those benefits.
The first question that comes to our minds is – what is the salary like? Of course, one might think that a low-cost airline salary won’t be as good as that of a luxury airlines’. But that wouldn’t be the case. A low-cost airline salary can start from around 800 euros, and quite a few of these airlines pay extra for the flown sectors and a percentage from the Sky Shop Sale. And if you fly during the high season your salary accordingly gets higher. As for the luxury airline – the salary starts at around 1,000 euros. The difference is there, but it’s not a major one.
Fewer working hours, more time for you
The aviation industry is highly-regulated. Therefore, crews at every aircraft have to abide by a set of minimum and maximum hours monthly. As transporting people is a crucial job it only follows that the crew wouldn’t be overworked.
According to the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), flight attendants can work somewhere from 65 hours to 95 hours a month. Even though the pre and post-flight preparations are not included in cabin crew’s pay, the total hours worked per month would still be far from the 160 hours that most do in a typical office job.
Layover Housing and Pocket Money
When your work includes travelling in-between cities and countries, providing for your own basic needs such as food and sleep can become a demanding task. Therefore, airlines provide their crew with hotels and allowance to pay for food and drinks during layovers. The amount given always depends on the length of stay, the cost of living at the destination, etc. And to make things sound even better – all that you don’t spend you get to keep.
Low-cost carriers often do not have layovers, but whenever they do, they will provide you with mid-range hotels. Luxury airlines, however, provide you with 4 to 5-star hotels. All of the hotels are situated either in the city center or close to the airport so it is easy to get around the city and get to work.
When your work includes travelling it also means that you will get discount or free tickets for your own personal leisure days or for your friends or family to give.
A low-cost airline will give you around 25% discount for you and two of your friends/family on the tickets. Not to mention that on some flights during holidays, such as Easter or Christmas, the tickets for cabin crew are free of charge. Around 4 tickets per year are gifted to the crew, so you can use them as your heart pleases.
A luxury airline will offer you very similar benefits, except with a greater amount. Instead of 3-5 discounted tickets you can get about 20 tickets that you can nominate to your family and friends.
A flight attendants’ profession, like most things in this world, comes with some stereotypes. Perhaps you really want to become part of cabin crew, but you have a family to attend to. All of it would be very difficult to balance out when you are more often than not somewhere far away… or wouldn’t it?
As mentioned earlier in the text, low-cost carriers rarely have layovers, which means that you will always be back home after work. Whether you are a student trying to combine studies with work, or a parent and have a spouse and children waiting for you at home, choosing low-cost airlines might be the better option.
Whereas for luxury airlines – you will travel a lot and stay for both short and long periods of time in a different country. This is a choice most suitable for those, who do not have family responsibilities and want to see as much of the world as possible.
All in all, it all boils down to your preferred career goals and personality. So if you think that a career up in the sky is your cup of tea – give it a thought.