I love my job as a flight attendant but there are definitely some misconceptions that people have about what we do, why we do it, and who we are! Here are 13 misconceptions about flight attendants that I am going to debunk for you.
Misconceptions About Flight Attendants
Flight Attendants are Just Waiters
This is one of the most common things that I hear about being a flight attendant. Listen, there is not one thing wrong with being a waiter and as flight attendants we do our best to care for the needs of the passengers including giving them food or drinks.
However, our real purpose is to keep you safe!
Flight attendants spend weeks learning about the various aircraft, all the safety features, how to handle an emergency, what to do in the case of an attempted hi-jacking, what to do if a plane loses pressure or has to ditch in the water, how to handle a belligerent passenger, how to administer basic first aid…
Oh, we also have a few hours training in how to serve you your coffee.
It Is Easy to Become a Flight Attendant
First you have to apply and write a killer resume which you will submit along with tens of thousands of other applicants. Then you have to do an online interview, and then an in person interview. If you get through all of that you might be one of about 2,000 potential flight attendants selected from a pool of over 100,000.
Then you have to go to flight attendant training, which is typically 7 weeks of training 6 days a week. While there you have to pass all your tests including a comprehensive final to become a flight attendant. It’s definitely NOT easy.
Most Flight Attendants are Young, Single Women
Sure, some of the newer flight attendants are young, single women, but many flight attendants are male, and we are of all ages. In fact, the longer you are a flight attendant the better the job becomes so you will find many older flight attendants AKA Senior Mamas and Papas.
Flight Attendants Aren’t Educated
Not true at all! It is true that no college degree is required to become a flight attendant, but many of us have a college degree and quite a few flight attendants have their masters. Most flight attendants come from other careers and many speak multiple languages. What we all have in common is our love of people, travel, flexibility, and adventure.
Flight Attendants are Supposed to Help You With Your Bags
Nope! In fact, we are NOT supposed to help you with your bags and if we are injured while helping you put your heavy bag into the overhead bin, the airline will not cover our medical expenses. A good rule of thumb is, if you can’t lift it yourself, maybe check it or leave it at home.
It’s Just a Job
Being a flight attendant is more than just a job, it’s an entire lifestyle. Many people who resign from flying end up returning to the the air after only a short while. Once you have been a flight attendant and then try a grounded job, you miss the freedom, the flexibility, the feeling of being able to spread your wings and come and go as you please.
Flying is like an addiction we can’t shake.
You’re telling me people go to work every. single. day. and only get two weeks of vacation a year? They can’t just take off whenever they want? This is something that we cannot wrap our heads around. The flight attendant lifestyle may not be an ordinary one, but it gets in your veins and most people have trouble returning to a different job after experiencing the flight attendant lifestyle.
We Take This Job in Order to Meet a Rich Pilot
This one makes me laugh. If you do happen to be a young flight attendant with one of the major airlines the pilots will tend to be much older than you. If you are an older flight attendant you probably either already have a significant other or are too jaded to be interested in a pilot.
I’m sure there have been some love matches, but usually there isn’t that much interaction between the pilots and the flight attendants. That is until they want their coffee, of course.
Plus, we all saw the train wreck that was Pilot Pete’s season of the bachelor.
We think it is cute when you mention the “Mile High Club”
This is a big no. Please do not try to flirt with your flight attendant in this way. First of all, if you are on our flight then that means that we are working. Secondly, we have heard it all before and not only are you not being funny, you aren’t even being original.
P.S. Don’t ask to buy our panty hose either. Unless you’re willing to pay the big bucks. I kid, I kid.
Flight Attendants Always Fly the Same Route
This is really rare and reserved only for flight attendants with very high seniority. Most of us don’t know from one month to another where we will be going or what our schedule will be. All a part of the fun and mystery of this job right?
Being a Flight Attendant is Glamorous
We spend the day dealing with travelers, most of whom are wonderful, but some who are grumpy, rude, condescending, drunk, hangry, tired, or stressed. We keep a smile on our faces through it all.
That is until we get to the back galley and gossip about you…jk! We are too busy to gossip.
We push heavy carts up and down the aisles. We get hot coffee sloshed on us during intense bouts of turbulence. We have short turn arounds or layovers that barely allow us enough time to sleep. We throw away your stinky trash. We have to be at airports at 4:00AM.
It is NOT a typically a glamorous job.
Ok, I can’t lie, getting paid to lay on the beach can feel pretty glamorous at times.
Layovers Are Always Lots of Fun
Sure they can be incredible! My roommate got a 48 hour layover in Tahiti her very first trip as a flight attendant. I’ve had amazing layovers in Hawaii, Mexico, and Canada. But not all layovers are pictures of perfection.
Most layovers are short with no time to see the town that you are in. By the end of the day, we are just ready to get to our hotel room, shut and lock the door, kick off our shoes, eat some snacks, and settle in for some Netflix before we have to wake up and head back to the airport.
Who can complain about snacks, Netflix, and a hotel bathrobe though?
It is Easy for Flight Attendants to Fly Anywhere in the World
I can’t deny that being able to fly for free is an amazing perk and is one of the very best things about the job. I have gotten to go to some wonderful places. What flight attendants don’t usually talk about is how difficult it can be to fly standby. It is an adrenaline rush like no other waiting at the gate to see if you will make it on the plane or not.
Flights are often full and often you will spend your whole day at the airport, hoping and praying you get on your flight. We get around this by being very, very flexible. You won’t find many flight attendants who actually plan their vacations. Instead they wait to see what locations have open flights and just go there, where ever there may be! I have definitely shed a tear (or a hundred) over not making my flight home, but it’s all worth it in the end when you reach your final destination.
Flight Attendants Have Control Over Whether You Make Your Connection or Not
Surely, y’all know that this is totally out of our control, right?
However the way some people act when their plane is late you would think it was totally the fault of the flight attendant. They fuss, they complain, they yell, they order us to tell the pilot to get this plane off of the ground.
We can’t control the weather, the pilots, or the schedules. We also can’t hold your connecting flight!
Did you know that flight attendants are only paid from wheels up to wheels down? We hate sitting on the tarmac as much as you do because we aren’t getting paid!
Hope I have dispelled some of the misconceptions about flight attendants!
Thanks for stopping by!