10 Bad Things Nobody Tells You About Being a Flight Attendant

bad things flight attendants

The flight attendant life isn’t always as glamorous as it may seem. Yes, we get to explore many cities and fly for free, but there is a cost.

Here’s my honest opinion.

1. Low Pay

  • Flight attendants are absolutely not paid enough for the amount of times we are physically threatened or verbally harassed every time we come into work. And don’t even get me started on all the unwanted touching as we go through the aisle.
  • People constantly blame us for any mishap. (Yes, of course, it’s my fault there’s a storm today. I actually specifically chose this time and day for you to be inconvenienced.)
  • We are definitely not paid enough for all the attitudes people give when we’re just trying to do our job and keep them safe. (Now, please push your bag all the way underneath the seat in front of you.)

Related read: How Much Do Flight Attendants Really Make?

2. Miss Out on Events

  • This sucks especially when you’re just starting out in the industry. Seniority is everything and if you’re not senior enough to get the days off you want, you’ll most likely miss out on a lot of events with your loved ones.
  • Holidays like Christmas and New Year’s are notorious for flight attendants to be missed.
  • If you do end up working on the holidays, at least you know you’ll be able to celebrate it with your fellow airline family.

3. Rude Passengers

  • I’m sure it’s always been around, but the entitlement coming from passengers lately is absurd!
  • Especially at Spirit where everything is a la carte, people throw quite a fit when they find out they don’t get stuff for free. It’s almost comical how upset they get. I’m sorry I don’t make the rules. I just work here.
  • Sometimes they treat flight attendants like maids and servants, and that’s just not very kind. We’re still people.

4. Long Days

  • I don’t know who needs to hear this, but flight attendants hate delays just as much as you! Probably more even.
  • Not only does that make our day longer (and we’re not even being paid as we wait with you might I add), we still have to do our job and take care of the 100+ irritable passengers that most likely think it’s our fault.
  • As much as delays suck, nothing beats finding out your day isn’t over when you thought it would be. Reroutes are a special kind of torture.
  • Yes. It is possible for flight attendants to be extended from working a 3-day trip to working 6 days. Or getting assigned to work extra flights after you’ve already worked another flight.
  • And we’re not allowed to refuse it unless you want to lose your job.

5. Physically Demanding

  • On the surface of a flight attendant’s day-to-day, it may not seem like we do much.
  • Some people think all we do is just look pretty and give drinks out. However, flying day in and day out will take a toll on your body.
  • Frequent flying can tire and dry out your skin faster than normal.
  • All the ups and downs can make you feel extremely bloated.
  • Some flights can be so busy that you’re on your feet the whole time. There have been days where I ripped my heels off so fast I almost lost a foot!
  • Interacting with hundreds of people a day and feeling the need to constantly be “on” is a huge energy-drainer.

6. Terrible Sleep Schedule

  • If you like to have a certain sleep schedule, forget about being a flight attendant.
  • Flight attendants are constantly in different time zones, it’s amazing we show up anywhere on time.
  • Some layovers are so short that you’re lucky if you can manage to get any sleep at all.
  • Sometimes we fly throughout the night and you would think it would be easy to fall asleep, but some flight attendants have trouble falling asleep once they get to their layover because the day has begun and it’s light outside.
  • Sometimes you have to get up really early, and if you’re in a timezone different than where you’re from, it can feel like you’re waking up in the middle of the night.
  • Sometimes it feels like we literally blink and we’re back on the plane.

7. Hard to Have a Relationship

  • Being gone so much, flight attendants can struggle to have a relationship.
  • Trust seems to be the main factor as to why it’s so hard.
  • On the bright side, it can be easier to have a long-distance relationship because flying to see you isn’t a big deal to us.
  • And if anything, if you’re on our benefits, we can also join us on our layovers.

Related read: 13 Critical Things to Know Before Dating a Flight Attendant

8. Hard to Have Pets

  • We’ve already mentioned that having relationships with people is hard. It can be even harder to have a pet.
  • The flight attendant life can get lonely sometimes. So some people get pets for companionship.
  • You can be gone a lot. So you’ll need to find someone to either watch them or at least check on them while you’re away for days.
  • You can tell it just breaks their hearts a little whenever you pack your bag.
  • My dog knows whenever I’m about to leave and she gets really sad.
  • On the bright side, there’s nothing like being greeted so excitedly by your pet whenever you return from a trip. Talk about being missed!

Related read: Is It Possible To Have Pets When You’re a Flight Attendant?

9. Airport Sits

  • This is something that I’m sure most flight attendants would agree that we can do without.
  • A “sit” is where you literally sit at the airport for 1-4 hours after you’ve already worked a flight just to work another flight.
  • It can be draining because it’s easier to just get the flights over with.
  • I will say it is nice to have a sit sometimes because it provides an opportunity to close your eyes for a moment if you need to.

10. Difficult to Live a “Healthy” Lifestyle

  • Eating healthy and exercise are key for a healthy lifestyle.
  • However, it’s not always easy with this job.
  • Sometimes you’re too tired from flying all day and dealing with passengers that you don’t have the energy to workout out. All you want to do is lay down and unwind.
  • Some fresh food doesn’t travel very well. Sometimes the fridges (if you’re lucky to have one) are too cold that they freeze your salads.
  • Some flight attendants choose to meal prep (click to check our list of ideas) because it’s is a good way to make sure you don’t spend too much money and eat healthy, but sometimes you just want a yummy cheeseburger and fries.

Any job is going to have pros and cons. Although these are some downfalls about being a flight attendant, the benefits far outweigh the bad. Check our article 18 PROS & CONS of Being a Flight Attendant to confirm it.

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