More than pilots, mechanics, and ticket agents, the job of an Airline Flight Attendant can get your travelling the world for free and an interesting career in aviation.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Flight Attendant Jobs are hard to find....right?

Since September 11, the airline industry has undergone a drastic change, with many airlines downsizing or even going out of business. If you were considering a career as a flight attendant, you may as well give up, right? I mean, the majors aren't hiring, so there are no job openings, are there?

In reality, all that is far from true. When asked about the job of working for the airlines, most people are surprised to learn there are over 70 airlines in the US and Canada that hire flight attendants.

Since 9/11, the "majors" have been recalling furloughed employees, though now that they are merging together, their “off the street” hiring has been slowed. But the "majors" (United, American, Delta, and USAirways) constitute only 10% of the airlines in the US and Canada.

The rest of the airlines consist of the mid-size carriers, such as Southwest, jetBlue, Virgin America; regionals such as SkyWest, Mesa, ComAir; and finally charter and niche airlines such as Miami Air, XtraAir and Era, to name a few.

Prior to the events of 9/11, nearly all airlines were desperate for quality flight attendant applicants. When they majors had difficulty finding them at their own open houses and job fairs, they began to recruit from the mid-size and regional carriers. That left the smaller carriers with serious shortages of applicants, which has eased somewhat with the cutback of hiring at the majors.

Sure, it's enticing to go to work for a major airline, and have the chance to fly to Paris or Tokyo. But keep in mind that it may take years with your major airline to be able to work those more-desired flights. Meanwhile, you'll be working the same type of flights as the regional airlines. And with major companies like American in bankruptcy, size does not necessarily matter in the job security department.

It's easy to become just another cog in the machinery when you work for a major airline that may have over 25,000 flight attendants. With a regional airline, you have a more supportive "family" atmosphere. And with shorter flights, you may actually be home more often than you would with the major carriers. Another advantage is the possibility of being based in the town you live- especially if it is the only base for that airline. Most of the regional airlines have alliances with the majors, so you will be able to use your employee travel benefits on the majors without ever having to work for them.

Charter Airlines are also included in the mid-size airlines group. These can have you traveling to all parts of the world right out of training, as their schedules are dependant on the contract they have with the group that books their flights. The charter airlines have been looking for flight attendant applicants throughout the past decade.
Perhaps the fastest growing area of aviation is the corporate or fractional jet employment opportunities. These luxurious private and corporate aircraft cater to a high-end clientele, and also require professionally trained flight attendants. While many corporate jobs require previous corporate specific safety training, there are others that will train you as part of the hiring process. Finding corporate work requires a lot more research and networking on your part. Recommended places to start are with the National Business Aviation Association ( and Women in Corporate Aviation (

How do you find a Flight Attendant job? Most airline companies have employment sites on their company website, and there are many all-in-one third-party sites such as and You can also findFlight Attendant jobs listed at, There are many aviation forums with inside intel on specific hiring, such as, and - to name a few.

So get out there and start applying for the job of your dreams. The truth is out there, and so are the hiring airlines. Feel free to contact me via e-mail at if you have any questions.

For more than 18 years, flight attendant applicants have been turning to The Flight Attendant Job Finder & Career Guide by Tim Kirkwood, a 35-year veteran of the aviation industry. Now in its 3rd Edition, celebrating the 77th Anniversary of Flight Attendants, applicants consider the Guide required reading. Kirkwood helps them choose the "best" airline to work for, and gives them the hiring requirements of over 80 US and Canadian airlines.

Contact Information:

Tim Kirkwood
(561) 843-6006