Galley Gossip: Flight attendant training – which airline to pick?

Next week I’m to start flight attendant training for American Eagle. But today I got a call from Delta and they want me to go for a face to face interview two days after I’m to start training! If I go to the Delta interview, I’ll forfeit American Eagle completely and won’t ever be able to reapply, as this is my second chance to go to training with them. I’m giving up my good paying but burned out retail management job and changing my life to do my long lived dream job as a flight attendant. I’ve been waiting to get a call back for over a year due to training cancellations last year. American Eagle training is three weeks long, but doesn’t pay, while Delta pays for six weeks of training. I’m afraid to give up American Eagle to go to a Delta interview and possibly not make it and then I’m out both! What should I do? – Laura

Dear Laura,

Have you tried to delay your training class with Eagle? If not, give the airline a call and see if you can push it back a few days, meaning you’d like to start in the next available training class. I’m sure they have a couple of them lined up. This way you can go to the Delta interview without forfeiting a shot at Eagle. Most airlines hire on the spot, so you’ll know the day of the interview if Delta is interested or not. If they send you to “medical”, congratulations, you made it! If they say they’ll contact you soon, that’s code for thanks but no thanks. Move on. And

If Eagle won’t let you change your class date, I suggest sticking with Eagle. Initially I had planned on telling you to hold out for Delta, which is also what most of my coworkers suggested after I ran the scenario by them, but after weighing the pros and cons I think it would be foolish to put all your eggs in one basket. The simple fact is a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush . Before I was hired by a major US carrier, I was passed over by one of its biggest competitors. I tell you this for two reasons; you never know what’s going to happen and you should never give up on your dreams. I’d also hate to see you lose a wonderful opportunity because you chose to go to an interview instead of training.

Working for a regional carrier is a great place to start. You’ll gain seniority quickly and get travel benefits, as well as experience on the job. A little experience is always better than none, especially if you don’t speak a second language and you’re interested in interviewing for a major carrier like Delta. Who knows, you might love working for Eagle. I know a lot of flight attendants who do. But if you don’t, simply quit and apply to another airline offering better pay and international layovers. That’s exactly what I did three months after Sun Jet, a low cost carrier, hired me fifteen years ago.

FYI: I’ve heard through the grapevine that you can try to transfer to American after a year on the job with Eagle. I’ve also heard American will be hiring soon.

Ultimately the decision is yours, Laura, because only you know what’s best for you. Good luck! Make sure to write back and let us know what happened.


UPDATE 1/27: I’m excited to report that Laura held out for Delta and got hired yesterday! Only 8 out of 125 people made it through. FYI: Laura is NOT a speaker. I’m so excited for her!!! Now why did she decide to hold out for Delta? It migh have something to do with another question she asked right after this post went live. Stay tuned for another upcoming Galley Gossip post inspired by Laura


Photo courtesy of DavityDave