Why You Should Never Become A Flight Attendant

Why You Should Never Become A Flight Attendant

Why You Should Never Become A Flight Attendant

Listen, I’m just going to say it. Flight attendants have one heck of a job. I mean, who wouldn’t want to jet set around the world, meet interesting people, and enjoy the perks of discounted or even free travel?

Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Throw in some stylish uniforms and a chance to experience different cultures, cuisines, and traditions firsthand – the life of a flight attendant might just seem like one big, glamorous vacation.

But hold your horses. Let’s go beyond the cloud of glitz and glam, and peek into the not-so-pretty realities of the job. You might just find that the flight attendant life is not all it’s chalked up to be.

14 reasons why you shouldn’t become a flight attendant

1. Sleep deprivation is your new best friend

Ever heard of jet lag? Now, imagine experiencing that virtually every other day. Flight attendants often have to work in different time zones, and their bodies are constantly trying to adjust to these changes.

This can lead to chronic fatigue and sleep disorders, impacting their health in ways they hadn’t anticipated.

2. You’re away from family, a lot

Sure, you’re seeing the world, but what about your loved ones back home? Missed birthdays, holidays, and important life events are part of the package. The job demands being away from home frequently, often for extended periods, which can strain personal relationships and family life.

3. Your health takes a hit

Aside from the woes of sleep disorders, the health issues a flight attendant faces run the gamut. For starters, frequent flying at high altitudes exposes them to increased levels of cosmic radiation. Over time, this can increase the risk of cancer and other serious health conditions.

Secondly, the cabin air, which is typically drier than the Sahara desert, can cause dehydration if you’re not chugging enough water. And let’s not forget about the pressure changes that can mess with your ears and sinuses.

Being in close quarters with hundreds of passengers from around the globe means you’re exposed to a veritable petri dish of germs and viruses. Your immune system must constantly grapple with this onslaught, and any lapse might have you battling the flu or the latest bug going around.

4. The passengers aren’t always a joy

Working as a flight attendant means dealing with a diverse array of passengers, and unfortunately, not all interactions are pleasant. From minor complaints escalating into heated confrontations to non-compliance with safety regulations, the front-line position of flight attendants requires an abundance of patience, tact, and diplomacy.

Moreover, there’s a darker side (especially when alcohol’s involved) – unruly passengers who turn aggressive or even violent, creating situations that are not just stressful, but downright intimidating. This facet of the job places significant mental stress on flight attendants, turning what should be a service role into a test of endurance and conflict management.

5. Job security isn’t all that secure

The airline industry is notoriously unstable. Economic downturns, geopolitical crises, pandemics, and even weather conditions can drastically affect airline operations. Consequently, flight attendants often face the risk of layoffs or furloughs.

6. Not-so-fun-fact: The pay isn’t that great

Despite the perceived glamour and prestige, the starting salary for a flight attendant can be less than desirable. While senior flight attendants can earn a comfortable living, newcomers often find it hard to make ends meet, especially when considering the costs associated with layovers in different cities.

7. Privacy? What privacy?

When you’re on duty, you’re sharing small spaces with colleagues and hundreds of passengers. Even during layovers, you might be sharing accommodations with your crew. It might be difficult to find ‘me’ time, leading to a feeling of constant exposure.

8. It’s physically demanding

Contrary to popular belief, the job isn’t just about serving coffee or tea with a smile. You’re constantly on your feet, sometimes lifting heavy luggage into overhead bins, performing safety demonstrations, and dealing with turbulence. It’s quite the workout!

9. Flying high means flying risky

Yes, while it’s statistically safer to fly than drive, the flight environment still poses unique hazards. Turbulence can toss even the most secure service trolleys (and unsecured passengers) around like toys.

In-flight medical emergencies occur, and as a flight attendant, you become the first responder, dealing with anything from mild discomfort to life-threatening situations.

Furthermore, emergency landings, though rare, are a harsh reality that every flight attendant is thoroughly trained for. In these moments, they have to ensure the safety of all passengers, maintain calm, and execute emergency procedures flawlessly – all while facing the potential danger themselves.

10. Stress levels can soar sky-high

Flight attendants need to constantly ensure passenger safety, provide top-notch service, and keep cool when dealing with challenging passengers, all with a smile. This, coupled with irregular sleep patterns and frequently being away from home, can lead to significant mental stress and anxiety.

11. Airport security isn’t just for passengers

When you think about airport security, you usually imagine the long lines of passengers removing their shoes and belts, and taking laptops out of their bags. As a flight attendant, you might expect a smoother process, right? Think again!

Despite being part of the airline crew, flight attendants still have to go through rigorous security procedures before every flight.

Plus, with ever-changing airport security protocols across different countries, flight attendants always need to be on their toes to stay compliant, making their job even more demanding.

12. Security concerns are always lurking

Working as a flight attendant means you’re a visible representative of your airline and your country, particularly on international flights. This can unfortunately make you a potential target for acts of crime or terrorism. Although such instances are rare, they do contribute to the overall stress of the job.

13. Your social life will take a nosedive

This goes beyond missing family events. Think about maintaining friendships or a steady relationship with such a topsy-turvy schedule.

Your non-airline friends work during the day and chill in the evenings. As for you? You’re likely sleeping off jet lag or working. Socializing becomes quite the juggling act.

14. Being “on” all the time is mentally draining

As a flight attendant, you’re expected to maintain a cheerful and professional demeanor, no matter how tired, stressed, or frustrated you might be. You’re in a customer service role, after all. But constantly suppressing your true emotions in favor of service with a smile can lead to emotional exhaustion.

Final thought

Next time you’re sipping your mini bottle of bubbly at 35,000 feet, feeling a pang of jealousy for the flight attendant’s glamorous lifestyle, remember the less sparkly side of things. The constant jet lag, health risks, unruly passengers, and yes, even the endless security checks.

Sure, the ‘free’ travel, the chance to meet interesting people, and the break from a 9 to 5 routine might seem like a great deal. But is the turbulence – and I’m not just talking about the in-flight kind – really worth it? I’ll let you be the judge of that.