Walking into the world of aviation for the first time, you would assume that every Flight Attendant starts at the same salary, but you would be terribly wrong.
Just like most companies, you will find a wide array of pay scales across the aviation industry. Each airline offering their own unique wages.
Flight Attendants at Frontier Airlines can expect to make anywhere from 20,000 – 35,000 dollars the first year. However, this will significantly increase over the years. Starting pay at Frontier is 23.56$ an hour, and caps out at 55.43$ when you hit 20 years of service.
However, know that just because they make a certain hourly wage, doesn’t mean their salary is consistent.
Most Flight Attendants love the job for its flexibility, which means the hours you fly are all over the board. One person could be flying 40 hours a month, and another flying 120 hours.
It just depends on the pay scale you’re currently at, and how many hours you fly.
You also have to add in per diem, which is calculated from the time you leave your home base, to when you get back. Each flight sequence ranges drastically when it comes to this piece.
You can expect your monthly pay to fluctuate every month.
Factors that affect the salary
- Seniority is a huge factor in this industry. The longer you stay at one airline, the more money you are going to make. If you leave to another airline, you have to start right back on the bottom of the pay scale.
Many senior Flight Attendants can be making anywhere from 80,000 – 120,000$ a year. It all depends on how many years you’re willing to put in, and how many hours you’re willing to fly per month.
- The amount of hours you fly a month will drastically change your salary.
- How many years have you been with the company.
- How many days off do you want.
- If you work high time trips, or low time trips. You could work a two day worth 10 hours, or a two day worth 17.
- Do you have short layovers or long layovers? The long layovers get more per diem, but also might lead to a low time trip. The per diem is paid from the time you close the main cabin door in your home base, to when you open the main cabin door at the end of your trip, back in base. Thus, the longer you’re gone, the more per diem you’ll make.
There are so many factors that go into how much you are going to make on a monthly basis it will make your head hurt.
If you want a job that offers consistency, this is not for you. You can usually figure out how many hours you need to fly to pay your bills and go from there.
The most important factor: Flight pay per hour
How much do flight attendants get paid per hour at Frontier?
Right now, Frontier Airlines is starting their initial one year Flight Attendants off at 23.56$, which is less than most major carriers start their Flight Attendants off at, but when you look at the rest of their pay scale, it actually is comparable to most airlines.
Not to mention all the other perks you get from this airline that you could wait years for at other airlines, such as a line!
A stable schedule where you actually know what you’re doing month-to-month.
After this, the pay scale seems to go up about two, or three dollars an hour, which is great!
Of course, these numbers can change down the road, as Frontier Airlines is part of a Union. Each new contract usually has changes to the pay scale. In favor of the Flight Attendants.
How many hours do you fly per month?
Again, this is really hard to determine.
If you’re on reserve (Standby or on call):
The amount of flying time you end up with is truly at the discretion of the airline. You are there for the operation to run smoothly.
Reserve means you are on call for either A or B shift, midnight to 1 pm or 11 am to midnight. They may give you a courtesy call a day in advance or many hours in advance however it can be also as little as 2 hours in advance.
You will also be required to work Ready Reserve: where you sit a the airport for 6- 8 hour ready to fill in for a missing crew and be able to make the flight depart on time. You may or may not fly and if you don’t you will be paid half of the hours you sat.
While on reserve, you will be guaranteed 75 flying hours, no matter what you end up flying.
You do have to remember this is without per diem (meal allowance) though. Which, honestly adds quite a lot to your paycheck at the end of the day. You want to fly!
As for when you’re on a line (instead of being on call, you have scheduled trips):
When you hold a line, you basically are assigned your trips for the entire month.
Those schedules go to more senior Flight Attendants.
After graduation from training, you are on Reserve (on call) for several months determined by the base you are in, and it takes sometimes years for Reserves to finally graduate into holding a line.
At this point, you personally bid (request) for how many flying hours you will get.
If you bid high time, you could have anywhere from 85-120 flying hours.
You also have the opportunity to drop trips (give away trips if you don’t want to fly), trade trips (change trips with other crew), and pick up trips (work on your days off and fly trips that other people drop).
It’s really up to you how much you want to fly. And you have much more control on how much you earn.
Example of what you could make:
85 hours • $23.56 per hour = $2,002.60 a month
Before taxes and without per diem – we’re getting to it.
Your first year isn’t always very lucrative, but the more time you put in the better!
(an amount of allowance a company provides for flight attendants to cover the cost of staying away from home)
This is an allowance that you get paid when you are on layovers, in addition to the guaranteed hour salary.
Per diem rate is $1.90 per hour that you are away from your base.
It starts when you sign in and it ends when you get back to your base.
So it really adds up when you are having many trips.
There are many other things that can increase your salary.
A great way to make more money is to pick up trips from other Flight Attendants who are offering money. A lot of people need certain days off, for whatever reason it may be, and they will offer money to take their trip. This is one great way to make extra money.
Holiday pay is time and a half (meaning that is 50% more than the regular rate of pay) and they always give everyone food vouchers to buy something from the airport for yourself for the holidays. They also usually offer extra points on these days, which will go towards your sick time. This is highly beneficial if you get sick, have to call out last minute, etc.
Credit card applications!! I never understood why people didn’t do this. Frontier Airlines has its own credit card that gives passengers perks when they apply and get accepted for a credit card. All you as a Flight Attendant has to do is: sign up for the program, get approved, make an announcement on the flight, walk through the cabin, and pass them out to passengers who want them. The more you get approved, the more money you make on the side. That and they have prizes you can win throughout the year. It’s well worth it!
Do you get paid weekly or bi-weekly?
You will get paid bi-weekly.
The first check, paid on the 5th over every month, you receive will be the check that has the most money on it. This will be your: over time, per diem, bonuses, etc.
The end of the month check, paid on the 20th, will be your bare hourly pay.
You can expect this check to always be around 800$ the first couple of years. You’ll learn to change most of your bills to the big paycheck date.
Frontier Airlines salary samples
Example what Flight Attendants at Frontier can earn the first year as a new hire:
85 hours • $23.56 pay per flight hour = $2,002.60
Add in per diem, say 400$. 2,002.60+400 = $2,402.60 a month (this is before taxes).
$2,402.60 • 12 months = $28,831.20 a year (before taxes).
As you get more seniority this will start becoming more lucrative.
Let’s look at year 8:
You will be making $38.30 hourly.
Say you are still flying around 85 hours a month.
85 • $38.30 = $3,255.50
Add in your per diem, let’s go with $400 again.
$3255.50 + $400 = $3,655.50 a month (this is again before taxes).
$3,655.50 • 12 months = $43,866 a year (before taxes).
Then let’s look at year 19:
55.43$ per flying hour.
85 hours • $55.43 = $4,711.55
Per diem $400:
$4,711.55 + $400 = $5,111.55 (before taxes).
This is before taxes.
$5,111.55 • 12 months = $61,338.60 (before taxes).
Now remember, this is all subjective! It can change drastically based on flying hours, how long you’re away from base, credit card apps, etc! But not bad right?
Deductions & other benefits
Of course, you will have tax deductions, medical deductions, eye, dental, 401K, short term disability, long term disability, HSA accounts, etc.
Most of these you will have options to choose from that will determine just how much is going to be pulled out of your paycheck.
I would highly suggest putting as much as you can into your 401K, but this will probably fluctuate from the start of your career to the end.
Really take the time to sit down and go over this information. The airline will have plenty of people you can talk to, that will give you a better understanding of what everything means and how much they suggest you put into things such as your 401K.
During training, they will have a day they dedicate specifically to this information.
You should take it as an opportunity to really understand what everything means. It can drastically change how much money you are bringing home.
Do you have a family?
Does your spouse have better coverage, or will this job make it cheaper to get health insurance?
Are you still on your parent’s benefits?
All questions you will want to sit down and think about. Just know that once you put your submission in, and the deadline closes, you will be locked into this until the next year. Unless something drastic happens like your spouse passing away. Again, they will go over all of this information after you get the job.
Frontier Airlines is one of the many airlines you can choose from when you start your Flight Attendant career.
As with any career, the more information you have, the better you’re able to choose which one is going to fit you personally the best. Take the time to really research all of the airlines you are interested in.
I would suggest picking your top five, put them in order, and then start applying. That way if you get an offer from multiple airlines, you will know exactly which one you really have your heart set on.
Ask around! There are plenty of Flight Attendants that will offer you their opinion on the company they work for, or at least give you suggestions. There are plenty of forums, articles, YouTube vlogs, etc that go into so much detail on all of these subjects. Look into all of it.
I hope this article was informative and can give you a better understanding when it comes to the pay at this specific airline.
Remember though, your pay in this industry is very subjective and will change each month.
As well as changing over the years due to new contracts coming into play. For the most part, take this as a foundation into the ever-changing pay of the aviation industry.