I would love to become a flight attendant. I live close to Fort Lauderdale airport, only about 30 miles from Miami International Airport and 80 miles from West Palm Beach Airport. I also have two teenagers (13 and 16) so that’s where my question begins. If I live in Florida but my base is in New York, will I have to agree to relocate? How does that work if I live in Florida and have kids and a husband? Would the airline pay me to fly out to my base station every time I need to report to work or do I have to pay for that? Or would I just have to move there? This is what I don’t really understand. – Gladys
On the flight attendant job application you’ll probably find the question, “Are you willing to relocate?” Check the box “no” instead of “yes” and it’s safe to assume you probably won’t get called in for an interview. It’s common knowledge that flight attendants must be willing to cut their hair and go anywhere.
After you’ve successfully completed training, you’ll probably be put on probation. At my airline, probation lasts six months and new hires on probation do not receive travel benefits during this time. New flight attendants who choose to live in another city are on their own when it comes to covering the expense of getting to and from work during the first six months. Once off probation, commuters at my airline fly for free by standing by for an open seat. This is called non-reving because you are now a non-revenue passenger. Keep in mind there are very few open seats available on flights today, especially around holidays, during weekends and all through the summer. I’ve actually seen flight attendants come to blows over the jump seat on the last flight out. Which is why you’re lucky you live so close to three airports. You have options when flights are full or when delays and cancellations affect air travel.Something else to keep in mind is that new hires start out on reserve. What this means is you’ll be on call on the days you’re not scheduled to work. Once the company contacts you to cover a trip, you’ll have two hours to get to the airport. If you live in Florida and get based in New York (and you don’t want to move), you’re going to need to find a crash pad for the days you’re on reserve. A crash pad is literally a place to crash in between trips. These are usually apartments shared by many flight attendants who also commute to work. Bunk beds are used to cram as many people as possible into a single room in an effort to keep the cost down. They average between $100-$350 a month. The airline doesn’t cover the expense, as it’s your choice to commute. Keep in mind that some airlines require flight attendants to serve reserve only a few days each month, while others schedule flight attendants to be on reserve the entire month – until they’re senior enough to hold off. This is called straight reserve. There’s a reason why the words “line” and “life” are so similar. When you can hold a line (a month of scheduled trips), you have a life. It’s also why “seniority” is so important in the aviation industry, and why it’s in your best interest to accept the first training class offered.
You might also want to read:
“Galley Gossip: Can A Mother Of Two Young Kids Become A Flight Attendant?”
“Galley Gossip: How To Prepare For A Flight Attendant Interview“
“Galley Gossip: How Do Flight Attendants Survive On Such A Low Salary?“