Flight Attendants Make $150,000 Per Year?!

American Airlines flight attendant shares with Business Insider how overtime can help her earn as much as $150,000 per year. What is the average salary of flight attendants?
Flight Attendant Pay Up To $150,000/Year In USA?

Although the 36-year old flight attendant chose not to be identified, she has been with American Airlines for six year and can give candid insight into what senior flight attendants who do extra work can accomplish.

If I work 18 days a month, I earn about $5,000 a monthly. You can expect to make about $7,000 per month if you do overtime. Some flight attendants are called senior mamas and they work 150-200 hours per month for as little as $69 an hour. They make about $150,000 per year, which seems absurd to me.

Flight attendants are able to work longer hours than pilots who can only fly 100 hours per month.

All routes are determined by seniority and bids for them are submitted around the 12th-15th month. The following month's schedule is published around the 18th. Senior flight attendants are able to secure lucrative longhaul routes that offer more hours and are much easier than domestic shorthaul.

What do you think is the easiest? One flight from Los Angeles to Sydney takes 15 hours. Or seven round-trips from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Seniority allows flight attendants the ability to hold lines, which is why you will often see the same flight attendants flying the same routes.

The U.S. flight attendants generally earn more than their counterparts in Asia, Europe Africa, Australia, South America, and Africa. America, Delta, United, and Alaska are the best legacy airlines. The highest-paid flight attendants earn six-figure salaries, even without overtime. Budget airlines can offer lower fares because they pay flight attendants less. A senior Frontier Airlines flight attendant can earn roughly half the salary of a United flight attendant.

According to some reports, Scandinavian Airlines flight attendants are paid the highest in Europe, but less than their American counterparts. Senior flight attendants working for major flag carriers such as Air France, British Airways, KLM and Lufthansa earn less.

In all my years of traveling, I have noticed one thing: The idea that flight attendants can be untrained trolley dollies is wrong. It is completely false. Many flight attendants are well-educated, and they serve for both the joy of flying and the flight benefits. Think nurses. Lawyers. CPAs. It's an exciting side job or second career for many.

You are also statistically more likely to be accepted into Harvard than to become a flight attendant in America.

> Continue reading: Harvard Admission is Easier Than Becoming a Delta FA


The United States pays flight attendants well. Overtime can also be a great way to make additional income. It's no surprise that flight attendant is one the most sought-after jobs in the world.