Galley Gossip: A question about Southwest Airlines, AirTran Airways, and other airlines who may be hiring flight attendants

Dear Heather,

I was hired with Southwest Airlines earlier in the year, but I was informed today that Southwest will no longer be having any training classes in 2009. Now I’m going to try for AirTran Airways. I had an interview and told them I successfully interviewed with Southwest Airlines last August however they aren’t having any training in 2009 and I’m ready to move forward with my flight attendant career. I hope it doesn’t hurt me that I told them that. What do you think?


Dear Leesa

Southwest is an amazing airline. People absolutely love them, passengers and crew alike. I mean what’s not to love about an airline that treats their employees like family, an airline that knows how to have fun, and more importantly, an airline that can lay claim to employing the rapping flight attendant (whom I’ll be interviewing soon!) Many years ago I wanted to work for Southwest Airlines, and always thought that I would work for Southwest, and even got a letter inviting me to interview for them, but then the airline I currently work for hired me first. Obviously I’m a huge fan of Southwest, even when I wind up in group C. The fact that you got hired to be apart of their family says a lot about you!

I’m sure you’re extremely disappointed about the training class being cancelled. I know I would be. So I logged onto (click here to follow me on twitter) and sent a quick tweet to Southwest Airlines. I asked them if you’d be called back when classes resume or if you’d have to go through the interview process again. Five seconds later Southwest responded, “Yes, unfortunately she will have to go back through the interview process again.”

Honestly, I’m sure you’ll have no problem impressing them twice. That said, I also think that moving forward and interviewing with AirTran Airways was a great idea! Don’t worry about telling AirTran about Southwest, I’m sure that’ll only make them want you more knowing that an airline with an amazing reputation already showed interest in you.


Before I started working for a major US carrier, I worked for a discount airline called Sunjet International Airlines for about three months. It was a lot of fun and gave me a taste of what flying was all about. The great thing about working for a smaller airline is you’ll be able to really get to know your coworkers, which in the long run will make all the difference in the world. Because at an airline, regardless of the kind of trips you get stuck working, if the crew is good the trip will be good. And you’ll be more than just an employee number. Who knows, by the time Southwest calls you back to flight attendant training you may not even want to leave AirTran. Stranger things have happened!

Speaking of strange things happening, did you know that there’s been talk in the past about AirTran and Southwest merging? For real! Can you imagine? But then if you were already a flight attendant you’d know not to listen to airline rumors.

I’m glad you haven’t given up on your dream of becoming a flight attendant, even in this tough economy. I do recommend the job to anyone who is interested and can actually land an interview. It is a wonderful job to have when times are good, but right now unfortunately many airlines are furloughing flight attendants in order to survive.

If you get another interview with AirTran, Leesa, make sure to check out this AirTran Interview Forum for the latest information of what to expect at your interview. If something happens and for whatever reason you don’t end up working for AirTran, make sure to check out flight attendant There you’ll find a list of other airlines who may be hiring.

Good luck and keep in touch!

Heather Poole


Photos courtesy of (Southwest) Allysdad, (flight attendants) AirTran Airways website