Recently, I wrote about the benefits of working for a small airline.  I have been very grateful for my flying experience, but it is all that I know.  I wanted to learn about what the opposite is like, and I thought it would be appropriate to share the counter perspective with readers.

My friend Bri, who is an absolute sweetheart, flys for a large, mainline carrier, and writes Journeys From A Jumpseat, a blog about her flying life, graciously agreed to share her perspective.  So, whether you have always wanted to be a flight attendant, are simply curious about the job, or really don’t care, I hope you can learn something new.

Flying is a good life, but also a tough life.

Be sure to check out my eBook titled, ‘How-To Land A Job As A Flight Attendant,’ for those that are want to know about the application process, and how to begin your flying career.  AND, please follow Bri’s Blog!!!


Benefits of Flying for a Large Airline

By:  Brianna B.

When Kara asked me to write the counterpart to her ‘Benefits of Working for a Small Airline’ post, I was ecstatic. I immediately started thinking of all the incredible things about my airline and being a flight attendant. But, many of those things can be achieved whether or not you’re working for a small or large airline. I have talked with flight attendants who have gone from a mainline carrier to regional and are happier that way. I have also spoken to regional flight attendants who would love to go mainline. The job is the same, but the experience can be very different. When pursuing a career as a flight attendant, I was open to both regional and mainline carriers. My ultimate goal was to fly for the airline that I currently work for, but I would have been happy with any carrier. Looking back, I’m grateful I ended up getting to work for a large airline. Here are some of the reasons why…

  1. Get paid to travel internationally
This is one of the biggest reasons I wanted to work for a large airline. I wanted to travel internationally on my airlines dime. I have been blessed to work many trips that give me 24+ hours in another country, with a paid hotel, enabling me to go explore the city without breaking the bank. I share the same wanderlust that Kara has, and it’s so nice to be able to fulfill that  need for travel and get paid to do it.
Barcelona Flight Attendant Layover
Layovers in Barcelona
2. Layovers in every city
A larger carrier equals more destinations. That means there are endless options on cities to layover in. Are there some that I end up staying at more than others? Sure, but the options are  there which keeps the job from getting mundane too quickly.
Pike's Place Market
One of my favorite domestic layovers…Seattle, WA
3. Schedule flexibility

Having 20,000 flight attendants at my airline offers a lot of schedule flexibility. There is always someone willing to swap trips with you. Everyone is looking for something different out of their flying, whether it be a layover in their hometown, shorter flights, a specific aircraft, etc. That being said, you never know what someone is wanting and you can almost always swap your trips to fit your schedule.
4. No reserve status
This benefit is specific to my airline. Most airlines require you to be on reserve for quite some time. I’ve talked to many flight attendants who were on reserve for 20+ years. No thank you. With my airline, there is no reserve. You have 0-6 days on call a month (depending on your seniority) and the rest of your schedule is pre-plotted. Knowing where you’re flying ahead of time allows you a better quality of life. You’re not tied to your phone waiting for scheduling to call and ruin your plans. Instead, you know ahead of time which days you’re on call and that’s it.
5. Charter/military trips
Larger airlines cater to more destinations which opens more opportunities to partner with different companies, teams, and groups for charter trips. Many of these trips are insanely good. For instance, I have some friends who were chosen to be flight attendants for Rihanna’s last tour. They deadheaded to a lot of the cities, had long layovers, and went to a few of her shows. Not a bad gig.
6. Frequently fly with new crews 
While it would be nice to fly with the same crews from time to time, it is refreshing to have different crews for the most part. I have had the same flight attendant go with me to Barcelona twice and another flight attendant went with me to Amsterdam and Athens. Other than that, I feel pretty confident in saying I haven’t flown with the same people twice. I run into flight attendants I’ve flown with many times in lounges or airports so it’s not as if I never see them again. But it is nice to have a variety of people to work with. Keeps things interesting, that’s for sure.
Flight Crew
Amazing Dublin Crew
Overall, I echo what Kara said. I’m thankful for where I have ended up. The airline that I work for has presented me with so many incredible opportunities, and I thank God for putting me right where I am.  I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Journeys From A Jumpseat Brianna has been a flight attendant for about a year with a large mainline carrier.  She enjoys the traveling, writes about gluten-free eating, and shares her faith freely.  You can get to know her by visiting her blog, Journeys From A Jumpseat.  
(Interesting background story:  Bri and I became friends through my blog.  We email, text, and share our confusions about life, love, wanderlust, and God.  I feel like we’ve met, but we haven’t.  I can’t wait till we do:)
  • Brianna B.

    Aw I love this! Thanks for the sweetness!! Love you!!

    January 8th, 2014 0:56
    • Kara

      Bri! I was going to text you yesterday and tell you that your blog was posted:) You are the best! Thank you, thank you! xxoo

      January 8th, 2014 4:45
  • Melissa

    I love this Kara! I stumbled upon your blog before my interview and read your book, and by a stroke of luck I was hired! I start FA training next week for what I believe is the same carrier as Brianna… I’ve loved reading your blog and your travel stories, and can’t wait to have my own!

    January 12th, 2014 18:47
    • Sara Rae

      What airline is that? I’d like to know because I want to work for an airline that doesn’t have reserve.

      February 23rd, 2015 8:37

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