How To Change Careers After Being A Flight Attendant - Need Ideas??

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Dianne in Camarillo, California

50 months ago

I have recently left a major airline after 23 years of flying. I'm 50 and have NOOO idea what to do now. This wan't my plan..as I thought I would just fly till I died.... Any wisdom you can give me would be welcomed. I feel like I'm going through a "breakup" with my airline. I had no idea it would be like this...awful. I miss flying. :( HELP?

Jeanne in Tucson, Arizona said: I am a former flight attendant with AA and was based in NY and BOS. If anyone is interested I will share with you what has been successful for me.

lawlorjm@aol.com

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CuriousFA in Nashville, Tennessee

42 months ago

Thought I would see how everyone is doing as a follow up to this post. I've been flying for almost 6 years - the first 3 with a regional, and the last with a semi-major airline. I am in my second bankruptcy, my airline is for sale and it has been completely unstable the whole time. I thought that I would fly forever and work my way into management. I did special projects at my current airline and realized that they didn't care about what was best for us - and just wanted yes-type pee-on people. I think the truth has been the hardest reality for me.

I am in my late 20's, and realize that I will never have the glamour life or schedules that those who have been in the industry for 20-30+ years have held. Contracts seem to be getting worse - we are usually at our 14 hour duty day followed by the minimum rest in hotels (9 hours), followed by our stay in an airport hotel. Passengers seem to be getting worse and I am beginning to feel like a low-paid slave (I made less than $20,000 last year flying my butt off).

I'm wondering if any of you have transitioned into nursing? I have been looking into this lately. I know starting pay for flight nurses is around $50/hr and nursing in general seems like a much more stable and rewarding career. I really wish I could say flight attending is a career (maybe at Southwest still?), but for someone my age I think I am just treading water.

I know if you go to LPN school a lot of hospitals will pay for you to get your RN (if you are employed with them). Just wondering what people's experiences are.

PS - Alaska does not pay for transportation to your interview or training.

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socalflyn in Renton, Washington

42 months ago

CuriousFA in Nashville, Tennessee said: Thought I would see how everyone is doing as a follow up to this post. I've been flying for almost 6 years - the first 3 with a regional, and the last with a semi-major airline. I am in my second bankruptcy, my airline is for sale and it has been completely unstable the whole time. I thought that I would fly forever and work my way into management. I did special projects at my current airline and realized that they didn't care about what was best for us - and just wanted yes-type pee-on people. I think the truth has been the hardest reality for me.

I am in my late 20's, and realize that I will never have the glamour life or schedules that those who have been in the industry for 20-30+ years have held. Contracts seem to be getting worse - we are usually at our 14 hour duty day followed by the minimum rest in hotels (9 hours), followed by our stay in an airport hotel. Passengers seem to be getting worse and I am beginning to feel like a low-paid slave (I made less than $20,000 last year flying my butt off).

I'm wondering if any of you have transitioned into nursing? I have been looking into this lately. I know starting pay for flight nurses is around $50/hr and nursing in general seems like a much more stable and rewarding career. I really wish I could say flight attending is a career (maybe at Southwest still?), but for someone my age I think I am just treading water.

I know if you go to LPN school a lot of hospitals will pay for you to get your RN (if you are employed with them). Just wondering what people's experiences are.

PS - Alaska does not pay for transportation to your interview or training.

Just to clarify, Alaska does not pay for transportation to the interview, but once you've been invited to training, they do pay to bring you to Seattle. They also pay $40 per day, per diem for each day of training, including weekends. Good luck everyone!

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Flyniah in Spring, Texas

39 months ago

Dianne in Camarillo, California said: I have recently left a major airline after 23 years of flying. I'm 50 and have NOOO idea what to do now. This wan't my plan..as I thought I would just fly till I died.... Any wisdom you can give me would be welcomed. I feel like I'm going through a "breakup" with my airline. I had no idea it would be like this...awful. I miss flying. :( HELP?

I am in the exact situation you are.... I'm 51 flying for 25 yrs... Started thinking its time for something new. How are you adjusting.? I'm with UAL former CAL

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nik in Falls Church, Virginia

36 months ago

BlueBlue in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates said: I am asking exactly the same question.. And as I see there is no answer in 5 months. Does it mean, that there is no hope for us? Do we have to keep our wings forever? :(

i totally get what ur saying. i can relate coz i flew with QR for 5 years and im now married and settled in US.. my biggest hurdle is my immigration status tht does not allow me to work anywhere. unlike most of the people here who flew for decades & are in the 50s.. i only flew for 5 years and 27 years of age but still cant find my way forward. my education is bachelor level but not equivalent to a US bachelor degree.

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STEVE QANTAS in Pennant Hills, Australia

35 months ago

HI everyone just left international flying with Qantas Airways the airline with the big kangaroo on the tail here in AUSTRALIA, after 28 years of flying prior to that i was snow ski instructor for many years have decided to go back again and do all the courses to teach snow sking,its now classified highly as a customer orientated service,maybe some ex flight attendants should give it a go if you can guess it depsnds on your circumstances, well i dont miss flying at all the late nights and feeling terrible after flying all night and the emergencey procedures exams, well anyway please say hello sometime or email me at steveqantas@hotmail.com take care Kind regards STEVE/SYDNEY AUSTRALIA

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MGaines in Modesto, California

21 months ago

BlueBlue in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates said: I am asking exactly the same question.. And as I see there is no answer in 5 months. Does it mean, that there is no hope for us? Do we have to keep our wings forever? :(

I know several Flight Attendants that have retired and opened their own Merle Norman Cosmetics Studio franchise. It's a great match due to the excellent customer service skills that you practiced everyday as a flight attendant. It's a fun change you are your own Boss. Go have a complementary facial and see for your self. Company is based in LA and made in USA.

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suztpa in Florida

21 months ago

tyksmith in Chicago, Illinois said: Hello, I have been reading this entire thread as I am considering becoming a flight attendant . I found some openings with two major airlines here in Chicago. I am in my early 30s and unemployed for the 2nd time within the last 3-4 years. My background is primarily in banking , which I have grown very tired of due to the lack of stability. Some years ago, I did obtain an associate degree with a major in travel and tourism, because of the interest and passion I have for traveling. However, the only drawback for me becoming a flight attendant is the PAY! I am use to making a significant amount of money ($70K+) and just can't imagine waiting for years to come to reach a certain salary. My understanding is that everything is done by senority with the airlines. Please feel free to give any advice or comments on this possible career move.

Thank you and I appreciate it!

Since you are in ORD use your education at the United Corporate office that way the pay will be a lot higher but you will still get all the travel benefits lots of women on the corporate team . I know this is a little late ( just found this )Hope this helps : )

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emlaxstar9 in East meadow, New York

21 months ago

CJA 5R in Anaheim, California said: I forgot to mention when a flight attendant decides to leave and returns back to flying, it is very difficult for some to make that adjustment because they're much older now and have more responsibilities compared to when they were in their 20's or 30's. Having to start all over to interview, train, make $20,000/yr, relocate and commute takes a toll. Here's a link I'd like for you to read. This flight attendant that posted speaks about the negatives of the job. He/She posts with humor, and the lifestyle as is written us very true of a flight attendant. It continues on to several more pages thereafter. Scroll through the page and you'll know which posts I speak of.

www.indeed.com/forum/job/flight-attendant/Continental-Airlines-Flight-Attendant-Group-Interview/t31418/p115

As far as choosing the right airline. I always advise the top 4 - American, Delta, United or Alaska. They have the means to pay for air fare to interviews and lodging during training. Their route system is comprehensive and offer more bases that will get you close to where you live now.

Right now i am currently 21 and am in a prodiciment in deciding if i should go with us airways/american or norwegian airlines. I find myself thninking this will be a thing to do for 3-4 years because i ultimatley want to be a police officer. What makes american/us one of the best to work for? I am debating because norwegian sounds like a great job to work for to

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Tom in Norwell, Massachusetts

18 months ago

Hello in Dallas, Texas said: Please share. Thank you.

I have been looking for a job after 24 years of being a FA...I'm too old to go back to school and I don't want to work for 12.00 hr....

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suztpa

18 months ago

Tom in Norwell, Massachusetts said: I have been looking for a job after 24 years of being a FA...I'm too old to go back to school and I don't want to work for 12.00 hr ....

Hi Tom : I was TWA for 6 years and ATA for 3 years and I am still looking for a stable job. I have had four layoffs the last one in a customer service position. So nothing is stable. It is so hard to transition from an F/A to regular work after doing it for 24 years and yes the pay down here in Florida is 10.00 to 12.00 an hour. And that's for office work. Good Luck to you Tom you make be able to get a job at a catering company due to the need for Managers service flow, staffing etc. just a thought that's what I am looking for now or Hotel Banquet Manager I know it is nothing even close to what we used to do. Take Care

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dianne in Frazier Park, California

17 months ago

Flyniah in Spring, Texas said: I am in the exact situation you are.... I'm 51 flying for 25 yrs... Started thinking its time for something new. How are you adjusting.? I'm with UAL former CAL

Flyniah, im sorry to report I am NOT doing well. I simply cannot adjust to being on the ground and finding a career that is rewarding to even think about pursuing. Ive been in counseling since I left and am now on meds as I just cant cope with loss and have major depression since my seperation with the airline. Some of my friends have left but they are married and have a life that is built around family.but I think if you are single like I was my whole life your social network your emotional support system your paycheck your flexible lifestyle basically your whole life is centered around the airline if you're single so it really is difficult to make a transition when do you have to build all those relationships that you had in the airline out of the airline. seriously at this point I'm thinking about moving to Ecuador and living meagerly on the funds that I have that's my idea for now if anyone else has any ideas out there I'd sure appreciate it

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dianne in Frazier Park, California

17 months ago

Flyniah, im sorry to report I am NOT doing well. I simply cannot adjust to being on the ground and finding a career that is rewarding to even think about pursuing. Ive been in counseling since I left and am now on meds as I just cant cope with loss and have major depression since my seperation with the airline. Some of my friends have left but they are married and have a life that is built around family.but I think if you are single like I was my whole life your social network your emotional support system your paycheck your flexible lifestyle basically your whole life is centered around the airline if you're single so it really is difficult to make a transition when do you have to build all those relationships that you had in the airline out of the airline. seriously at this point I'm thinking about moving to Ecuador and living meagerly on the funds that I have that's my idea for now if anyone else has any ideas out there I'd sure appreciate it

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carol carol23 in New York, New York

17 months ago

dianne in Frazier Park, California said: Flyniah, im sorry to report I am NOT doing well. I simply cannot adjust to being on the ground and finding a career that is rewarding to even think about pursuing. Ive been in counseling since I left and am now on meds as I just cant cope with loss and have major depression since my seperation with the airline . Some of my friends have left but they are married and have a life that is built around family.but I think if you are single like I was my whole life your social network your emotional support system your paycheck your flexible lifestyle basically your whole life is centered around the airline if you're single so it really is difficult to make a transition when do you have to build all those relationships that you had in the airline out of the airline. seriously at this point I'm thinking about moving to Ecuador and living meagerly on the funds that I have that's my idea for now if anyone else has any ideas out there I'd sure appreciate it

why not start flying again?

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fabwonder in Miami, Florida

13 months ago

Im so sorry to read you are not doing well and understand all too well your situation.
After resigning from an Intl airline which was my only adult job for almost thirty years. I find it difficult to adjust.
First thing we have to realize is that we gave up a lifestyle. Its not a 9to5 job its a lifestyle
you have to give it your all to get out of that slump and for crying out loud.. do not go to Ecuador
out of all the countries in the world that is one of the most corrupt, anti American no democratic
countries there is.. wait til Cuba opens up;-) lol completely
I have been looking around and like you sometimes the situation is the same but I have found that its all in Gods hands and he knows the road we just have to ask him to lead us..
I am keeping all my options available and try to network as much as I can .. be out there
go to happy hours, anywhere you are just throw your business cards out
one never knows.. please stay positive.. I believe we both had an amazing career and should be thankful for it..
ACCEPT WHAT IS
LE GO OF WHAT WAS
ADN HAVE FAITH IN WHAT WILL BE....

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susannawong in Darwin, Australia

4 months ago

CuriousFA in Nashville, Tennessee said: Thought I would see how everyone is doing as a follow up to this post. I've been flying for almost 6 years - the first 3 with a regional, and the last with a semi-major airline . I am in my second bankruptcy, my airline is for sale and it has been completely unstable the whole time. I thought that I would fly forever and work my way into management. I did special projects at my current airline and realized that they didn't care about what was best for us - and just wanted yes-type pee-on people. I think the truth has been the hardest reality for me.

I am in my late 20's, and realize that I will never have the glamour life or schedules that those who have been in the industry for 20-30+ years have held. Contracts seem to be getting worse - we are usually at our 14 hour duty day followed by the minimum rest in hotels (9 hours), followed by our stay in an airport hotel . Passengers seem to be getting worse and I am beginning to feel like a low-paid slave (I made less than $20,000 last year flying my butt off).

I'm wondering if any of you have transitioned into nursing? I have been looking into this lately. I know starting pay for flight nurses is around $50/ hr and nursing in general seems like a much more stable and rewarding career. I really wish I could say flight attending is a career (maybe at Southwest still?), but for someone my age I think I am just treading water.

I know if you go to LPN school a lot of hospitals will pay for you to get your RN (if you are employed with them). Just wondering what people's experiences are.

PS - Alaska does not pay for transportation to your interview or training.


Hi how are you? Just want to know whether u have become a nurse or not? Myself is a registered nurse, I'm 30 yo now, I want to take a year off to become a flight attendant as it was my dream job when I was little. But I am worry I might be too old for that. Any comment or suggestions for me ? Thx

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Soldier in the Sky in Saddle Brook, New Jersey

2 months ago

nik in Falls Church, Virginia said: i totally get what ur saying. i can relate coz i flew with QR for 5 years and im now married and settled in US.. my biggest hurdle is my immigration status tht does not allow me to work anywhere. unlike most of the people here who flew for decades & are in the 50s.. i only flew for 5 years and 27 years of age but still cant find my way forward. my education is bachelor level but not equivalent to a US bachelor degree.

Hi, how are you? I'm in the same position now. I need advise.... thank you

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Raymond Iocco in Arden, North Carolina

2 months ago

Dianne in Camarillo, California said: I have recently left a major airline after 23 years of flying. I'm 50 and have NOOO idea what to do now. This wan't my plan..as I thought I would just fly till I died.... Any wisdom you can give me would be welcomed. I feel like I'm going through a "breakup" with my airline. I had no idea it would be like this...awful. I miss flying. :( HELP?

Your skill base is one of "service"! Service skills are the most valued attribute in the field of sales. The ability to communicate information to help one arrive at a decision, is what sales is all about. You have the service skills based on your prior career to make it happen.

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noellegathergratitude in Los Angeles, California

1 month ago

Hello Diane,
I hope things are a better since you posted last! I am a life and career coach and my colleague and I are looking in to starting a program for FA's who are about to retire or who have retired. My collegue's brother has been an FA for 30 years and said that he is feeling that there is no system in place to help retiring FA's. So, we are hoping to build a program to create help and direction for those retiring or being forced to retire. Right now we don't have anything set up but I'm trying to find out if this kind of support would have been helpful to you or to your friends who are going through the same thing. I have heard from my FA friend that the transition from a life of flying to a life on the ground is very difficult as well as figuring out the next steps, purpose, sleep patterns...etc. If there was a support program in place and offered to you when you were about to retire would you have been open to it? Where would you have like to seen it advertised? It is a HUGE lifestyle change and there should be support offered!!! I want to be of service to this community after long standing FA's have been of great service to so many...and I know the industry is changing. I hope it is ok that I am writing here...just trying to get as much knowledge as possible to be of the greatest help.
Please let me know if you have any questions and hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks,

Noelle

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noellegathergratitude in Los Angeles, California

1 month ago

Hi! I am a life and career coach and my colleague and I are looking to start a program for FA's who are getting out of the industry, forced out, or retiring. After talking to her brother...FA for 30 years he let us know that there is a real need for help and support. Would love to know what would have been of the most benefit to you through your transition and where you would have seen this kind of service advertised. I know there is a huge huge need while dealing with this huge life transition...daily life...in all ways changes and finding that life purpose again is so important. Thanks for taking the time...and please know that I am not trying to gain knowledge so my colleague and I may best serve the community!

Many thanks,

Noelle

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Lets Fly in Colorado in Colorado

1 month ago

Hello Everyone, I just want to share a brief synopsis of my story. I had a very similar experience as Dianne in Camarillo, California. I left a major airline for about 10 years only to find myself stuck. I thought I could transition to a 9-5 job. I was very much down on life during this period of time. No one told me how difficult it would be. Later (after 10 years, I started to reapply as a flight attendant, because anything I did to get a job on the ground was not panning out. I did get employed with a start up airline that lasted 1 year. After this, I got rejected 11-12 times with American, United, Delta, Alaska, Virgin, Emirates. In 2014, I decided to reapply with Delta my fourth time. I got and was selected. I was the eldest in my group. Life is back the way it was. I am very happy. It took me that long to find my purpose. It was the worst time of my life.

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flyangel in Medford, Oregon

1 month ago

Thank you so much for your story, I too have been searching a way to get back into flying it has been a struggle, you r an inspiration to me, not to give up!

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Lets Fly in Colorado in Colorado

1 month ago

flyangel in Medford, Oregon said: Thank you so much for your story, I too have been searching a way to get back into flying it has been a struggle, you r an inspiration to me, not to give up!

You're very welcome. When I read that first post above, it struck a nerve. I lived that for 10 years. I was lost and had no direction. I went back to school to try nursing, but it was very difficult to get into a nursing program at the college I attended. Spots were limited and it was based on GPA. A 4.0 wasn't even a guarantee because of the limited spots. I decided to reapply as a flight attendant. I wasted so much time convincing myself that becoming a flight attendant would be difficult as I had to start over. Do not think this was. Believe me, It was in 2011 when I started to submit my application with the airlines, concentrating only on legacies. I was rejected over and over. I couldn't figure why? Every time I told myself it would be my last application, I picked myself up and submitted another application. I was rejected approximately eleven to twelve interviews. Even US Airways never gave me an interview. Every time I applied, US Airways would reject my application as soon as I submit.In 2014 my life changed. After applying with Delta four time each year 2011, 2012, 2013, I finally succeeded in 2014. I am so happy. Because of Delta's preferential bidding, everyone out of training is a lineholder except for six reserve days. I felt like I didn't loose seniority, because even those that are senior 15-20 years are flying similar trips as me. My advice is if you have nothing going on in terms of work or a career, please be resilient. It will happen. Now that I am a flight attendant, my outlook on life is very positive. I feel healthy physically and mentally. Life is great.

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Lets Fly in Colorado in Colorado

1 month ago

flyangel in Medford, Oregon said: Thank you so much for your story, I too have been searching a way to get back into flying it has been a struggle, you r an inspiration to me, not to give up!

My advice to you is learn about the airline you're applying with. Each airline looks for certain traits in people. I see you're from Medford. I applied with Alaska Airlines four times and was rejected every time. I gave up with Alaska. I was never going to see them happen for me. With Delta on the other hand, when I first interviewed with them, I knew I was a perfect fit, but I struggled to understand why I kept failing repeatedly in my interviews. I learned that Delta is a brand airline I became and lived that brand by focusing on my image and learning the STAR (behavioral) format, Delta's method of interviewing and selecting candidates. I wish you the best and I hope you find your path.

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surfsupal in NorCal, California

1 month ago

This is an incredible group of people here. Thank you for all of your honest and caring input. Like some here, trying to be an FA. Older now, but smarter than when I first applied in college. Trying to find the right airline to start this lifestyle. Thank you all again! Very much appreciated.

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Betsy

29 days ago

Lets Fly in Colorado in Colorado said: You're very welcome. When I read that first post above, it struck a nerve. I lived that for 10 years. I was lost and had no direction. I went back to school to try nursing, but it was very difficult to get into a nursing program at the college I attended. Spots were limited and it was based on GPA. A 4.0 wasn't even a guarantee because of the limited spots. I decided to reapply as a flight attendant . I wasted so much time convincing myself that becoming a flight attendant would be difficult as I had to start over. Do not think this was. Believe me, It was in 2011 when I started to submit my application with the airlines , concentrating only on legacies. I was rejected over and over. I couldn't figure why? Every time I told myself it would be my last application, I picked myself up and submitted another application. I was rejected approximately eleven to twelve interviews. Even US Airways never gave me an interview. Every time I applied, US Airways would reject my application as soon as I submit.In 2014 my life changed. After applying with Delta four time each year 2011, 2012, 2013, I finally succeeded in 2014. I am so happy. Because of Delta's preferential bidding, everyone out of training is a lineholder except for six reserve days. I felt like I didn't loose seniority, because even those that are senior 15-20 years are flying similar trips as me. My advice is if you have nothing going on in terms of work or a career, please be resilient. It will happen. Now that I am a flight attendant, my outlook on life is very positive. I feel healthy physically and mentally. Life is great.

Good for you! May I ask....how old were you when you were accepted by Delta?

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surfsupal in NorCal, California

29 days ago

I have a friend that will only fly Delta. He swears to being a "Delta Man." Does Delta have any crew domiciles in SFO or OAK? Thank you

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Lets Fly in Colorado in Colorado

25 days ago

Betsy said: Good for you! May I ask....how old were you when you were accepted by Delta?

Early 50's

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Lets Fly in Colorado in Colorado

25 days ago

surfsupal in NorCal, California said: I have a friend that will only fly Delta. He swears to being a "Delta Man." Does Delta have any crew domiciles in SFO or OAK? Thank you

SFO is one of Delta's west coast bases. It's small, but it did open to to 2015 seniority early this Jan. 2016.

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