There are plenty of reasons why you might want to become a flight attendant, but only work part time. Perhaps, like me, you are trying to do a PhD, or maybe you already have a job that you love, and you want flying to be your side-hustle. Whatever the reason may be, it is possible to be a part time flight attendant.
In this article we’ll present the different avenues you can take to create a part-time career in the sky.
Benefits of Being a Part Time Flight Attendant
There are many reasons why it is a great idea to work part time as a flight attendant, including:
- More free time: If you have extra time off you can pursue other things you enjoy doing, like traveling on your flight benefits, or spending time with friends and family.
- Chance to study: Working part time can also give you the chance to go to school. Flying is a great way to pay for a college degree without having to take out student loans, all while getting the chance to see the world! (I did this and highly recommend it!)
- Better work-life balance: Flying is a highly demanding career, doing it part time allows you to maintain a better work-life balance, for self-care.
- Less-stress: When you are constantly on the go and away from home, stress is inevitable. Working part time means less stress and more down-time to relax!
- Chance to pursue another career: Flying part time may give you the flexibility to pursue your other professional passion, maybe you want to start your own company, or teach online. These are all possible while flying part time!
What is Part-Time Work Like for Flight Attendants?
Unlike a normal job, flying part time isn’t as simple as reducing your daily hours, or working fewer days per week.
When you fly part time your schedule will often still involve being gone on multi-day trips, you will simply fly less than your full-time coworkers.
There are a few ways airlines organize part-time flying.
- Half-month schedules: These schedules involve flying like normal for 15-days at a time, usually in blocks from the 1st-15th or 16th-31st. Depending on which block you take, you’d have the other half of the month off.
- Low-time schedules: These schedules involve flying the whole month, but on fewer, and shorter trips. For example, you might fly a single two-day trip each week, instead of flying multiple trips.
- Alternating month schedules: Some airlines may allow you to alternate months, such that you fly one whole month, and then have the next whole month off.
- Extended leaves: Some airlines offer long-term leaves for 3-6 months. You will usually go unpaid during the leave, but you can make up for that by flying more before or after your leave.
- Study-and-fly schedules: A few airlines, including Lufthansa, have study-and-fly programs that schedule flight attendants to fly on the weekends, but give them Monday-Friday off so they can attend classes.
Is it Possible to Work Part Time as a New Flight Attendant?
It is technically possible if you find an airline that hires flight attendants specifically for part-time flying.
Breeze Airways, for example, will specifically hire new flight attendants to work part-time. They are expected to fly 37.5 hours a month (compared to 70 full-time). Other airlines offer this type of career too, you just might have to work for a smaller airline.
At mainline airlines, the only way to work part time is to be able to bid-for and “hold” (be awarded) a low-time schedule or take a leave.
Most airlines require flight attendants to fly a minimum of 37.5-40 hours per month.
But junior flight attendants are often expected to work 70+ hours.
This is because low-time schedules “go senior,” meaning they are taken by flight attendants with more seniority.
It makes sense if you think about it. Flight attendants with more seniority tend to be older…
It is not impossible to get a low-time schedule as a new hire, but it is rare.
At some airlines, it is however possible for flight attendants to drop trips to other flight attendants.
So it is theoretically possible for a new hire to drop unwanted trips to flight attendants who want a high-time schedule. It’s just not a guarantee and may work one month, but not another.
Frequently Asked Questions
In this section, I will address some FAQs about being a part-time flight attendant.
➡️ How to Get a Part-Time Flight Attendant Job
Your best bet is to apply to airlines that offer part-time positions.
This is truly the only way to guarantee you will get a part-time schedule right off the bat.
Keep in mind, some part-time positions will be listed as (m/w/f), just be sure to verify the number of hours you will be expected to fly to ensure its part-time.
➡️ How Many Hours Does a Part-Time Flight Attendant Work?
Typically a part-time flight attendant will fly between 35-50 hours per month.
If a job advertised as “part-time” asks you to fly more than 50 hours it will not really be that part-time, since the hours listed are flight hours, and do not include the hours you will be at work on the ground (boarding, time between flights, etc.)
➡️ How Much Do Part-Time Flight Attendants Get Paid?
This depends on what the airline pays.
Typically flight attendants are paid per flight hour.
This means part time flight attendants are usually guaranteed to make 35-50 hours of flight pay, plus per diem (an hourly rate paid to cover layover expenses).
Depending on what the airline pays and your seniority, this could be anywhere from $1,000-$3,000 a month.
➡️ Are There Any Requirements for Becoming a Part-Time Flight Attendant?
The same requirements apply to becoming a part-time flight attendant, as to becoming a full-time flight attendant.
You must be at least 21-years-old, have a high school degree or some sort, and be able to fulfill the physical duties of the role.
Other requirements may vary depending on the airline you are applying to.
If you are looking for part-time work as a flight attendant, it is entirely possible to achieve your dream.
The best part about being a part-time flight attendant is the fact that you still get access to the flight benefits, while also having the flexibility to pursue other passions, spend more time with family, and protect your work-life balance.