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The Future Of Flight Attendants  
User currently offlineJetSOUTHEAST From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5370 times:

I have been planning on becoming a flight attendant since 1997, however, the airlines seemed to have stopped hiring except some low fares, which I have heard are hard to get into. I am enrolled in the Airline Academy at DAB in the F/A-Customer Service Agent course, with phase 2 beginning April 21, 2005. Do you think I made a decent decision? I am under the impression I might have wasted money because the industry is so bad. I currently work at Wal-Mart, where many people have asked me to stay. One guy even said becoming an F/A is simply "A dream" now. I have completed High School wanting to become one, but now I have reached a turning point where I am leaning on a career with Wal-Mart (I love Wal-Mart, but I also love flying) in place of an airline career. Thanks for any info, opinions, etc.

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNWAFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1893 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5338 times:

JetSOUTHEAST,

This industry goes up and down.....the years have proven that. The Airline Academy is a waist of money..each carrier will train you their way. Having that certificate won't help you to get on with an airline.

It took me years to get on with an airline (I started back in the late 70's)...After about 25 interviews (no joke)..I was hired with Pan Am in 1981...my dream had come true. I wanted to be a Flight Attendant (actually "Steward" back then) since I was 5 years old....my advice to you is KEEP TRYING. If this is what you want, DO NOT GIVE UP!!!



THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
User currently offlineJetSOUTHEAST From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5330 times:

NWAFA,
Thanks for your reply. I am enrolled in the academy now, and Piedmont (USAir Express) guranteed an interview after successful completion of the courses. Where did you work and what field before NWA?


User currently offlineWeAreUnited From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 423 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5323 times:

JetSOUTHEAST :

I do not believe you should throw in the towel just yet. If you just want to fly as a flight attendant, there are plenty of carriers hiring (believe it or not). You could easily get on with a regional carrier (SkyWest, Comair, ExpressJet) as they have been hiring pretty consistently. Many larger carriers though such as Alaska, AirTran, Southwest, and JetBlue have also hired pretty consistently since 9/11. It is a wonderful job to have (I've been flying for just shy of 3 years- currently at my 2nd carrier (by choice)). The flexibility is found in no other industry and the benefits are what make the job. The industry is not like it used to be. Ask any United or American flight attendant and they can tell you all about how it used to be. However, even with all the changes that those at the major carriers have had to endure (with more changes to come) most would never leave the job- the UA and AA people would tell you just that.

If you're dream is to fly for the big guys, it's going to be a while. There are many quality carriers out there who's futures don't look as dim (at least not yet, anyway).

Regarding you "wasting your money," I think that damage is already done. I think schools of that sort are a waste. No matter what airline who you get hired for, you'll have to go thru their training. Many people I know have gone thru schools such as yours, and regretted it after they got on with an airline. You gain some good knowledge, no doubt. However, when the person your sitting next to in class got hired off the street, it kinda of puts it into perspective.

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy


User currently offlineJetSOUTHEAST From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5309 times:

WeAreUnited,
Thanks for your reply. I dont mind which airline hires me. I'll have to see how the school goes. In the meantime I will keep gaining experience at Wal-Mart (Winning various awards for customer service, etc) it'll probaly look better on the resume. I am most interested in AirTran, but the first caller is the winner.


User currently offlineJetboyflyhi From France, joined Oct 2004, 179 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5302 times:

JET, don't waste your time and money going back to the second class ,get a refund if you can. I have been a flight attendant for 7 years, and the best way is to search what airlines are having active newhire classes.I am currently flying w/ a regional carrier and flew Mainline for 4 years.I love this industry and by the sounds of it so will you!


Chicken or Beef?
User currently offlineMasseyBrown From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 5365 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5263 times:

It looks like hiring will take an upturn in 2005, but the terms of employment may not be so attractive as they had been. The wages were decent but never spectacular, now they're worse.

Maybe the FA world is going to return to the old steward/stewardess days, when it was considered a great couple of years for somebody just out of school, but not a family-wage career.



I love long German words like 'Freundschaftsbezeigungen'.
User currently offlineDelta767300ER From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2562 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5236 times:

I was talking to a Delta F/A a couple weeks ago and she said she enjoyed it but she hated being away from her husband and kids. She told me in about 2 years their will be a ton of F/A' retiring and that should free up some space for employment. I am looking into applying at ASA or Airtran for a F/A position. If anyone has any info. on these 2 airlines let me know ASAP!

-Delta767300ER


User currently offlineN1120a From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26361 posts, RR: 76
Reply 8, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5220 times:

>I have been planning on becoming a flight attendant since 1997, however, the airlines seemed to have stopped hiring except some low fares, which I have heard are hard to get into. I am enrolled in the Airline Academy at DAB in the F/A-Customer Service Agent course, with phase 2 beginning April 21, 2005. Do you think I made a decent decision? I am under the impression I might have wasted money because the industry is so bad. I currently work at Wal-Mart, where many people have asked me to stay. One guy even said becoming an F/A is simply "A dream" now. I have completed High School wanting to become one, but now I have reached a turning point where I am leaning on a career with Wal-Mart (I love Wal-Mart, but I also love flying) in place of an airline career. Thanks for any info, opinions, etc.<

If you want a real career that is rewarding and works for a company that does not absolutely abuse people, stick with the airlines. Also, even airlines like WN are hiring F/As all the time and you will have as good a chance as anyone if you just give it a shot. I have actually dated a WN F/A on and off and while she has only been there about 9 months, she is actually rather senior out of BWI. There is a decent turnover in the profession and even the legacies (led by CO) will be hiring at some point. Also, it sounds like that F/A school is a rip off. I would listen to people like NWAFA and Flyguyclt, they have a lot of experience and really know what they are talking about.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineBlueairbureau From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 69 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5058 times:

JetSouthEast,
Hi, Don't do the school. When you get hired by an airline they train you. The training will be concise to their particular type of operations. The aircraft and safety procedures do very by airline. If you go through the course you may also run into a problem called "well at my old airline,we......." In other words the information you get from the course may differ from the airline causing you undue confusion during your initial training. I have seen it happen at alot of my initial classes. Just recently my airline started taking delivery of Airbus A321 aircraft. After four years I still want to crew it like an MD-80. So give yourself a leg up and allow yourself to be a fresh page for the airline to mold you. If you do plan on sticking with the course, you may want to go the corporate route. Look up the NBAA website. Then look for a heading of cabin attendants. They could point you in a direction you may not have known was out there. If you like the corporate route, this course will be invaluable because most flight departments require you to be trained up to but not always including aircraft specifics. Hope this helps.


User currently offlineRhsnyc From United States of America, joined May 2004, 95 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 4929 times:

There's some irony for ya........"Walmart" to the "Airlines". I've been reading about the catch phrase "Walmartization" of the airline industry in some newspapers. But anyhow - F/A's at jetBlue are a pretty happy bunch! They have a cheerful, proud attitude. The future of the F/A career I believe rests with very high-time flying (more trips per day/month, very short to no layover)less duty time and work rule restrictions which results in MORE duty time and LESS flexibility for F/A's and most definitely LESS pay! All in all however, what you never knew - can't hurt you....I would really seek employment with jetBlue. You'll have fun!

User currently offlineNYCAAer From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 692 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4828 times:

I agree with everyone about going to "Airline Schools." They are a gimmick and a total waste of time. Airlines are more interested in a potential F/A candidate's work experience, especially those jobs with public contact. Although a degree is preferred (when I was hired by AA in the 1980s, 90% of my training class had 4-year degrees), it's not required. Special consideration was given to those who speak a foreign language that might be of use to the airline. Of course, things were different back then. I was weighed and measured before the interview. I was weighed every other day in training. My grooming was checked constantly. It was more glamourous, but 16 years later, I'm still here.

The low-costs are hiring- JetBlue has bases at JFK, LGB and FLL. If you decide to hold off and wait for a legacy carrier, it will be a while. It will be at least 2 or 3 years before AA hires again. Although 500 furloughed F/As were called back this month, my sources in the union say about 800 will be laid off again after the holidays, unless AA can get more senior F/As to take leaves.


User currently offlineJetjeanes From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1430 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4814 times:

There are plenty of airlines hireing f/a, its just right now a lot of people dont want to work for some of these lcc pay scale ,which is below living cost unless you have a roomate or something,but i would habg in there


i can see for 80 miles
User currently offlineAa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3347 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4765 times:

I do realize its kind of odd for be to respond to this question as I am only 14, but I always thought it would be kind of fun to fly for two or three years.

I see it as a great job and a crappy career. Sure, you get to fly around the world (if you fly for a major), stay in great hotels and eat in nice restaurants and are getting paid to do so. But:

Family Issues - If/when you get married and if/when you have children, what are you going to do? True, there are in and out routes (a route where you fly to one city, spend an hour or so, and get back to the city you left from on the same day), but most of the more lucrative routes require an overnight stay. Is your wife going to trust you spending time around pretty women in the same situation you are in? Are your kids going to appreciate you missing their first Christmas play or birthday party?

Pay Issues - In one of my career classes, Wal-Mart managers came in and said it was quite easy to move up the ladder in Wal-Mart. I'm sure regional managers get paid quite nicely. From what I know, similar opportunities do not exist in the flight attendant career. Sure, you could become a supervisor or what not, but I imagine it would be easier to move up with Wal-Mart.

Job Security - What if there is another 9/11, God forbid? If you don't have a lot of seniority, you could get laid of for years. Do you start over again at another airline, or will you find yourself back with Wal-Mart? Lets say you have 12 years of seniority. Once, Delta and United and ATA were considered financially healthy. Now their flight attendants probably have back-up plans if their employer goes belly up. As a 37 year old man (guesstimating), are you really going to fly crappy routes for $1,500 a month?

I don't know what you are looking for in life. Do you want to live in an expensive neighborhood, drive an expensive car, send your kids to prep school? If so, do it for a year or two. If you are more content living in an average house and driving a mid-size sedan (nothing wrong with this path), you might want consider it as a career.

Good Luck in Whatever You Choose,
AAndrew


User currently offlinePBITran From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 14 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4749 times:

if you get hired by AirTran (which now having taken a class you may be overqualified) make sure you bring plenty to bitch about, thats all FL F/As do.

User currently offlineRb211ltn From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4677 times:

As one who worked as a flight attendant for 10 years,my advice is DON'T DO IT. It's a terrible job. Picture throwing a dinner party for 400 people thatyou don't like and you have nothing in common with. Get a proper job instead.


The customer is always right.....unless he is a passenger!
User currently offlineBR715-A1-30 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4648 times:

I was planning on attending the same school, but now that I have read everybody's replies, I will just go with the flow. I also work at Walmart #1346 and I plan on staying there awhile. After I gain some customer service experience, I will apply with a couple of airlines who may have a future instead of wasting $5,000.00 (which could go into Walmart's Stock Plan) on some school based in an airport.

jetSOUTHEAST, From what it seems, everybody is telling you not to go.. It is as if they are telling you not to marry the wrong woman and you don't wanna listen.


User currently offlineCRPilot From Costa Rica, joined Nov 2004, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4629 times:

JetSOUTHEAST

Perhaps you'll consider flying for a regional in the mean time. COEX as well as others are hiring! By the time the majors pick up the hiring again you will have good experience. They will give preference to people with experience, particularly if it's with one of their Express feeders...I've seen it happen plenty of times before 9/11.

You should also consider what some of this guys are saying about Jetblue and other LCC's as well; they seem to have a bright future ahead. But whatever you do, DON'T give up on your dream.



Flying is a privilege!
User currently offlineNwacrew From United States of America, joined Apr 2003, 311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4614 times:

Like NWAFA, I started flying back in the 70's. And I also went to literally dozens of interviews before I was hired as a 'steward'. (The very first steward for that particular carrier; they had only hired steward-esses up to that time).

Competiton in those days was so intense that most airlines only selected about 1 in 60 applicants. Teeth and skin had to be flawless, and an extra pound of weight, or a half-inch of height, could mean instant rejection. It all seemed as impossible as applying for a position as a movie star.

But I did eventually make-it - after four solid years of trying - and I've been flying ever since. Needless to say, the job has changed dramatically (as has the world). I'm on my 5th airline, but I still manage to enjoy my job.

Good luck!


User currently offlineM404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2224 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4521 times:
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I'd have to side with the folks against an 'Airline School'. About all it will mean is that it will show your dedication and commitment on your application. Stick with what you've got and save your money for after you've been hired. You'll likely need it what with starting in a new city, uniforms, and waiting for the call to get hours.

If you like WalMart you should like the airlines of today. Best of luck and keep us advised.



Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlineFutureFO From Ireland, joined Oct 2001, 3132 posts, RR: 21
Reply 20, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4437 times:

DO not go to a school as such that is very generic. The airlines want you to be an open and clean slate for them to draw their impressions and teachings on. It is easier to keep looking and applying with the airlines that are out there. I got hired at the second F/A interview I ever attended. Just get out there and look. You will find that saves less aggrivation and more money in your pocket.


Sean from MCO and MKE



I Don't know where I am anymore
User currently offlineJetSOUTHEAST From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4401 times:

It might be a waste of money, but I invested in it, so I will go. They use Delta's training facilities in ATL, so I will see firsthand what training is like. The school is FAA certified and teaches the same material that is required to be passed in the airlines courses. Airlines do send people to the school to conduct interviews, and that is probaly better than sitting around waiting for a phone call you might not get. USAirways Express has already written me a letter saying I have an interview upon completion if reccomended by the staff, and the airline stated they have "A working relationship" with the school and hire people from it. From there (If the airline still exists) I could move up. I am interested in working for a legacy myself, but I guess I will have to stick with regionals until then. Yes, I hear AirTran people b**** alot, but I would pick ASA first, considering it's an open door to Delta.

User currently offlineN1120a From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26361 posts, RR: 76
Reply 22, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4396 times:

>There are plenty of airlines hireing f/a, its just right now a lot of people dont want to work for some of these lcc pay scale ,which is below living cost unless you have a roomate or something,but i would habg in there<

Well, given that WN, HP, B6, etc. all pay similarly to, or more than legacy carriers and WN still has its pensions intact and benefits full, I would not say that you would be below the living wage, whereas at regionals there are pilots who qualify for food stamps, I would try to get on with them. WN FA's just got a big raise. According to my lovely WN Flight Attendant, WN is very short staffed. She says that every training class is full and they still need more people. Also, if they do go for 738s anytime soon, they will need that many more people, as they will need to staff a 4th. I would say that beats the hell out of worrying if US will go out of business. Good luck.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineA320FA From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 87 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (9 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 4362 times:

Jetsoutheast

It is good that you are enrolled in the Airline academy, this will make you a better student in training once you have been accepted on with an airline. The courses that you are taking will help you in training and allow you to focus on the new things that is specific to the airline that has accepted you exp. Emergency procedures for the specific aircraft(s) the airline flies to learning to use the AED (defebulator) for medical emergency. And duties and responsibilites for that airline who will be lucky to have you.

Send your resume to all the airlines that are hiring and your customer service back ground and being flexible is an important key in getting on with an airline, remember the more you know about the job and what is expected of you the better the FA you will be. I am working on my 20th year at HP. And I am still loving it once it is in your blood it is hard to want to do anything else. FA's do work long days some times up to 14 hours, we are away form home a lot we are at the forefont of the airline and care for so many customers everyday and faced with every type of challenge that you can think of and still the FA experience still beats a 9-5 desk job. Good luck and we will all see you flying the lines soon.

Fly safe.


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