“Peanuts, pretzels, or cookies?”
That’s it, you’re done! You are now qualified to be a flight attendant. Easy peasy. Almost.
It’s a hard life I live, juggling my passion for style and travel. I never dreamed that I would earn my paycheck by discovering seaside towns in Ireland or helping a sweet woman off of an airplane. Or that I would then have weeks off each month to blog and share it all with you supportive sweethearts.
As happy as I am with the blessings that make up my life, I’m still often approached by curious strangers who ask questions about my lifestyle and career choice. Without intention, they often seem as if they look down on my job or pity that I’ve ‘wasted’ a wonderful education. It’s ironic, I pity the soul who lives an entire lifetime without ever feeling alive.
Any who, I’ve compiled the questions that flood my mailboxes below. Enjoy.
What made you decide to be a flight attendant?
Being a flight attendant is not a career that I envisioned for myself or even planned for. I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a status from a friend saying that my airline was hiring. I was tired of working an 8 to 5 desk job and applied just to kind of do it. I kept making it to the next round of interviews and it all happened so quickly. Before I knew it, or had too much time to think about it and change my mind, I found myself at initial training ready to begin this crazy career change. Don’t get me wrong, an inner drive to see the world and meet interesting people along the way kept pushing me to try harder for a job offer.
Do you feel like your college education is wasted?
Oh boy, one of my favorite and most offensive questions to date. I don’t feel like anyone owes any explanation for doing what makes them happy. Do I feel like my four years at the University of Georgia were for nothing? Absolutely not. Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, my entire training class has a college education and was over the moon to spend it being paid to be professional travelers.
Do you ever have time to see your friends and family?
I didn’t have a lot of free time at first. Initial training is an intense journey with long days. I was a lucky one who only lived an hour from training, so I went home twice a month or so. However, now that I’m on the line, I see my family and friends as often as I’d like. I work an average of 12 days a month – I can then pick up or drop trips if I’m homesick, busy, whatever.
Do you make enough money to pay bills and still enjoy things?
My pay scale is public knowledge, but without stating my hourly rate, my answer is absolutely. When I’m traveling I simply pay for food (and the occasional… or not so occasional… shopping I do on layovers). When I’m home, I’m generally resting up or blogging. I easily pay my bills and save for things like retirement, vacations, and more. I’ve met a broke flight attendant or two, and they love their alcohol a bit more than me.
Why don’t you fly more international trips?
As a newbie, I’m still trying to adjust to the service standards and the strain that flying has on my body. Although international trips are a blast, it’s exhausting to adjust to the time change and we typically only have 24 hours there. I have a long life of flying ahead of me and don’t you worry, I will fly my fair share of international trips.
Do you like living in New York City?
I’m glad that I’m answering this question now and not three months ago. When I first stepped foot in the Big Apple I was completely overwhelmed. I remained in a constant state of homesickness and always found myself frustrated with the high cost of living. However, I partly blame adjusting to a brand new, life-changing job simultaneously. I grew incredibly fond of NYC as I forced myself to get out and explore all of the charming things the city has to offer. In terms of a flight attendant base, the crews are young and the trips incredible.
What is a crash pad?
Quite simply put, a crash pad is an apartment with as many bunkbeds as it can hold. Commuting flight attendants pay a monthly rent to have somewhere to lay their head when they are in-between trips or on A-days. They can have ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ beds. A ‘hot’ bed is shared on a first-come, first-served bases. This style of crash pad generally has a higher number of people sharing the space. A ‘cold’ bed is your bed only and will always be waiting for you after a trip. Regardless of the bed system, there are usually no more than a handful of people there at any given time due to varying schedules.
What are A-Days?
A-Days, or Access Days, are a ready status reserve day. A flight attendant is on call to ensure that the operation is covered for that day. A trip or standby can be assigned on these days and we typically have 6 A-Days a month.
Do you plan on being a flight attendant as a long term career or is it just something fun for now?
I plan on being a flight attendant as long as it makes me happy. I can’t tell anyone a timeline because although I’m a planner, one thing I don’t stress about is work. I’m a creative soul and this opportunity gives me ample free time to blog. I’m also learning so much about myself as I spend alone time exploring beautiful cities. I have no reason to want to do anything else, any time soon.