What to expect when being a Reserve Flight Attendant

What to expect when being a Reserve Flight Attendant

What is the reason you want to be a flight attendant? Could it be:

  • Travel benefits
  • Meeting a lot of people
  • Easy job
  • Amazing layovers

There are so many people in the world that want to be a flight attendant. During my interview my interviewer told us that an upward of 50,000 people would apply for this job just this year. Be mindful that my airline is on the smaller side as well, so I can’t even imagine what a legacy carriers application pool looks like! This could be possibly be one of the most competitive jobs out there. Is it the glamorous job that everyone thinks? It can be, at times. Let me tell you all, it is no walk in the park. The training was extremely difficult.

I work for a major carrier and am on reserve. For those of you who are unsure of what reserve is, it is being on call for 24 hours at a time. This can go on for up to 6 days! Ridiculous huh? We’ve been under contract for some time but, who knows when that’s going to happen! There is another fun perk of being on reserve. Ready Reserve. A lot of FA’s refer to this as “sitting couch” and that’s exactly what you do. This is where you sit at the airport in the crew room (or really wherever) and wait to be called for a flight. For the airline I work for there are different ready reserve shifts lasting 6 hours each unless they extend you another 2 hours. During ready reserve you could be called for a flight, or you might not, or you might have to go to a plane to pre-board. Pre-boarding could happen because the crew working the flight, was delayed somewhere else, or a whole bunch of other reasons. Sitting couch is not too bad honestly if you find something productive to do. A select few of my colleagues do anything productive. On the other hand, I hate doing nothing, so that is what got you all this lovely website. You will have a lot of free time as a flight attendant, especially starting out on reserve. You will start out on reserve, most likely. The time you are on reserve depends on so many things; seniority, the growth of the company and of course the turnover within your company. With my company the turnover is extremely high, so seniority goes up rather quickly, therefor getting a line (a regular schedule) will come faster. The company is also growing rather quickly so a ton of people are being hired under me, which also will boost seniority up. Becoming a line holder for my airline will take around 8 months to a year. This might seem like a long time because you are struggling to make ends meet the ENTIRE time! In reality it is much shorter than other airlines, which sometimes might take years. I’ve figured out why a lot of stews are young adults (like myself), former stay at home moms, or retired people. A middle aged working person on reserve will struggle, and I see it a lot!

This leads to my next point, this is why so many people live in crashpads. A crashpad is a hostel, or dorm style living for airline crew. The living is tough and of course there is house drama, but the cost of living is extremely low. $200 – $400 a month with utilities included, some crashpad owners even let you drive their cars! Most crash pads are relatively local to the airport. On reserve you will be spending a lot of time in your crashpad, wether you are a commuter or not. Some people who don’t commute live in crash pads simply from a financial standpoint. Commuters, or people who don’t live in their base, usually get what is called a “hot bed” which is a bed for the night until they go to work the next day. Commuters obviously don’t live in base, so you can live anywhere and work anywhere which can be a pro or a con. Just don’t be late because this industry is extremely brutal. I’m not writing this to scare anyone off from achieving their lifelong goal, or even new goal of becoming a flight attendant. Actually, with the ever changing growing airline industry, try it out, if you don’t like it, quit! The industry is a revolving door anyway. You miss every opportunity you don’t take, so it could be the best thing ever, or the worst. So, go ahead, take the leap and FLY!

*All opinons are my own*

*This post is NOT sponsored*

*Disclosure: Some of these links may be affiliate links, at no additional cost to you, I may make a small commission*

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