How Much Do Flight Attendants Make?

Welcome aboard to the world of flight attendants, where glamour and luxury often meet fear and turbulence. One of the questions that are frequently asked among the aspiring cabin crews is how much they can make from the job. The answer is not a straightforward one, as it depends on many factors, ranging from the airlines’ policies to the seniority and experiences of the individual. This article will guide you through 12 steps on how much to flight attendants make, along with some explanations and tips to boost your income and enhance your career.

Steps: How much do flight attendants make?

Step 1: Understand the salary structure

Flight attendants’ salary consists of several components, such as the base pay, per diem, and bonuses. The base pay is the fixed monthly salary, while per diem is the daily allowance that covers the expenses during layovers. Bonuses can be given based on the performance, such as attendance, sales, or recruitment.

Step 2: Know the differences between airlines

The salary range for flight attendants can vary greatly between airlines, not only across countries but also within the same region. Factors that affect the salary differences include the airline’s size, reputation, routes, and types of aircraft.

Step 3: Check the job requirements

The salary and career advancement opportunities can vary based on the job requirements, such as education, language proficiency, age, height, and weight. Some airlines may pay a higher salary to those with bachelor’s degrees or language certifications. Similarly, some airlines may have a lower age or weight limit, which affects the competitiveness for the job.

Step 4: Consider the seniority system

Seniority is a critical factor in determining the salary and benefits of flight attendants. The longer you work for the same airline, the more benefits you are entitled to, such as better schedules, more vacation days, and higher salary levels. However, the seniority system also means that it may take years for newcomers to reach the top salary level.

Step 5: Learn about the union policies

Many flight attendants are unionized, which means that the salary and benefits are negotiated through collective bargaining agreements. The union policies can affect not only the salary but also the work conditions, such as safety measures, work hours, and layover accommodations.

Step 6: Research the geographical cost of living

The salary of flight attendants can vary considerably based on the cost of living in their home base. For instance, a flight attendant working in New York City, one of the most expensive cities in the world, may earn higher than one based in a smaller town with a lower cost of living.

Step 7: Consider the type of flight attendants

There are two types of flight attendants: main cabin and premium, with the latter working on the first-class section. Premium flight attendants tend to earn higher than main cabin attendants, due to the more significant responsibilities and stringent qualifications.

Step 8: Look for extra perks

The salary of flight attendants is not limited to the cash amount, as they are entitled to various perks, such as health insurance, retirement plans, discounted or free travel tickets, and hotel accommodations during layovers.

Step 9: Take into account the part-time or full-time options

The salary and benefits of flight attendants differ based on whether they are working full-time or part-time. Part-time flight attendants may have reduced base pay, but they can opt for more flexibility in their schedules.

Step 10: Consider the career path

The salary and benefits of flight attendants can increase as they move up the ladder in their career path, such as becoming a lead flight attendant, an instructor, or a manager. However, the higher-level positions may require additional education, training, and experience.

Step 11: Check for additional income opportunities

Flight attendants may earn additional income through commission-based sales, such as duty-free items or credit card applications. Some airlines also offer incentives for recruiting new employees.

Step 12: Negotiate your salary

After considering all the factors, you may negotiate your starting salary or promotions based on your qualifications and experiences. However, keep in mind that the negotiation process may vary between airlines, and it is essential to do your research and be professional in your communication.

Explanation: How much do flight attendants make?

The salary of flight attendants ranges from around $20,000 to over $80,000 per year, depending on the factors mentioned above. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage of flight attendants in 2020 was $56,640, with the highest 10% earning more than $80,940 and the lowest 10% earning less than $30,870.

As an international career, the salary of flight attendants may vary across countries and even continents. For instance, a senior flight attendant based in the Middle East may earn a higher salary than a newcomer in South America. Similarly, the salary may differ between domestic and international flights, due to the longer working hours and more prominent responsibilities.

It is also worth noting that the salary of flight attendants is not fixed, but subject to change due to various factors, such as inflation, currency fluctuations, and industry trends. Therefore, it is essential to keep yourself informed about the latest salary rates and benefits in the aviation industry, whether through networking, research, or professional organizations.

Tips and Tricks: How much do flight attendants make?

1. Gain relevant qualifications and experiences

Having a bachelor’s degree, foreign language certification, or customer service experience can enhance your competitiveness and salary negotiation power.

2. Build a professional network

Attending career fairs, joining professional organizations, or connecting with current or former flight attendants can provide you with valuable insights and opportunities.

3. Consider cost of living and commuting options

Living in a less expensive city or finding a cheaper way to commute to your home base can increase your net income and work-life balance.

4. Keep track of your hours and expenses

Having a clear record of your working hours, expenses, and benefits can help you negotiate for a better salary and understand your financial situation accurately.

5. Invest in your career advancement

Gaining additional skills, such as first aid, leadership, or foreign language, or pursuing advanced education can open up new opportunities and increase your income potential.

6. Understand the union policies

Being knowledgeable about your union contract and rights can help you negotiate better working conditions and salary.

7. Stay updated on industry trends and news

Having a good understanding of the aviation industry’s latest trends, regulations, and challenges can help you make informed decisions and anticipate changes in your career path.

8. Improve your communication and customer service skills

Being able to communicate effectively and provide excellent customer service can not only enhance your passengers’ experience but also increase your tips and bonuses.

9. Maintain a healthy and professional image

Keeping yourself physically and mentally fit, dressing appropriately, and following the airline’s policies can add up to your reputation and employability.

10. Negotiate in a professional and respectful manner

Being assertive and prepared in your salary negotiation, while also being respectful and understanding of the airline’s constraints, can result in a win-win situation for both parties.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Flight Attendant Salary


1. Attractive salary: Flight attendants receive a good salary, along with additional benefits such as health insurance and travel discounts.

2. Opportunities for growth: With experience, flight attendants have the opportunity to move up the ladder and become senior cabin crew members or supervisors.

3. Flexible work schedule: Flight attendants have a flexible schedule, including regular time off and the ability to choose their shifts.

4. Travel perks: Flight attendants have the advantage of being able to travel to different parts of the world for free or at a discounted rate.

5. Meeting new people: Flight attendants meet new people on a daily basis and have the opportunity to form lasting relationships with their colleagues and passengers.

6. Exciting job: Being a flight attendant can be exciting and adventurous, with the opportunity to experience new cultures and visit exotic locations.

7. Training: Flight attendants receive extensive training, including emergency procedures and first aid, which can be useful in other areas of life.

8. Paid time off: Flight attendants receive paid time off, allowing them to take a break from work and recharge.

9. Job security: As long as air travel remains a popular mode of transportation, there will be a need for flight attendants.

10. Attention to grooming: As part of the job requirements, flight attendants need to maintain a well-groomed appearance. This can help them develop a sense of confidence and professionalism.


1. Irregular work schedule: Flight attendants work on different schedules, sometimes at odd hours, which can be challenging for those with families.

2. Long hours: Flight attendants may have to work long hours, especially when there are delays or cancellations, which can be physically and mentally exhausting.

3. Jet lag: Frequent traveling can disrupt the body’s natural rhythm and cause jet lag, which can take a toll on the body and mind.

4. Health risks: Exposure to different climates, time zones, and passengers can increase the risk of contracting diseases and illnesses.

5. Layovers: Flight attendants may have to spend a lot of time in airports and hotels, which can be boring and lonely.

6. Customer service: Flight attendants must deal with a variety of customers, some of whom can be difficult, demanding, or even abusive.

7. Lack of privacy: Flight attendants work in close proximity to their colleagues and passengers, which can leave them with little personal space or privacy.

8. Safety concerns: Flight attendants need to be alert and prepared to handle emergencies such as turbulence, medical emergencies, or evacuations.

9. Confined workspace: Flight attendants work in a confined space for extended periods, which can be uncomfortable or claustrophobic.

10. Time away from home: Flight attendants may have to spend holidays and special occasions away from their families and loved ones.

Overall, being a flight attendant can be both rewarding and challenging. It is a profession that requires dedication, flexibility, and a love of travel. While it may not be suitable for everyone, for those who enjoy the benefits and are willing to work through the disadvantages, it can be a fulfilling and exciting career.


1. How much do flight attendants make?

The salary of flight attendants varies depending on their experience, airline, and location. On average, the starting salary can be around $20,000 to $30,000 annually, while the experienced ones can earn up to $80,000 annually.

2. How many hours do flight attendants work?

Flight attendants usually work around 75 to 100 hours per month, but this can vary depending on the airline’s scheduling and route. A typical shift can last between 9 to 14 hours.

3. What benefits do flight attendants receive?

Flight attendants usually receive benefits such as healthcare insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and travel benefits.

4. Do flight attendants receive training?

Yes, flight attendants receive training before starting their career. This training includes safety procedures, customer service, and emergency protocols.

5. What skills do flight attendants need?

Flight attendants need to have excellent customer service skills, be able to work in a team, have good communication skills, and be able to handle emergency situations.

6. Can flight attendants choose their schedule?

Flight attendants may have some flexibility in their schedules, but they usually work on a rotating schedule, which can include weekends, holidays, and overnight shifts.

7. What are the requirements to become a flight attendant?

Typically, airlines require that flight attendants have a high school diploma or equivalent, be at least 18 years old, and be able to pass a background check. Certain airlines may also require a college degree or fluency in a second language.

8. Are there opportunities for career advancement?

Yes, flight attendants can advance to become senior flight attendants, trainers, or management positions within the airline. Also, some flight attendants may go on to become pilots.

9. What are some challenges of being a flight attendant?

Some challenges of being a flight attendant include dealing with difficult or rude passengers, working long hours, and being away from home for extended periods.

10. Do flight attendants get free flights?

Yes, most airlines offer free or discounted flights to their employees and their families.

11. What is the job outlook for flight attendants?

The job outlook for flight attendants is expected to grow at an average rate through 2029.

12. What is the work environment like for flight attendants?

Flight attendants work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment. They work in close quarters with other crew members and passengers from diverse backgrounds.

13. How do I apply to become a flight attendant?

You can apply directly with the airline you wish to work with. You can find job postings on the airline’s website or on job search websites such as Indeed or CareerBuilder.

Flight attendants are a crucial component of air travel and are responsible for ensuring the safety and comfort of passengers. With their impeccable service and unmatched hospitality, flight attendants have become one of the most popular professions in the aviation industry. However, many people wonder just how much do flight attendants make?

The answer is not so straightforward as there are a variety of factors that influence a flight attendant’s salary. Some of the primary factors that determine the salary of a flight attendant include the airline they work for, the number of years of experience they have, the type of aircraft they work on, and the location of their base.

On average, flight attendants in the United States can expect to make anywhere between $35,000 to $100,000 or more per year, depending on the above mentioned factors. Generally, larger airlines pay their flight attendants more, while the pay at smaller airlines may be lower. In addition, flight attendants that work on international routes may earn more than those who primarily fly domestic routes.

Another important factor that impacts a flight attendant’s salary is their level of experience. As with most professions, the longer a flight attendant has been working, the more they can expect to make each year. Experienced flight attendants may also be eligible for additional benefits and perks, such as first-class travel, complimentary upgrades, and flexible scheduling.

Conclusion: How Much Do Flight Attendants Make?

In conclusion, the amount that a flight attendant can expect to make varies significantly depending on a variety of factors. The pay for this profession is quite competitive with many opportunities for advancement and growth. Becoming a flight attendant is a great career choice for those who love to travel and provide excellent service to others, and it can provide a comfortable living for those who are willing to put in the time and effort required to succeed.

Closing: Thank You For Reading About How Much Do Flight Attendants Make

Thank you for taking the time to read this article on how much do flight attendants make. We hope that you found the information helpful and informative. If you are considering a career in the aviation industry, becoming a flight attendant can be an exciting and rewarding job choice. With the right training and experience, you can enjoy a fulfilling career in this field and earn a great salary while doing it. Good luck on your journey and thank you for your interest in flight attendants!