Many people have a phobia for flying; they rather avoid any journey that involves aero plane. But there are those, whose lives depend on flying. They not only “love it, they live it.”
These are air hostesses, whose offices are inside the aircraft. They routinely fly, and for them, it is not about the pay package, it is passion.
In a surprising trend, the role of an air hostess, despite its relatively modest salary, has emerged as a highly coveted job position in recent years. With salaries ranging from N150,000 to N200,000, the question arises: What makes this job so sought-after despite the huge risks involved?
A popular career platform defines an air hostess as a crucial member of a commercial airplane’s cabin crew, responsible for a range of tasks that ensure the safety and well-being of passengers throughout a flight. This includes pre-flight preparations, in-flight service, and post-flight duties.
“Being an air hostess is more than a job; it’s a chance to connect with people from all walks of life and create lasting relationships,” says Jane Davis, a veteran flight attendant.
The nature of the job often requires close interaction with passengers, fellow crew members, and professionals from the aviation industry.
Some of them who spoke with BusinessDaySunday on condition of anonymity listed a number of opportunities open to them as flight attendants.
Networking and career growth
According to them, it offers a wealth of networking opportunities that can prove invaluable for personal and professional development. The regular interaction with diverse individuals- from passengers to industry insiders- opens doors to potential career growth and personal connections.
Travel and tours:
They also talked about limitless opportunities to travel. While on the job, flight attendants can explore various destinations during layovers. Moreover, many airlines provide flight benefits that allow flight attendants to fly for free even when they’re not working. This is often done on a standby basis, adding an element of excitement to spontaneous travel plans.
“Travelling the world has always been a dream of mine. Being an air hostess not only lets me fulfill that dream but also enables me to share my experiences with passengers,” Emily Roberts, a young flight attendant,” said.
Flying high with friends and family:
Flight benefits extend beyond the air hostess herself. Depending on the airline, these benefits can often be shared with family members. Spouses, parents, and children might be eligible for free or discounted flights, enabling memorable family vacations. Also, buddy passes, a common perk, allow flight attendants to offer free flights to friends and extended family members, fostering a sense of generosity and community.
Flexibility for personal pursuits:
Flexible scheduling is a hallmark of the air hostess profession. Airlines prioritise the well-being of their crew members, resulting in reasonable working hours. The typical three-day work week grants flight attendants ample time to pursue personal interests, spend quality moments with loved ones, or embark on personal travel adventures.
“I love the flexibility that comes with this job. It lets me balance work and life in a way that few other professions can,” Michael Johnson, an experienced flight attendant,” said.
Meeting a world of faces:
“We’re like ambassadors of hospitality, bringing smiles and comfort to people in the sky,” remarks Sarah Collins, a seasoned flight attendant.
An air hostess’s day is filled with interactions with a diverse array of passengers. From celebrities to families on vacation, flight attendants are in a unique position to connect with people from all corners of the globe. Overnight stays in various cities during layovers provide opportunities to explore new cultures and communities.
Culinary delights and accommodations
Beyond the skies, air hostesses enjoy culinary perks. Airlines often reimburse food expenses incurred during layovers, allowing them to savour local cuisines without dipping into their own pockets. Similarly, work-related overnight stays in hotels are provided free of charge, relieving flight attendants of accommodation expenses.
A safety net of benefits:
Health and well-being are prioritised in the air hostess profession. Comprehensive health packages, encompassing medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, are often extended to both flight attendants and their dependents. These packages may also include additional medical benefits, like health savings accounts.
Steady compensation and job security:
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry, the demand for air travel continues to rise globally. This ensures a degree of job security for air hostesses, as airlines require competent and dedicated crew members to ensure passenger satisfaction and safety.
The allure of being an air hostess extends beyond the salary, showcasing an array of benefits that make the profession not just a job, but a lifestyle choice.
Despite the relatively low salary of air hostesses, there is still a high demand for this job position.
The question remains: why is a job that pays about N150 to N200,000, and involves certain risks, so highly sought after?
Indeed, a career-based platform defined an air hostess as a member of a commercial aeroplane’s cabin crew, who undertakes several pre-flight, in-flight and post-flight duties to ensure passengers are safe and cared for during a flight.
The nature of the job as a flight attendant often entails regular interaction with a wide variety of passengers, crew members, and industry professionals.
As a result, this presents excellent networking opportunities that can prove advantageous for future career growth or building personal connections.
Free flights and travel opportunities
Flight attendants have the opportunity to travel while working, with potential downtime between flights to explore different places. There are also additional perks such as earning mileage and flight benefits.
This allows many flight attendants to fly for free on their company’s airlines, even during their off-duty time. However, these free flights are usually given on a standby basis after paying customers have boarded, making it an exciting way to discover new destinations.
A flight attendant may desire to travel on a different airline in order to reach a specific destination or travel at a specific time. Some airlines provide discounted rates to all flight attendants, even if they are employed by different companies. By paying a small ticket fee, a flight attendant may have the opportunity to explore various locations during their days off.
Flight benefits for family and friends
Flight benefits for flight attendants may extend to their family members, depending on the airline. While some companies offer the perk of free flights for parents or children, it is more common for this benefit to apply to spouses. Additionally, these free flights are typically for personal trips rather than work-related travel.
Certain airlines offer flight attendants additional free flights through buddy passes. Within a given year, flight attendants typically receive a set number of passes that they can distribute to friends or other family members.
Flight attendants enjoy flexible scheduling due to the importance airline companies place on crew members’ well-being and ensuring safe travel. As a result, companies often impose limitations on working hours.
It is common for flight attendants to have a three-day work week, providing them with additional time for personal interests, spending time with family, or traveling.
Certain airlines offer flight attendants the opportunity to select their flights based on seniority, granting priority to those who have served the longest. As time passes, flight attendants can establish a schedule that suits their needs and preferences.
Food expense reimbursement
An advantageous aspect of being a flight attendant is the provision of complementary food or food reimbursement. In addition to in-flight snacks and meals, many airline companies also offer reimbursement for food expenses incurred outside of the aircraft during travel. When flight attendants have downtime in between flights at a particular city, they have the opportunity to explore local restaurants and indulge in new food experiences without incurring any personal expenses.
Airline companies generally allocate food reimbursement based on the duration of a flight attendant’s service. Longer trips warrant higher amounts of money for food expenses. Airlines may either provide upfront payment for these expenses or adopt a reimbursement process that involves verifying receipts and reimbursing employees accordingly.
Overnight hotel stays
Flight attendants may occasionally have to spend a night in a particular location before their return flight. When such overnight stays are work-related, they are provided free-of-charge to crew members. Typically, these hotel stays are designated for flight attendants to rest and sleep before their journey back; however, there are instances where crew members may have additional time to explore the cities they visit. This benefit enables flight attendants to travel to diverse destinations without the burden of incurring costly hotel expenses.
Many airlines provide comprehensive health packages to their employees, which encompass medical, vision, dental, and life insurance coverage for flight attendants and their dependants. These packages may also incorporate additional benefits such as health savings accounts and other medical perks.
Flight attendants are compensated with competitive salaries for their services. On average, a flight attendant earns an annual income of N1,800,000. However, the specific salary amount can vary based on factors such as the airline and level of experience. In addition to standard wages, certain airlines offer profit-sharing packages as a part of their overall compensation plan.
Airline crew members have the opportunity to enjoy extra compensation through employee discounts. Various entities in the travel industry, such as cruise ships and hotels, extend special discounts to flight crew members as a result of their association with the airline industry.
Despite occasional business challenges, the demand for air travel continues to grow globally. This provides flight attendants with a certain level of job security, as airlines need a competent and dedicated crew to ensure passenger safety and satisfaction.