Did you know that flight attendants actually don’t make jack?

The first part of this post will be about the actual job of flight attendants. 

As is tradition, I was surfing the interwebs this afternoon for interesting content. While on Mashable, I came across this piece detailing the professional life of flight attendants. It is authored by Heather Poole, a flight attendant with 19+ years experience.

Here are two things I assumed, about which I was just completely wrong.


1) Flight attendants, like pilots, make solid money for doing their brutal job.

Wrong. Flight attendants don’t make jack. Poole clarifies, “New flight attendants who work for major carriers start out making $18,000-$20,000 a year.”


2) Flight attendants get paid for the time they’re on the airplane.

Wrong. Flight attendants only get paid when the plane is moving. That’s right. “We’re only paid for time in the air,” she explains. “That flight attendant greeting you at the boarding door, helping you find a place for your bag, guitar, crutches, wedding gown, emotional support pig? They’re not being paid.”

So, yes, there are humans out there that probably hate delays even more than you do. “The clock doesn’t officially start ticking until the door is closed and the plane backs away from the gate,” she says. “That’s why flight attendants hate delays maybe even more than passengers.”

Ouch again.


I posted this because, truthfully, it shocked me. After dragging myself to my seat, I’ve always looked at flight attendants and thought, Man that would be miserable, good thing they make good money. Well, they don’t make good money. Therefore, I am officially shocked.


The second part of this post will be about people that bitch about the service. 

“Friendlier service doesn’t cost a thing,” Poole’s piece begins, describing what one traveler wrote. “But as a flight attendant with years of experience, my first thought was: Yes. It does,” she responds.

Those that complain about “friendlier service” really grind my gears. To them, I say this: stop being an asshole.

I’ve flown hundreds of times, not once have I desired “friendlier service.” If you’re a friendly, courteous traveler, you will receive friendly service. If you don’t, it’s because you’re being an asshole, for which there is no excuse.

We’re all aware of the inevitably frustrating, lethargic situation. Flying sucks. No one wants to sit in a stuffy tube for several hours slurping soda from those unbelievably-unique-to-airplanes plastic cups. Worse even, no one wants to serve this crowd.

You complaining about “unfriendly service” on an airplane is like complaining about hearing a sad speech at a funeral. Know your surroundings, understand the situation, react accordingly. If you don’t, you’re just making an already shitty situation even worse for everyone.

Sources: Mashable; Cover Photo

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