mhsieh
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2000 2:28 pm

FA Salary

Wed Jun 19, 2002 3:26 pm

What is the typical starting salary for a US carrier flight attendant? What is the top salary one can attain?
Thanks
 
ILUV767
Posts: 3035
Joined: Mon May 29, 2000 2:21 pm

RE: FA Salary

Wed Jun 19, 2002 4:16 pm

Starting:
Anywhere from 18k to 23k/year

By the time that they've been flying for 40 years:
100k+/year

I L U V 7 6 7
 
flyua
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2001 9:23 am

RE: FA Salary

Wed Jun 19, 2002 4:39 pm

Well, Flight Attendants' salaries can really vary, depending on the carrier. In my first year with United (1996), I made just --under-- $20,000: not much for a struggling San Franciscan, I'll tell ya! However, new hires at United (last hires were in early 2001) will probably take home more these days, but not much more. I'd say they'd be very lucky to come close to $25,000... at any carrier!

After passing the five-year mark with United, I graduated from the lowly "B-scale" salary level, which saw me earn about $1,000 more per year through those first five years. United's sixth-year "A-scalers" jump to roughly $30,000-$35,000, depending on how many extra hours you put in, and whether you fly domestic or higher-paid international routes. You slowly increase to, perhaps, somewhere between $45,000 and $50,000 once you reach your 14th year, where our salary scale increases stop.

There are plenty of ways to "sweeten the pot" still more, though. Speaking a second language and regularly flying as a translator could earn you around $1,500-$2,000 more per year, I suppose. Also, at United we do earn a small commission from duty free sales on international runs. I know one "senior-mama" flight attendant who never misses a chance to push those duty free cigarettes and liquor bottles, and she brings home a tidy little sum (almost $2,000) at the end of the year. The best way to increase one's paycheck is to become a dedicated Purser on our widebody international flights. Expect between $5,000 and $7,000 more per year if you routinely fly as the crew's leader.

The first five years can be very difficult for Flight Attendants at major U.S. carriers. You're on reserve status for much of that time, which means your paycheck can vary month-to-month, you may be forced to readjust to new living arrangements far away from your hometown, and bills certainly do have a way of "popping up" as you embark on a new career and lifestyle. Flight Attendants of smaller U.S. carriers earn even less when starting out, and I doubt they could even come close to the salary level of a senior international flyer at a U.S. major. Certainly, the road can be tough at first, but I do feel it's a road worth travelling!

Bear in mind that my salary figures are truly rough estimates for United crew only, though. I rarely work up to my maximum allowed number of flight hours per month, I loathe working long-haul international runs (even though I miss out on significantly more pay), and I run away from the Purser role.

...Hopefully a more money-minded coworker will give you more accurate figures. I hope this info helps!
 
flyua
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2001 9:23 am

RE: "ILUV767" -- No Way!

Wed Jun 19, 2002 4:54 pm

Dear "ILUV,"

While I would surely love to make more than $100,000 per year after 40 years on the job, I can assure you: not even our seniority #1 Flight Attendant, Iris (who began flying the DC-6 waaaay back in '48 and STILL regularly flies the Purser position to Hong Kong and Tokyo), is making that much money! I may be wrong, but I doubt she's making more than $60,000.

...Still, that's no chump change! After 40 years on the job, you get more than 50 days of paid vacation which can easily be stretched into four or five months off per year, and when you DO decide to show up for work every now and then, you can work the First Class aisle position which means you barely lift a finger! Pretty cushy life!

I do know that the full-time Flight Attendants at Japan Airlines can make over $100,000 per year, though. One lucky full-timer is an acquaintance of mine who, at the ripe old age of about 48, is about due for retirement... at least in the eyes of JAL management! Over the last few years, very few full-time positions have opened for F/As at the big two Japanese air carriers, as they now prefer to hire only part-timers at greatly reduced salaries (lower than United's "A-scale" I believe) and short-termed contracts. Sad....

 
mhsieh
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2000 2:28 pm

RE: FA Salary

Thu Jun 20, 2002 7:35 pm

It seemes to me that US carriers' FA is the oldest in avearge age compared to Asian carriers like JAL, Cathay, EVA etc...
Does this mean that US carriers are spending more on FA salaries simply because of seniority? Is this affecting their operating expenses significantly?
Also, does anyone else feel that Asian carriers seems to have better cabin service?
 
sq_ek_freak
Posts: 1179
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 4:48 pm

RE: FA Salary

Thu Jun 20, 2002 9:31 pm

I know that SQ FAs (female) have to retire by 45 and I think its 50 for the males...

I knew a CX FA a few years back...she used to fly out of HKG mainly to KUL, TPE, NRT, MNL BKK at first and earned $30,000 per yr, then when she started flying to DXB, NRT, SEL, KIX she made $40,000 and now she flies on the HKG to JNB, SYD, LAX, MEL, LHR, ROM, CDG, JFK routes and earns $77,000 per yr. She still flies to regional destinations as well but has atleast 3 long haul routes per month...

Keep Discovering
 
sq_ek_freak
Posts: 1179
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 4:48 pm

RE: FA Salary

Thu Jun 20, 2002 9:33 pm

I know that SQ FAs (female) have to retire by 45 and I think its 50 for the males...

I knew a CX FA a few years back...she used to fly out of HKG mainly to KUL, TPE, NRT, MNL BKK at first and earned $30,000 per yr, then when she started flying to DXB, NRT, SEL, KIX she made $40,000 and now she flies on the HKG to JNB, SYD, LAX, MEL, LHR, ROM, CDG, JFK routes and earns $77,000 per yr. She still flies to regional destinations as well but has atleast 3 long haul routes per month...she now has been working with CX for 6 years...
Keep Discovering
 
airbuspilot
Posts: 382
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2000 8:47 pm

RE: FA Salary

Thu Jun 20, 2002 9:48 pm

In belgium , a newly hired F/A atTCA makes about 880USD/month!!!

At SNBA about the same thing but they have a lot of per diems so their wages can go up to the stunning amount of 1150 USD/month!!!!

Scandalous if you ask me! And than they are complaining about a shortage of FA and their lack of motivation!!!!
 
CactusCMH
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 8:48 pm

RE: FA Salary

Fri Jun 21, 2002 4:49 am

Speaking of age, is 28 year-old too old to start as a FA for a man?
Also, I have been told besides base salary, allowance is also paid to FAs. Is that true?
 
UALfa@jfk
Posts: 303
Joined: Sun May 28, 2000 10:02 am

RE: FA Salary

Fri Jun 21, 2002 6:35 am

Speaking of age, is 28 year-old too old to start as a FA for a man?


I started at the age of 29, Cactuscmh. A lot of my fellow FA trainees back then were mid-career changers in their 40s to 50s. It seemed that UA was on this kick to hire "mature" people with "life experience" rather than a bunch of 19 year olds then. I guess that's a good thing.

BTW, I have a good, good friend that was an FA for Tower and he easily cleared $30k/year, primarily because of all the international routes he had to do with Tower. He now works for CO (international reserve), and makes somewhere in the $20k's.

To answer your second question, yes, we are paid a per diem (or allowance) for all layovers, on top of the base salary.

There are lots of variables thrown in regarding your pay, and it basically seems that no two FAs make exactly the same. For example, at United, you get paid a combination of the following if they apply to you during a given time:

-Base hourly pay (domestic)
-Base hourly pay (international)
-"Premium" position guarantee (ie., purser, domestic or international)
-Reserve override (for reserves)
-Layover per diem
-Standby reserve pay (ONSB)
-"Holding" pay
-Understaffing
-Night pay
-Holiday pay (if flown on a holiday, including your birthday)
-Language incentive pay (if you speak another language)
-Langauge designated "holding pay"
-Ground pay
-Trip guarantee for a scheduled itinerary
-2 hr "call-out" pay (for reserves)
-Training pay (for annual recurrent emergency training, for example)
-Publicity assignment
-Equipment sub pay protection
-Cab fare reimbursement (during certain hours only)
-Uniform dry cleaning reimbursement


Always keep in mind: for many people, the low FA salary is NOT worth the travel perks.
 
PHXinterrupted
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2002 6:41 am

RE: FA Salary

Fri Jun 21, 2002 6:53 am

Frontier FAs start at $18.5k and go to $19.5k after one year. Of course, this is a base salary.
Keepin' it real.
 
wolfpacker
Posts: 343
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 1999 2:35 am

RE: FA Salary

Fri Jun 21, 2002 7:45 am

PHXinterrupted

How many hours a month is that?
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: FA Salary

Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:38 am

iluv767,
i have NEVER met a flight attendant 18 yrs old or 80 yrs old who makes $100,000 a year.

i would love to make that much money,but i am a csr and i only make $45,000 a year.for now,havent maxed out.




ual 777 contrail
 
travatl
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2001 4:57 pm

RE: FA Salary

Sat Jun 22, 2002 1:04 pm

Per the current issue of Atlanta magazine, and the article entitled "Who Makes How Much?", the metro Atlanta average salary of a Flight Attendant is $44,610.

Travis
 
ILUV767
Posts: 3035
Joined: Mon May 29, 2000 2:21 pm

RE: FA Salary

Sat Jun 22, 2002 1:15 pm

UAL777contrail,

If you read what I wrote, you'd notice that I said "flight attendants with 40+ years." I rest my case.

I L U V 7 6 7

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