At 27, I am by industry standards a young flight attendant. Up until about a year ago, I was one of the youngest flight attendants at my company. It wasn’t until these new, younger, hip flight attendants showed up that I remembered how I felt six years ago when I first came on the line. I was excited, thrilled and could not get enough of flying to new places. Slowly those feelings were replaced with frustrations at my company and the way some passengers and other crew members treated me. I was becoming bitter and no one wants to be bitter.
Over time, I became a complainer like most flight attendants are. Why can’t they put their bags in wheels first, why wont these people hold their coats until the bins are closed, does no one know how to take their earbuds out of their ears when I ask for their drink orders?? Blah blah blah. I hated it. Then one day I was listening to another flight attendant complain about those same things and I found it so annoying. I started reading new blogs popping up from flight attendants and all they were doing was complaining about these dream jobs. I am still reading those same blog posts, just by different people. Finally, today, I’ve had enough. I want you to know that yes, there are 10 reasons it sucks to be a flight attendant, but there are more than 11 reasons it is awesome to be a flight attendant, too:
Flight benefits. Seriously? Are you kidding me? Free flights?? Yes, free flights. I get them. Now, please don’t let that fool you. I get on a plane if there is a seat available by the time my number comes around. There have been plenty of times I’ve been stuck in an airport and I seldom (Okay only ONCE in all my years of flying) give out buddy passes. Pass-riding is stressful but it’s free and I don’t even want to face reality of what real plane tickets cost. So flight benefits rock!
People. I meet so many cool people. Business guys going back and forth across country, MMA fighters going to fights, Presidential candidates, celebrities, musicians, rappers, military, moms, brothers, widows who have just lost their husbands, wives who left their cheating husbands, inspirational speakers. So. Many. People. I have met and seen so many people in so many different walks of life. Not everyone is awesome but the ones who are, they make me feel great. I’ve had people cry on my shoulder, held hands of those who are fearful, laugh and tell the raunchiest jokes with a group of guys heading to Vegas for a bachelor party. People, you rock my world.<
Upgrades. Okay this could be with free flights, but really it needs to be in its own space. I often hear people say, “I want to ride first class!” and I get to…often. I love upgrades – remember I get a free seat if it’s available, and that includes first class. Recently I flew to NYC with my Mom and 19-year-old sister who gets to ride in first class while most 19-year-olds (not named Bieber) don’t.
Hotels. Yes hotels. I love hotels. Not all of our overnights and hotels are fancy but without this job, I would never have stayed in a Westin. Do you know how nice those places are? Seriously nice.
I get to travel the world…AND get paid for it. I’ve been to every single state in the US. I’ve been all over Mexico and Canada. I’ve been to Japan, Singapore, Guam, Jamaica, Puerto Ricco, Cayman Islands, England, Spain, Italy, Kuwait, Netherlands – on and on and on some more. Don’t get me wrong – the pay is not great, it will never be great and I’ve been known to complain about it as much as any other flight attendants but really I’m seeing places…for free!
I have a job. Seriously, in the world we live in right now, I do believe that’s a super highlight. On top of that, I have insurance. Huge stuff here, folks.
The wings. If you’ve ever wanted to be a crew member, you know what I’m talking about. Something about having those wings pinned to my chest makes me want to do a little jig. It starts from when I was a kid and rode along with my older sister alone, this gorgeous flight attendant brought us some plastic wings and I’ve been hooked ever since. I make it a point to always stop and give kids wings.
The uniforms aren’t always glamorous (actually, some can be downright hideous). However, at my airline, we have some pretty cute stuff! One in particular is a bright and fun color and it’s cut just right to show off my cleavage. Hey! I’m being real here, I like my cleavage. Oh yes, back to the point – they aren’t always comfy but wearing my uniform with my panty hose and heels makes me feel hot, and who doesn’t want to feel hot when they show up to work?
Flirting. I don’t care if you are a guy, girl, 18, 80, married, single, gay or strait. I get to flirt with you. It’s nothing serious and for me it’s passing the time but flirting with people is a definite perk of the job. There is actually a new country song out by Jason Aldean called ‘Fly Over States’ and “Flirting with the flight attendants” is in the lyrics. See it’s in my job description.
Treats. Sometimes passengers or other crew members bring treats and while it’s not something someone must do … it’s something we all do appreciate and it reminds us that people remember we are human beings, too. This goes along with those awesome magazines you leave in your seat back pockets (or especially when you hand them to me). We love you. We really do.
Most days I walk on planes and do not know who I’m working with and by the end of that first flight I’ve made a new best friend. There is something about this lifestyle that makes it so easy to just open yourself up and become friends with every other crew member. It doesn’t always happen but to know it will more then likely happen makes every day at work a fun one.
Now you see there are reasons to love my career. It’s not always glamorous and believe me if you come try to hand me garbage while I’m trying to eat my only meal of the day (after I’ve already served the cabin and picked up garbage) you will more then likely get a look. Don’t take it to heart though because no one wants to take garbage while putting food in their mouth.
You can read more from Brandi Shive on her blog.