The Highs of Flying by Jocelyn Harper

I want to delve into the beautiful part of flying for a living. The part that I relive all the time.

The Freedom
The sense of freedom in this job is hard to match. At any given moment you are high in the sky, above those clocking in and out of work. Your family and friends constantly ask “Where are you today?” and “Where are you going next?” The world is literally your playground. On my days off, I would be in the airport, looking at the Departure List. With my flight benefits, I could point my finger at a city and just go. I even took my boyfriend to Paris with me. All it took was a few clicks from my phone to create an e-ticket for myself. If there was an empty seat on the plane, I was off!

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The People
I’ll never forget an older passenger who was battling cancer. She came into the plane and told me she was terrified to fly. She was on her way to visit her grandchildren and told me she had done her best to put on some makeup and a wig so she “would not scare them.” Through the flight, I spoke with her and listened to her, to make sure she was comfortable. When we landed, she smiled at me and said: "Now that wasn’t so bad! Thank you!" And she was rolled out on my plane in a wheelchair. I still think about her and how I was able to make her feel comfortable in a scary situation. What a gift that memory is to me.

Personal Growth

 
               A snapchat after a red eye flight to Guanajuato, MX

               A snapchat after a red eye flight to Guanajuato, MX

 

When you are a flight attendant you are often away from the people who really know you. This allows you the opportunity to open up to new people and places. You get to converse with such a wide variety of humanity, and grow in the process. You learn that if you have a crew of slam clickers (people who get to the hotel and shut their doors) that you can still discover a local bar or movie theater alone. Or if you feel like slam clicking yourself, you start pushing yourself past the exhaustion or excuses in order to experience a new place with new people.

  • You learn to navigate public transit around the world.
  • You learn how to solve problems without calling for help.
  • You learn how strong, capable, and personable you can be and you get to share it with your passengers every day.
So glad I left my hotel after that red eye flight to visit Guanajuato, MX. Churros, tequila, architecture and music.

So glad I left my hotel after that red eye flight to visit Guanajuato, MX. Churros, tequila, architecture and music.

Despite the fact that this career did not fit into my goals perfectly, I recommend going for flying if has ever crossed your mind. I value the travels, stories or experiences I’ve had more than anything. 

 

The Lows of Flying by Jocelyn Harper

One of the very best days of 2014 was the day I completed flight attendant training in Salt Lake City, UT. I was convinced this would be my career for 3-4 years. I would travel the planet, blog, take pictures and I would never have to sit at a desk.

Well I’m sitting here at a desk right now to tell you it did not work out that way.

The Lows of Being a Flight Attendant.

First and foremost, realize that my personality is very particular. I like things certain way. I like having control over my circumstances and I have a sensitive immune system.

Motion Sickness

I didn’t realize the extent of how airsick I got until I quit television, moved to Minnesota and started in flight training. I get airsick A LOT. Very easily. No matter how long or short the trip. I was poppin’ Dramamine almost every day and having to call out during the middle of a trip. My head would spin, I would throw up, and have to get back to work with a smile. Torture.

 

Being on Reserve (On Call)

With every airline you start off being a reserve. You are there so that when the senior flight attendants want to call in, or HAVE to call in the flight can still go as scheduled. As a reserve you must live close enough to the airport to get there within two hours. I was being called at 4am to get to the airport by 6am for a four-day trip. Reserve meant no control over your schedule. You might sit within 2 hours of the airport for your entire 12 hour required shift and never be called in. But you still had to be nearby.

 

Being Mistreated/Feeling Less Than

Pax and Pilots alike were capable of making me feel like my job was pathetic. And that could entirely be because I didn’t feel secure or happy in the job already. But I would have friends accidentally call me a stewardess or air hostess, when really I was mainly there for safety and as a first responder in an emergency. With that being said the enormous amount of pressure I felt to apply makeup and organize the peanut drawer was too much for me. I don’t really care what people think, so trying to provide top notch customer service for people who had been extremely rude or belittling was nearly impossible.

 

I’ll be posting the HIGHS next! Don’t you worry, it was all worth it.

How Much Do Flight Attendants Really Make by Jocelyn Harper

Article by Heather Poole
From Mashable

December 2014: I used my flight benefits to go to Paris, France Photo by Corey Price

December 2014: I used my flight benefits to go to Paris, France
Photo by Corey Price

"Friendlier service doesn’t cost a thing."

That’s what one travel writer said, after complaining about an experience on board a flight recently. But as a flight attendant with years of experience, my first thought was: Yes. It does.

Whenever I speak to people about what I do for a living, most seem to assume the money is pretty good. I did, too, before I became a flight attendant.

We’re only paid for time in the air
— Heather Poole

Despite the reputation of the job, there’s nothing glamorous about life as a flight attendant, especially in the first few years. New flight attendants who work for major carriers start out making $18,000-$20,000 a year. Flight attendants at smaller airlines and regional carriers? They make even less.

The airlines won’t tell you that, though. Ask, and they’ll refer to some stat about the median annual wage: $40,000. Sounds so much nicer, doesn’t it? Something else they won’t tell you is how long it takes to make that kind of money working a regular schedule, or the kind of flying it takes to get there when you have less than 10 years with a carrier.

“I took this job to spend what little money I make on vacations I can't afford,” joked a new hire, who works 120 hours a month, after she saw me tweeting about flight attendant pay.

"But flight attendants barely work," is what I hear all the time. Don’t let the hours fool you.

A hundred and twenty hours a month may sound reasonable for your typical job on the ground, but in the air, it's insane. Working "80 hours" a month — a more regular schedule for flight attendants — actually means working many, many hours more.

We’re only paid for time in the air. That flight attendant greeting you at the boarding door, helping you find a place for your bag, guitar, crutches, wedding gown, emotional support pig? They're not being paid.

Read more on Mashable.com 

4 Steps to Becoming a Flight Attendant by Jocelyn Harper

Have you dreamt of flying for a living? Getting paid to pack your bags and jet off to new cities?

Becoming a flight attendant is a dream for many, so here are some practical steps you can do to turn this dream into a high speed reality.

1. Research your airline of choice. See if you can find out which one suits your needs and then submit an online application. Yes one of the keys to becoming an FA(flight attendant) is to APPLY. Take that first step. Look at average start pay and where you may be based right out of training. You more than likely will be placed in the least desirable base city at first, because the better cities are for FAs with more seniority.

2. Be prepared for an open group interview. Look at height requirements before you go. Once I submitted my online application, I found the nearest open interview and went over, not knowing what to expect. The interview involved listening to the job description, filling out paperwork, then SPEAKING in front of 150 FA hopefuls. We had to speak for 1 minute on why we believed we would be a good flight attendant. I had lifeguard and food service experience (and I made everyone laugh) and I was moved to the second round of the interview.

The first day I got my wings in Salt Lake City

The first day I got my wings in Salt Lake City

Once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been, and there you will long to return.
— Leonardo Da Vinci

3. Make sure you have a valid passport ASAP. Once you hear back from the company it is GO time and you need all your paperwork in order. Look over their requirements because flying to training without your paperwork could mean flying back home without a job.   

4. Wait for that call and once you get it CELEBRATE! Hang out with everyone you know because soon you'll be nothing more than a phone call or Instagram post to all your friends who are stuck in their cubicles. You will be at 30,000 feet so spend time with your loved ones before you jet off to training. 

 

Recap:

Apply online. Attend an open interview. Let the interviewers see the real you. Say goodbye to the life you knew. Fly away.