A lot of people who become flight attendants do so because it’s their dream. I’ve often heard it being called a ‘dream job’. And it’s easy to see why, what with layovers in exciting places like Dubai, or Paris, pictures of beaches and resorts all tagged with #gettingpaidforthis. Every day flight attendants get to fly to, and stay in, cities that most people save up for years to be able to visit. It’s like living in a dream.
But this is still real life.
While I agree that there are definitely some dreamy aspects about the job (Um, flying standby to Paris for under $200? Yes please!), this job is still, well, a job. There is paperwork to fill out, late nights and way too early mornings, rude and upset passengers, co-workers that you just can’t figure out, delays and re-directions. Along with all of the perks of the job, of which it has many, come the downsides. Some might even say that the downsides are just as bad as the good things are good.
People are attracted to this job because of the dream that surrounds it, but often get blindsided by the reality of it. Just in training several of my classmates have had this happen to them. I guess that’s why I wanted to write this. If you are thinking about becoming a flight attendant, do your research, make sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
When that dream curtain is pulled back, make sure you will still like what’s waiting behind it.
I don’t mean to dissuade anyone from applying, some people have dreamed of this their entire lives, or, like me, fell into this after another dream failed. Dreams are important, I would even say vital, to have. They give you a sense of direction and purpose. But it’s also important to have perspective, to know not everything will be 36 hour layovers in London or Tokyo. I guess the final message here is:
Know what you’re getting into, know what you’re giving up. Don’t expect to be around for any holidays, don’t expect to be anywhere near home, expect to miss out on important life events, expect to drift away from friends, expect little sleep and rude customers. But most importantly, embrace what you are gaining: freedom to travel, the largest and most supportive family you will ever have, adventure, excitement, independence.
If that sounds like your thing, chase that dream! I wish you the best of luck and hope to one day see you in the skies!