Best Airline to Work for as a Flight Attendant

Airlines · 9 min read · Nov 09, 2022
best airline to work for as a flight attendant

When it comes to choosing an airline to work for, it is important to consider many factors. Compensation, benefits, and job satisfaction are all important factors to take into account. However, for flight attendants, the most important factor is often safety management and the airline’s reputation.

In any case, if you’re thinking about becoming a flight attendant, you probably want to know which airlines are the best to work for. Here’s a list of some of the best airlines to work for as a flight attendant, based on salary, benefits, and job satisfaction. We invite you to keep reading to discover the one that better suits your flight attendant needs.

But before we go to the airlines for flight attendants list, here are two things you must consider before choosing your favorite.

Reserve flight attendant and flight attendant training

Some airlines will have a reserve system for flight attendants. This means they will be on hold waiting for the call to work. This can have some benefits such as having more time to engage in other activities. However, it also has some drawbacks, including lower earnings as bonuses such as boarding pay are not received. Also, they may require you to be based on specific locations or be prepared for deadheading.

On the other hand, most flight attendant jobs start with a training process, which makes it a very accessible profession. Just keep in mind that, most of the time, training is not paid although some airlines give you at least some form of a stipend for you to cover basic needs such as food.

Let’s now see the best airlines to work for as a flight attendant.

Flight attendants serving customers on board.

United Airlines

United Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world and employs over 12,000 flight attendants. United Airlines flight attendants are offered competitive compensation and benefits packages.

As a flight attendant at United Airlines, you can expect to receive a salary that is comparable to other airlines. A United Airlines flight attendant earns an average salary of 52,000 USD per year and receives great benefits like medical insurance and a 401k plan with a company match.

In addition to these great benefits, United Airlines also offers its employees many opportunities for career growth and development. For example, working as a flight attendant you can also get free or discounted travel on United Airlines and other airlines. In addition, you can take advantage of tuition reimbursement.

Based in the United States, this airline flies to both domestic and international destinations. They are headquartered in Chicago, IL, and have been in operation since 1926 (though they were originally founded as two different airlines).

United Airlines aircraft being towed across taxi routes at an airport. Best airline to work for as a flight attendant.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is a great airline to work for as a flight attendant because it offers a high salary and great benefits. If you work as a Southwest Airlines flight attendant you will earn around 65,000 USD a year. Clearly, Southwest Airlines flight attendants can rank as the highest-paid flight attendants.

In addition, Southwest Airlines has a great reputation for safety. This means that flight attendants can feel confident that they are working for an airline that puts safety first. This accounts for high job satisfaction among Southwest Airlines employees.

One of the things that make Southwest Airlines one of the best airlines to work for is that just like Alaska Airlines, they offer flight attendants TFP or trips for pay. That means all of their trips have extra pay padded into them which is an excellent benefit.

Southwest Airlines is always looking for talented and qualified flight attendants and offers a great working environment. While there is an initial training period of four weeks where you will be working for free, you will get a bonus of training money in a period of 5 days after training completion. Also, they will give you a pre-paid visa card with 425 USD to pay for your meals while in training.

If you are looking for a flight attendant job, you should definitely try Southwest Airlines.

Southwest Airlines aircraft landing on a cloudy day.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is also a great airline to work for as a flight attendant. As the previous ones, the company offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits, including medical and dental insurance, a 401(k) plan, and paid vacation. An Alaska Airlines flight attendant gets a starting pay of 27.78 USD per hour, and it can reach up to 67.14 USD after 16 years with the company.

Moreover, Alaska Airlines also excels in having a strong safety record and is known for its exceptional customer service. Flight attendants who work for Alaska Airlines enjoy a high degree of job satisfaction and are proud to represent the airline.

If you are choosing Alaska Airlines, keep in mind they have a straight reserve system which means as a new flight attendant you will be on reserve until you have acquired enough seniority to be out of the reserve.

Alaska airlines aircraft taking off on a clear day.

American Airlines

American Airlines is another major US airline that employs over 140,000 people, including 15,000 flight attendants. American Airlines offers competitive compensation and benefits packages to its employees. They are headquartered in Forth Worth, TX, and have been in operation since 1926.

If you work as an American Airlines flight attendant, you can expect to earn an average salary of $50,000 per year and receive great benefits, like medical and dental insurance, as well as a 401k plan with company match. With American Airlines you will also get benefits such as same day standby flights and buddy passes for your friends and family.

Before they get hired, American Airlines flight attendants will head off to unpaid training for 6.5 weeks. Also, in the first year as an American Airlines flight attendant, you will be on straight reserve, after that you will rotate one month on reserve, one month of holding a line until you are senior enough to hold a line and not rotate. American Airlines accepts flight attendants starting at 20 years of age.

Even though the training is unpaid there is a $40 stipend paid for the days you spend in training.

American Airlines aircraft parked at an airport of a large city with skyscrapers.

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines is one of the world’s largest airlines employing over 19,000 flight attendants. The airline is known for its excellent compensation and benefits. Additionally, Delta Airlines is known for its strong commitment to employee satisfaction. The airline has been voted one of the best places to work by FORTUNE magazine for several years in a row.

Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, Delta Air Lines flight attendants earn an average salary of $56,000 per year and receive great benefits, like medical, dental, and vision insurance, as well as a 401k plan with company match.

In addition, Delta Air Lines is the only airline to pay flight attendants for boarding which gives them a great big gold star as one of the top airlines for flight attendants. Flight attendants only get half of their pay for boarding, but it’s better than the zero that you get with most other airlines, so you could definitely consider this if Delta Air Lines is on your shortlist.

A small Delta Airlines aircraft landing on a sunny day.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is another great airline to work for as a flight attendant. Perhaps not the highest-paid flight attendants. Spirit Airlines pay its flight attendants an average salary of 39,000 USD per year. Yet, the company offers competitive salaries and benefits, and job satisfaction is high. Moreover, flight attendants receive paid training and are able to earn travel benefits.

Spirit Airlines is a great airline to work for as a flight attendant mainly because of the work environment. It usually attracts a younger age group, which is usually taken as a more dynamic environment since most senior flight attendants usually feel tired of doing the job for too many years and usually just want to relax.

Spirit Airlines yellow aircraft in the process of landing.

JetBlue Airways

Similar to the previous one, this relatively new airline makes the list of the best airlines to work for because of its generosity in regard to employee benefits. While the average flight attendant makes approximately 49,000 USD per year, they get the benefit of flying around the Caribbean and South America, apart from the United States.

Moreover, they also get free trips for their family, excellent retirement plans, and high-level medical insurance. Although there might be a reduced demand for flight attendants in this airline as they have recently cut some of their routes.

JetBlue aircraft taxiing at an airport. Best airline to work for as a flight attendant.

Etihad Airways

When it comes to choosing an airline to work for, Etihad Airways is often a top choice for flight attendants. Etihad offers competitive salaries and benefits, as well as a positive work environment.

Flight attendants who work for Etihad Airways often report high job satisfaction and feel that they are part of a team. Etihad is also known for its high safety standards, which are important for flight attendants.

Although the average salary of 25,000 – 32,000 USD per year is not the highest paid by airlines for flight attendants, Etihad Airways becomes one of the best airlines for flight attendants because of the several destinations it offers. This makes Etihad Airways a great place to work for flight attendants who want to explore the world.

Etihad Airways aircraft in flight. Best airline to work for as a flight attendant.

Emirates Airlines

When it comes to choosing one of the best airlines for flight attendants, Emirates Airlines is often a top choice. Emirates Airlines flight attendants earn between 36,000 and 53,000 USD annually.

In addition, Emirates Airlines is known for providing a high level of job satisfaction to its employees. Flight attendants who work for the airline enjoy excellent working conditions and a friendly work environment.

They also offer layover payments that include flight hours and flight base salaries, and all crew members are provided free accommodation (housing bills included) as part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) tax-free system.

The airline has a strong safety record, and crew members are treated well by management. Overall, Emirates Airlines is one of the best airlines to work for.

Emirates aircraft landing.

All Nippon Airways

When it comes to working as a flight attendant, All Nippon Airways (ANA) is a great airline to work for. First and foremost, ANA has an excellent reputation for safety. In fact, they were ranked the safest airline in the world by AirlineRatings.com in 2018. This is a huge consideration for flight attendants, as their safety is of the utmost importance.

In addition to being a safe airline, ANA also offers good benefits and compensation packages to their employees. Flight attendants can expect to receive a competitive salary, as well as medical and dental insurance, travel benefits, and more.

This makes ANA an attractive airline to work for, especially when compared to others in the industry. Flight attendants can expect to earn a salary of around $40,000 per year, plus benefits.

On top of that, working for ANA, a candidate can expect excellent customer service training as this airline pride themselves as being one of the most customer-centric airline with a luxurious portfolio of services.

Finally, ANA is one of the best airlines to work for because it is known for having high job satisfaction rates among its employees. This means that flight attendants generally enjoy their jobs and find them fulfilling. This is another important consideration for those looking for a career as a flight attendant.

All Nippon Airways taxiing on an airport taxi route.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is one of the best airlines to work for as a flight attendant since it offers great pay and benefits, as well as a high level of job satisfaction. Also, Qatar Airways is known for its high safety standards, and its employees are highly valued. If you are looking for an airline that offers a great combination of pay, benefits, and job satisfaction, Qatar Airways is a great choice.

Not many companies hiring flight attendants offer an average salary of 45,000 USD per year and tax-free compensation that includes a basic salary plus pay for flight hours and layovers as well as free housing. Moreover, the rate increases significantly for more experienced flight attendants, so making a career here makes much sense.

Qatar Airways aircraft taking off, the best airline to work for as a flight attendant.

Lufthansa

Continuing with the best airlines for flight attendants, we must mention Lufthansa. This is a great airline to work for as a flight attendant because of what it offers and its reputation.

Lufthansa is known for its high safety standards, and its employees enjoy a good working environment. If you are looking for a stable and rewarding career as a flight attendant, Lufthansa is a great option.

They pay an average salary of around 44,000 USD to their flight attendants and offer a flight attendant schedule with many different destinations which increases flexibility. While the salary is competitive, Lufthansa flight crew have been striking for better pay quite recently. However, in November 2022, they have reached an agreement to refrain from strikes until at least June 2023.

Major airline of Europe, Lufthansa, being towed to the runway of an airport.

Cathay Pacific

Working for Cathay Pacific as a flight attendant is a great choice for many reasons. Flight attendants receive a very competitive salary of about 42,000 USD per year. In addition, Cathay Pacific offers great benefits, including free flights for family and friends.

Job satisfaction for flight attendants working in the company is also high, as they get to travel the world and meet new people. Overall, Cathay Pacific is a great airline to work for and offers many benefits that make it a desirable place to work.

Moreover, Cathay Pacific is always working on new systems to improve flight efficiency, so you can be sure that you are flying with an airline that values technological advancement.

Cathay Pacific Airbus aircraft ready for boarding at a jetway. Best airline to work for as a flight attendant.

Some final words

As the list above states, when it comes to choosing an airline to work for as a flight attendant, compensation, benefits, and job satisfaction are all important factors to take into account.

However, for flight attendants, the most important factor is often safety and the airline’s reputation. All airlines are not created equal, and some are better than others when it comes to safety and the overall experience for their flight attendants.

Based on this information, it can be concluded that Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines are the best airlines to work for as a flight attendant. These airlines have a strong safety record, offer great benefits and compensation packages, and have a positive work environment.

Want to read more like this?

Enter your email and get curated content straight to your inbox!

Thank your for your subscription.

You are already subscribed to this newsletter.

Carlos Collantes
Carlos Collantes
A mechanical engineer and aviation enthusiast dedicated to share some knowledge by creating top-notch content, especially in engineering and aviation topics.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recent posts

avelo new haven

Avelo New Haven: 1st Birthday and $49 Flights

Airlines · 4 min read

Avelo Airlines, an airline serving seven states in the country, celebrated its first anniversary since the airline launched flights from Tweed New Haven Airport on November 3, 2021.

Nov 25, 2022
how would the airline industry use business intelligence?

How Would the Airline Industry Use Business Intelligence?

Airlines · 8 min read

Rapidly developing technologies are making major changes to the ways companies in the airline industry communicate and understand customer behavior, make strategic decisions, and develop workflows. Moreover, customer satisfaction is at the top of the priority list for the airline industry as well as safety for the whole aviation industry. Therefore, collecting and analyzing customer […]

Nov 14, 2022
commercial flights meaning

What Is the True Meaning of Commercial Flights?

Airlines · 5 min read

In the aviation industry since the 1920s, the phrase "commercial flights" is used to describe a flight that is carrying paying passengers. This is in contrast to private flights, which are typically only used by a private jet owner or their invited guests.

Nov 09, 2022

Start learning from the best minds now

  • Check your knowledge with quizzes
  • Pre-recorded certified courses
  • Study on different devices
  • Virtual classes/Live sessions
  • Pre-recorded Aviation management courses
  • Obtain Aeroclass Certificate
Get Started Today