Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 5:19 am

Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 4:00 am

Hi everybody!

Well here´s my question:
Do FA´s really like their job because of flying from one place to another or is it just another normal job?
I would like to know everybodys opinion so go ahead and express yourself!! And FA´s opinions would be nice too!!


Dani  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Posts: 1464
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 10:53 pm

RE: Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 4:06 am

I like, actually love, my job because I get paid good money to pour sodas and be nice to people; because I get all-expense-paid mini-vacations all over the country; because I only have to work three days a week; because I have almost no job related stress; because even if it is a bad flight when it's over its over and I will probably never see any of those people again; and because my supervisor wouldn't know me if she saw me!  Big thumbs up
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
Posts: 740
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 1:31 pm

RE: Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 4:29 am

Its not just a job, its a lifestyle. I work on average about 3-4 days a week. But keep in mind those days are 10-14 hour days. I can't say I enjoy the travel because the layovers are only long enough to sleep. Occasionally I get good trips. I had a 8 day trip last month that went :
JFK-NRT long 1 day layover
NRT-HKG layover 2 nights
HKG-NRT-PUS short layover
PUS-NRT-SEL short layover
SEL-NRT long 1 day layover
Generally I fly stuff like: DTW-MEM-DTW-LGA-DTW thats a 13 hour day
or a 3 day trip
DTW-YYZ-DTW-OMA short overnight
OMA-MSP-IND-DTW-SYR shorter overnight

Its quite boring actually. I enjoyed the Asia trip, but as far as the domestic stuff its just another job. On those short overnights it doesn't where you layover, as long as the hotel van isn't late, the hotel isn't far, and the rooms are decent. Most layovers are spent in the hotel room, because you are there just long enough to sleep.

[Edited 2004-01-17 20:32:28]
Posts: 777
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2003 6:26 pm

RE: Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 6:18 am

I love being a flight attendant because it's a whole lifestyle! I get paid to be on a 777, I get fabulous layovers all around the world in nice hotels, my family and I get free unlimited travel on UA and 95% off all the Star Alliance carriers, great medical coverage, more time off then I know what to do with and very little stress.

There still is some glamour about the job too. There's something magical! When I would walk with my 777 or 744 crew (like 14 to 18 flight attendants) to the gate. Everyone would stop and stare at us... damn we look good! ha!

There is something cool and fun about living outside time and space too. As a friend of mine says: "The universe will someday punish us harshly for playing with the space/time continuum". Jumping time zones and date lines is so odd yet interesting!

At the end of the day, I get paid to have coffee on a random Tuesday afternoon with a friend of mine in a far off city without a care in the world! I got paid to catch a play while in New York or London. I get paid to go shopping in Stanley Market in Hong Kong. I get paid to eat fabulous baked goods in Tokyo. I get paid to lay on Waikiki's beach and get a tan! The list goes on and on! What more could I ask for?

The debate continues... Starwood or Hyatt... which is better
Posts: 156
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 5:19 am

RE: Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 11:32 am

Wow great life !!!

I guess if even your salaries were not too great, you wouldn´t care because all the benefits you get, how cool!!
I heard that us get meaby... 4 days off or 3 or so. Do pilots get the same time off or is it a totally different system?
I guess pilots salaries are much much better than FA´s salaries but the probably get the same benefits as FA´s get... Am I right???

Posts: 4830
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 3:49 am

RE: Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 11:46 am


Exactly how senior are you to be able to hold (especially out of ORD) the NRT/HKG flights? Are you language?

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
Posts: 1922
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 8:10 am

RE: Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 12:54 pm

FA4UA (sorry im answering this for you Jory) lol Was based out of LHR for a short time and I think he flew a lot of reserve all over the LHR system. However, I'll let him comment more directly on that for you!
Posts: 1112
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:39 am

RE: Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 1:16 pm


There is something cool and fun about living outside time and space too.

Boy, is that a good way to put it. That's exactly what we do.

It was never just another job to me. Even when the layovers were very short between very long days, it was always special.

I always loved being in the airport and being on the airplane. I love the way the airplane sounds and smells and feels. I always felt like I was part of the airplane and not like I was part of anything here on earth. I love the smell of jet fuel. There is nothing like the sound of an airplane when it's waking up in the morning -- it's like it's alive.

Being in the air and flying is magical. There's no other way to describe it.

To be more mundane, a typical schedule might be 3 or 4 days on and 3 or 4 days off. Although, with most carriers you can trade your trips around and work say 12 in a row and have 12 off.

As it goes, it's both a life and a life style and it's like nothing else on earth.

RE: Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 2:46 pm


It sounds like you've enjoyed your experiences! How old were you when you were hired? How many years does one have to work for UA before he/she has senority to fly to places like NRT, HKG and HNL? How many years does one have to have to be based in LHR?

I'm considering a carreer change and would be keen to hear anything you'd want to share!

[Edited 2004-01-18 06:49:51]
Posts: 1637
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:23 am

RE: Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 3:09 pm

how can a lhr based f/a get to hkg????most if not all hkg trips are done with ord/hkg crews and some nrt f/a occasionally......
Bus Driver
Posts: 1637
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:23 am

RE: Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 3:22 pm

ua895 is cross between ord/hkg crews....sfo-hkg is hkgsw....nrt-hkg is hkgsw....didnt look at the sin flt.......
Bus Driver
Posts: 199
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 10:57 pm

RE: Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 3:41 pm

Love the money and and off days. That's good enough to keep me being dedicated to my job.
Posts: 4830
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 3:49 am

RE: Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 3:44 pm

To work in LHR, you can just apply once your probationary time is up with the company. If they accept you into the pool there, then you are free to either move there or commute there for work. You must get your ALE (airline employee) work visa which is good for 3 years.

Depending on the domicile, prime international trips such as NRT and HKG can go very senior. Looking at the flight attendants that get on/off the busses and are present in the lobbies at the Tokyu and the Harbour View (NRT and HKG layover hotels, respectively), LAX seems to have the youngest, followed by SEA/SFO and then ORD at the top of the list.

For example today, SFO-NRT goes between flight attendants (pursers barred) with seniority of about 1970-84, with a couple of exceptions (very out of place--could have traded into the line).

The HKG flight has ORD-based crews that go from the beginning of the seniority list to 1977 or so, the 5 HKG crew members onboard are all at 95 or so seniority.

ORD-NRT has ORD-based crews that range from just about the beginning of the seniority list to about 82-84 or so. The one NRT F/A is the exception, as are the language F/A's, who are about 87 seniority.

HNL can really go either way, depending on the days, equipment, layover time, and arrival time. The Hawaii turns with a deadhead back home go more senior than some of the 3 day trips which arrive the Mainland at 4:50am, but it's all relative compared to the Asia flights.

SFO-HNL is being crewed by SFO flight attendants who range from 70 to about 85.

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
US Air/TWA Fan
Posts: 124
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2001 4:47 pm

RE: Question About FA´s

Sun Jan 18, 2004 4:16 pm

The job is different for someone like myself who is an fa for a large ERJ regional carrier.

-We have a lot more contact with the customers as we are the only fa on the plane, you as an individual have contact with all the passengers. This is usually (but not always) a good thing.
-The pay is poor compared to most jobs out there...mainline and international pays substantially better.
-We can do anywhere from one to five; and I have seen up to seven, flights in one day. The most I've done is 5 and I was exhausted; after 7, the passengers would have to pick me off the floor or step over me to exit the a/c.
-On a given 4 day trip we usually have at least one or two long layovers that give you enough time to try to experience the city. Although many cities are generic hotel rooms, some are wonderful layovers. We even have 36-ish hour layovers on occasion; both domestic and Mexico, for example. I love those!

-One other note...reserve vs. lineholder makes a world of difference! I was able to job share (like being a part-time lineholder) for a couple months and my job satisfaction went WAY UP! But I am back on reserve and well, I can hardly wait to job share or be a lineholder asap.

Overall, I like my job. There are both positives and negatives to consider. When I am a full time line holder, I will LOVE my job!
Posts: 777
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2003 6:26 pm

RE: Question About FA´s

Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:40 pm

sorry for my slow delay in responding to the questions above (I was out of town and in so doing, cut off from shudder) Now I'm back...

DMERINOP: At UA as a reserve I would always bid to work 4 days on, three days off. In LHR that would mean I would only work three days and have 4 days off since we really only had 3 day trips (except for one AMS turn).

FLY777UAL: I was a reserve. Our North American operations are merged (domestic and international) and we're qualified on the entire fleet so being based in SFO or ORD gives you a 40% chance of covering an international ID anytime you're on call. I chose to be based in LHR after less then a year at UA so I got to fly some of the most senior trips in our network-- loved it too!

FLYBOY80: thanks for covering for me while I was away!

PIEDMONTGIRL: You're absolutely right... something about the smell of jet fuel! Love it! Got it in my viens for sure!

INDUSTRIALPATE: I started flying when I was 21 yrs old. To be based anywhere in the system you just put your name on the transfer list and eventually they'll clear it. Right now there are over 600 people waiting to transfer to SFO for example and they are taking transfers in groups of ten... in other words sometimes it takes a long time to get the base you want.

I was very fortunate to get LHR right away because they were adding new flights in and out of LHR and a generation of ALE visas were expiring so they sent about a hundred or more of us over in Spring 2001. To be based in the US and to fly the long-haul trips, it does take a lot of seniority. However, if you're on reserve there's always a chance you'll get a call to go somewhere far far away! Happens very frequently! I averaged once a month when I was in ORD! One of my SFO based friends flies just about 90% Intl and 10% domestic on Reserve.

UADC8CONTRAIL: I flew ORD-HKG and ORD-NRT as a reserve, it's a very common trip for reserves to get (especially NRT). Ironically these two trips are some of the most senior in our system but even the senior momma's call out sick! As a LHR based flight attendants if we were good for a number of days the crew desk could keep us going around the world if needed. I had a number of friends work LHR-JFK-NRT or LHR-ORD-EZE. If you start an international trip our contract allows for further legs onward, as long as they are international (no mixing domestic and international).

FLY777UAL: Correction: as an American it is against UK laws to commute from the US to work in the UK as a Flight attendant on an ALE Visa. If you establish residency anywhere within the EU then you can commute, but not from outside the Union. We are required to have a permanent address in the EU. However, if you happen to fly back to the US every time you have days off, they can't stop you since you have a proper home address in the EU.

Flying is a life like no other! If you can handle living out of a suitcase all the time, if you can handle staying in one hotel after another, if you can handle cancellations, rebookings, eating fastfood frequently and picking up trash in Economy and stay focused on the first rate quality of life you lead, then this job is for you. If you can handle working half a month and making a teachers salary, if you can handle all the discounts, hook-ups, and free perks, if you can handle everyone staring at you as you walk through a terminal, this job might be for you!

Number one requirement of being a flight attendant is the ability to handle sudden changes and react in a professional manner. In this business, the only thing constant is change!

The debate continues... Starwood or Hyatt... which is better
Posts: 4830
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 3:49 am

RE: Question About FA´s

Tue Jan 20, 2004 7:06 pm it was reserve. That's what I figured...couldn't really picture you, a 20-something with 1960-odd seniority! Merging the domiciles really helped those who would have been holding only domestic lines!

Interesting with not being able to commute from the US to the EU. I know of a few FA's who transferred to NRT and actually commuted over there--bunched their flying, etc., but still a bitch of a commute!!

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos