regional flight attendant

Everything has its time

I really thought my last day of flying would be something monumental. I thought back to jheath last post on his days of flying and imagined I would present something similar to you guys.

But, my last trip did not go smoothly.

My schedule was modified ten times. I was reassigned in one of our hubs when a Crew Tracker came to the airplane and sent me elsewhere for the night. I had plans to have a last drink with my pilots, but I ended up on a minimum rest overnight without them and on an overbooked deadhead the next day. That deadhead ended up being delayed and left 2 hours late. When I turned in my manual, ID, and such, my supervisor was too busy and instructed me to leave my items with the front desk receptionist in our base.

I’ve already started my new job and at the end of the week I finish up training.

I love my new job. It offers so much room for future advancement, is a young Fortune 500 company, and they take care of their employees. 

On a personal note, I am able to purchase milk, fresh produce that I can finish, and buy flowers for my apartment.  I also get to be home every night and make myself dinner.

Being a flight attendant wasn’t a negative experience overall for me. If it weren’t for my 4 years of customer service with the airlines I probably wouldn’t have gotten this coveted position that I have now. For that, I’m thankful.

However, like most things, you have to know when to move on. It was time for me to end my airline career. Between being engaged, moving in with my fiancé, and planning a wedding for next year, the airlines no longer held priority in my life plans. There are plenty of successful marriages and families that thrive with an airline family member. It just wasn’t what I wanted for my future. It just isn’t for me.

Do I miss it? No. I really don’t.

However, I will miss the people I worked with. The company and the position I can move past without looking back. But the people I spent the last 4 years of my life with, I’ll miss them. I learned about them, their families, and ventured out into small town USA with them. We really have some incredible airline crew and I’ll miss the camaraderie. But even then, it was time for me to move on.

At some point you gotta do what’s in your best interest. I made sure not to burn any bridges. I gave a proper 2 week notice and didn’t even call out sick for the rest of my time. I worked honestly until I finished my job there. I can say that with truth and feel good about it. Sure, they really didn’t treat me well while I was there, but I feel that character is about still choosing to do the right thing regardless of the situation.

On the upside my new job doesn’t involve me picking up trash or making anyone coffee!

I love you guys for the support and words of encouragement throughout the years. And I love that you are also excited with me for this new phase of my life. You all are seriously the best and I am glad that I was able to share my journey as a Flight Attendant with you all.

Choose your path. And do it intentionally.

Flight Attendant FAQs

Here are some questions I get asked rather frequently!

1. How many flights do you do in a day?

This totally depends on the pairing. If I’m working on the Q400 aircraft on a weekday, I’ll normally be doing four legs (or flights) in a day. On the weekend, though, I could be doing six legs on the same aircraft. If I’m doing a three day pairing I could do three legs, stay in a hotel, and then do four the next day and finish with three the last. Everything is totally dependent on pairing construction.

2. How long have you been flying?

I’ve been doing this just over a year now…a year and nearly two months to be exact.

3. Do you keep the same crew your whole pairing?

At my company the way the pairings are constructed, yes, we do keep the same crew for a whole three or four day pairing.

4. What languages do you need to speak?

For my company we are required to speak English and French, as a legality exists that at least one flight attendant on board needs to be able to communicate in both official languages. Any additional languages will help though!

5. How much do you get paid?

At my particular company, the starting wage for flight attendants is $22,000 annually. For a service director position this is $28,000.

6. How are you paid?

For starters, our pay only begins when they planes pushes back from the gate. We are not paid for boarding, delays in the airport, etc. Likewise, as soon as we arrive at destination and the parking brake is in place and the door opened, our pay stops once again. We are guaranteed 65 flight credits per month, and paid hourly after that. So if we work 80 hours we will obviously be making more than our flat annual salary. Flight attendants are also paid per diems. Ours comes in a rate per hour in flight, and a larger rate per hour when on hotel layovers.

7. What do I need to do to become a flight attendant?

Interviewers are looking for language skills and customer service experience. Both of these are key. Expect to answer numerous situational questions in the interview.

8. Isn’t the flight attendant life glamorous?

Yes, I do love my job and it has many definite perks, but it’s not as glamorous as people often think. Flight attendants are usually required to turn an aircraft in a short amount of time, and this leaves little time to eat. Layovers are usually fairly short (14 hours is around standard at my company) and allow for little time other than eating and sleeping. Dealing with so many passenger personalities in one day all while keeping on your happy “flight attendant smile” is grueling after four flights.

9. Do you get flight benefits?

After a six month probation period with the company, I received my flight benefits. We travel on what is called a Z fare which is basically airport improvement fees are various taxes. My parents receive unlimited travel as do I, but it’s always on standby and not confirmed. My sister is listed as my partner and can use these benefits without me along as well, but she counts toward the 10 miscellaneous passes I receive per year. If my friends are to travel, they need to be with me and can’t use the passes on their own, and they also count toward the 10 passes received per year.

10. Where all have you traveled?

I am perhaps one of the least-traveled flight attendants I know. I’ve never been outside of Canada and the US. Of course I want to travel more places, but right now my life is dedicated to paying off OSAP student loans and a line of credit. Slowly but surely I’ll travel to more places!

For Canadian provinces, I’ve been to British Colombia (lived in Langley for a while), Alberta (Edmonton and Calgary airports only), Saskatchewan (Regina airport only), Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia (Halifax airport only). I would LOVE to visit Prince Edward Island next. It’s always been my dream!

In the US I go frequently to Chicago IL, Boston MA, New York Laguardia, Newark NJ, Dallas TX, Washington DC and Philadelphia PA. Outside of work I’ve only been to Michigan, North and South Carolina, Indiana, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Washington state and West Virginia. I would love to visit California next.

Have any more questions about the Flight Attendant life? Feel free to ask! Have a lovely Tuesday everyone! xxoo

Oh, also...

I got engaged last weekend and I accepted a new job offer.

I put in my two weeks notice a few days ago.

Guys. I’m going to be home every night. And my new job is doubling my annual pay.

It’s not a decision I made lightly, especially after 4 years being a flight attendant. But for me in this stage of my life, this is the right choice.

At times I blame the fact that people always stop me or ask me for directions whenever I’m in the airport because of my uniform. However, I notice more frequently that people stop me in the street for directions, or, like this evening, more unique questions.

I’m staying at a Hampton Inn this evening. That means free cookies in the evening. I went downstairs to grab some hot chocolate and some oatmeal raisin cookies.

As I’m pouring the hot water for the hot chocolate (I’m not in uniform by the way, simply just lounge wear) I am greeted by a distraught middle aged woman holding a pack of cigarettes and handing me her Samsung phone. She explains to me that she unknowingly managed to switch her layout for text messaging and can’t figure out how to put it back. I’m trying to help her even though I don’t have the same phone as she does. She begins telling this crazy story about how she can’t communicate with her husband through this form of text messaging and how it’s important because a mass was found on her daughter’s brain. Apparently an appointment was scheduled with the doctor that ended up not happening due to some sort of scheduling error on behalf of the doctor’s office. Seriously, this lady has some crazy stuff happening in her life.

I know for a fact that she wanted nothing more than to have her phone back to normal and go smoke a cig. And after playing with her phone for 2 minutes I was able to return it to her normal layout and she was happy. I went on my merry way with hot chocolate and cookies.

I’m starting to realize that maybe I’m more approachable than I realize. Maybe I’m just the type of person that people see and want to trust. Perhaps that’s a good thing. I’m not malicious and definitely try to help out whenever possible. I think because I’m an introvert I have a hard time accepting people’s vulnerabilities and am just taken aback each time.

But, she was super grateful and continued on outside to maybe cope with her stress in the form of a nicotine habit.

I mean, hell, if I can make your day better by just switching the layout on your phone’s keypad, then great. It may not seem like much, but it gives me  faith that when I am no longer a flight attendant I will still be able to help people in tangible ways.

And we should help each other out when possible, because, well, sometimes that’s all we have.