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

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?
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ive been in the very same boat!! I got to tell u this... u will NEVER find a job that gets into ur blood like flying!! i am now working in Recovery, and i love it!! I used to work with teens who were addicted, but that position ended. I am now going to be working with Vets who need help in addiction and other services. You wont make alot of money, but as a FA we never really did anyways. I would say find something u have a passion for and do that!! Any other job thats 9-5 u will HATE!! TRUST ME i know... Because i sure did!!! Good Luck and GOD Bless!!!

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a week ago Solution
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I feel for you but try to be nicer to yourself.   Do you have a degree or do you wish to work on obtaining one?  Do you want to teach English as a second language to school children, on line?   Do you think you might enjoy a personnel oriented position, on-line?  You have ample human interaction background and I bet you will be very pleased with yourself when you accept the right position at the right time!!Best of luck!   Linda

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May 17, 2020 Solution
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Hi! I know how you feel...I’m so sorry about your health problems.
I’m a 45 year old woman who dreamed of traveling and became a FA 7 years ago. I too have lost my non- FA friends and my new FA friends fly different schedules or are busy with their lives and it’s difficult to get together. I feel alone and have been feeling depressed lately. It can be a very lonely job.
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I see you're from Georgia. Was your former airline DAL? Can you elaborate on why you felt they were making it difficult for you to apply for FMLA. I recently applied for FMLA and I've been in communication with DAL and I'm not having difficulty with my request for FMLA. Though, the FMLA is not for me, I applied for a parent.

It would be difficult to get re-hired if you left without giving a 2-week notice. If you have anything in your work history that looks questionable, it may be better for you to apply with another airline.

I left an airline prior to DAL and share the same emotional hell as you thinking I can get over it. I'm so sorry for how you have been feeling after your resignation.
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Jun 4, 2018 Solution
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I’m happy I found this thread..
I’ve been in aviation for 2 years and recently resigned from my FA position. I was getting very sick while flying and the company I worked for was making it very difficult for me to get my FMLA approved. I felt at the time it was best to resign. Here I am 6 months later and I miss flying so much. I have a break down at least once a week. I thought I’d get over it but I still have yet to. Within the last 4 months I have interviewed with 4 companies and made it far in the process but did not receive a job offer. I’m to the point where I want to go back to my old company but I’m hesitant because I left without putting in a two weeks notice and Afraid of the outcome. I hope someone sees my post and comments their thoughts.

- fly girl k
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May 31, 2018 Solution
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Hi Barbara. Im replying to your message since I've been in a similar position. Moved for my partner to Australia and couldn't work due to visa requirements. I found it so challenging to get adapted to life on ground again and missed my flying bubble! The social life, cash flow, freedom. The things you do for love!! But don't worry, theres hope! It will be worth it as soon as you find your new way. Have you thought of working on ground for an airline? Like a trainer, teacher? You could start organising courses for people in Arizona who want to become a flight attendant. Work in a lounge or as ground staff? A lot of crew become nurses, paramedics, work in PR for travel companies, luxurious hotels, events, real estate, banking.

My close friend recommended me to this career surveyor test: www.truity.com/?a=371664
I was a bit sceptic because I usually wouldn't want to pay for a test. But it's been the best $29 ever spent!! They're using the famous Holland Code technique and the results were spot on and very detailed. One of the suggestions for me was to become a wedding planner which was something I never thought of doing but always found it very interesting so I did a course and have been really successful so far! It has giving me my freedom back since I work mostly from home and better cash flow than flying!
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Mar 12, 2018 Solution
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NO! 58 is not old. There was someone in my class who was 62 yrs. old who was hired. You just need to make sure you fit the brand of the airline you are applying with. Remember, here in the U.S., we have EOE laws, so airlines will have to hire someone in your age group. The problem is if you are competitive with other 58 yr. old's in your age group. Apply!
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Mar 8, 2018 Solution
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Canadian Wings! Listen to me! Do not quit your job! This was a big mistake I made. I don't know what the family leave laws are in Canada, but here in the U.S. we get 5 years. Never quit your job as FA until you secure another job that you ENJOY!. Too many FA's leave flying thinking they can make it in the real world only to find themselves depressed and unable to get themselves a decent job. Take the time off to get yourself mentally and physically fit and then come back to flying. Flying is really for you. Some times, we don't understand what we've loss until it's too late. I don't want you to regret 20 years of seniority. If you don't have immediate goals and a clear vision of what you want to do to replace flying, this means you will make a big mistake if you decide to quit. Don't let the reason why this thread was created happen to you.
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Mar 8, 2018 Solution
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Dear wonderful crew
Please alloe me to introduce myself. Im 42 years old fa based in Toronto. I have been flying for over 20 years but sadly now im stuck in a very bad position in life. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, got the entire thyroid removed..few months later had varicose veins stripping operation. Was off for one year from work then in katr 2017..i started to have major panic attacks at home prior to going to work. Had to book off many times not wanting to go to work. In January of 2018 had to go on anti anxiety medication. Shortly after due to grinding my teeth at night. I ended up cracking one of my tooth in half. And in February my health collapsed again dealing with Ulcerative culitis disorder causing me once again to be off work. I dont k ow what to do. Im very scared..single...have no friends cause all my friends are non airline people and they got tired of me working on weekends and not been able to socialise with them.
I know this sounds crazy but after looking back to all of this I wonder if flying is really for me. What should I do. Please advise im open to listen to all of you.
Thank you for everyone who contributes to this post I can finally say at last im not alone.
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Mar 6, 2018 Solution
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Mesa and American have bases in PHX, but with AA, you may have to wait until integration before you can get based in PHX. How about apply for Delta. You can commute. All the bases are for the most part open and you can probably transfer to a base close to PHX in 6 months. Set aside your husband having a good job, you seem to be stuck and in a career predicament. I would look into coming back to flying. I was one who left only to find out, I was unhappy with what the real world offered. I'm flying with Delta and finally got my transfer home, so the wait paid off. It will for you too. You need to invest in the time to get where you want to be.
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Mar 6, 2018 Solution
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Yes I've noticed, however there aren't many flying jobs in Phoenix. I've been looking non stop and all the bases are in other states. I had to forfeit and interview with Norwegian Airways because they wanted me to relocate to LAX if I was offered the job. I'm married, my husband has a good job here and he's happy...
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Mar 6, 2018 Solution
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Hi all, I retired a year ago after flying for a major international airline. I left because I got married and my husband didn't like the country we were living in, and wanted to come back to Phoenix. I flew for 10 years, was a part time trainer and a cabin manager... I arrived in Phoenix almost 4 months ago, found a job at a small company as an office administrator but left after 60+ days due to the fact that my employer still hadn't provided me with a contract of employment and a precise job description, and to top it off I was working with another person in the office that treated me like trash so I left. Now I'm stuck... I miss my lifestyle, my cash flow, my freedom. I love my husband, and we agreed that I would not go back to flying in order for us to focus on our life together. I'm happy to do that but I have no idea what my next career will be. I'm 37 ... I should have this all figured out by now. Any ideas, or help would be greatly appreciated!
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Feb 28, 2018 Solution
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I was a former flight attendant for US Airways now American Airlines. Work for 5 years as a FA. But got furloughed for 5 years after in 2000. I was lucky I was accepted to nursing school and got my RN during the furlough. Then in 2008 US Airways recalled me back but working as a nurse this time. I work part time as a nurse then flew on my days off and on weekends. I got the best of both worlds but I earned more as a nurse than a FA. So I quit the airline and now earning 4x more as a nurse. So there is still hope. Do not get me wrong. I still miss flying!!
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Jan 18, 2018 Solution
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Hi Dianne,

I am very sorry to hear that you are still feeling so upset about not flying anymore.
It is true that no jobs are a like and everyone who quits will miss the glamorous perks!
I want to really advice you to seek professional help to help you with your depressive thoughts, it's nothing to be ashamed of and it's super important to look after your mental health, just as your physical health.

If you like you can write down your story and send it to : ***********
I am processing some stories at the moment, so take all the time you need, it be great if you can mention the points from my previous post.
Have a look at www.cabincrewexit.com to see what the website is like
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Nov 28, 2017 Solution
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This is in response to Mirth. I'm the fact that started this thread. I have a story to tell but sadly it's not going to end well. I can't adust to life on the ground and am at this time hopeless and have been having suicidal thoughts. I had 25 years seniority and led a magical life. Great condo in Laguna Beach, seniority great friends. My whole life as a single girl was centered around my flight career. I've become so despondent ...what can I say. Don't quit your flying gig...you will regret it....
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Hi everyone!

I can see this topic is opened up a very long time ago, but I am sure it's still alive.

At the moment I am collecting stories from ex cabin crew from different airlines all over the world about why they quit their flight attendant job, how the resignation process went, about life after flying, if they have any regrets and what they are doing now.
This is to create an online platform for flight attendants who are looking to quit or have quit their flying job and are looking for what's next.

Those stories can really help other fa's out worldwide since we are all in here together and no job gets close to a cabin crew job.
On the website there will be stories published and other ways to inspire, motivate and help each other.

I have recently quit my cabin crew job myself and found out that a lot of air hostesses are feeling a bit lost with the question what to do next.
The stories can be told under a different name and the airline won't have to be mentioned if you prefer.
Please let me know if you are interested in being part of this so we can globally support each other 🙂
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Good afternoon everyone,
I'm so glad I came across this forum. Not only did it bring tears to my eyes, but it also showed me that there are others going through the same thing as me and there is still hope.
I recently left my airline. I was flying for 3 years. 2 at regional and 1 semi-mainline. I know some of you definitely have more experience and I definitely understand your point of view. I decided to leave because something just didn't feel complete. I am in my 20s. I felt as though I needed to come home to play a better role in the family aspect because my father is very ill. I also wanted to see if a traditional 9-5 was something that did interest me. I was always the "What if" kind. Meaning, I always felt as though I needed to do something other than flying Bc I started at such a young age. Before I became a FA, I was pretty much all over the place in life. Not settling, dropped out of college, and being a FA opened my eyes to so much. It gave me stability. A path. A reason. But as I grew in the industry, I realized I was still asking myself "what if". What if I go back to university? What if I am more present at home? What if I get a 9-5? What if I pursue the career in the medical field? So finally I was offered a position back home in the medical field, amazing opportunity, willing to pay for college, etc.
Here I am 5 months later and I am unhappy. At first I thought it may take some adjusting but I had no idea it would be THIS hard. I loved flying. I didn't know I had THIS much passion for it. I loved the schedule and meeting new people, whether it was a colleague or passenger. I loved putting my uniform on and putting the heels on.
Right now I am trying to go back to the airlines. I wanted one specifically but I am open to anybody as of now. I recently did two video interviews and got denied. There are days where I am losing hope.
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Sep 22, 2017 Solution
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Just go to school and major in aviation or avaition maintenance. You can become a pilot after you get your bachelor's. Also you can be a Corporate flight attendant or coporate flight attendant instructor while you work on these things. If that does not work major in office administration. Get your bachelor. Go for it!!!!!!
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Aug 21, 2017 Solution
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Yes, it's specific to my perception of Delta, but at AA, according to a few friends I know who were hired in the last few years, they are looking for wholesome and personality, the boy and girl next door, the all-american mom and dad types. I was told, in the f2f, you need to really participate and show them who you are. It's not so much the exercise they are critiquing, but your personality. This is what I've been told, so take it all with a grain of salt. Good luck.
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You may not take what I'm about to post seriously, but I'm being very very serious. I've noticed in the last 2 years how attractive the new hires are coming into the line. These are people who really care about their appearance and overall fitness. These people look "good", the kind of people you would cast for a flight attendant role in a movie.
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May 16, 2017 Solution
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Hi Katlyn, Yes, I understand your situation. You're not alone. Like me and others here, I really thought I could make a career change, but through the years of having left the industry, I really missed it. I did work for a very small charter airline that made me realize how much I wanted to fly again. It was a good friend of mine who suggested I apply for Delta. When I first interviewed with Delta, I knew they were the airline for me. But after two rejections, I felt, maybe, my age was a deterrent. However, in both my interviews, I sensed how much they wanted to offer me a CJO. What was preventing me from moving forward was understanding their STAR was of interviewing. By my 3rd attempt, I had an idea how to go about answering their interview questions. Anyway, if you constantly dwell on becoming a FA again, please make the efforts to apply. Choose which airline works best for you. I am biased to Delta. Try and figure out what types of people they are looking to recruit. I suggest you speak to only those that are offered a CJO by that airline to get a clear picture of the types of people they select.
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Apr 18, 2017 Solution
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Hi
I don't know if you post anymore, but Thank you, this was very helpful. I very much understand as I am going through the same thing. Retired (57 y/o)from UA to start my masters in nursing in 2014. I think about going back all the time. I had an interview with Frontier Airlines and they lost my paper work after the first 2nd interview, we can't find it. I was upset(did not show it) before a series of 3 interviews. after the 2nd interview "cattle call", they said "its pending don't leave" and then I waited 45 min's for the recruiting to say sorry your paper work was behind another candidates, we are not going to make an offer today. I am not sure if there was too much on my resume,or that I had been a flight attendant before? so why did you retire. You are correct about the image "thing" as Frontier employs very down to earth, conservative individuals. As I am polished, suit, hair in a bun,lipstick gal.... One of the people they (management) hired came in a black sun dress with flip/flops on. Anyway, Yes flying is definitely a lifestyle and it is very, very hard for others to understand (9-5 job). Anyway your post was very inspirational. Thank you. Katlyn
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Apr 14, 2017 Solution
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I actually went to an open house for Skywest yesterday. Didn't make it through to the one on one interviews, but hey, it's been about 8 years since I interviewed for anything so I guess I am really out of practice. Time to sharpen up the interview skills and keep going, and maybe eventually something will come through.
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Apr 13, 2017 Solution
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Training is not how it was back in the 80's. Interviewing was not how it was in the 80's as well. When I was in training, I kept telling myself, I can't go back to the way life was. I was finally given this door of opportunity and I applied myself to study hard. It was very stressful. But once I got my wings, I knew I had one more hurdle; probation. Probation wasn't bad. Commuting wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, commuting was easy. It just took days off to get to/from base. I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't let all those negative "what if's" consume your thoughts. I initially thought in my 50's I couldn't make it work and here I am happy I did it. Lastly, I don't want to give you the impression I got hired my first try. It took me 2 rejections and finally in my 3rd attempt, my name was called. Please take the initiative to at least apply and see how far it gets you. If you get rejected, pick yourself up and try again. These interviews, like me, took some practice. Good luck.
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Apr 11, 2017 Solution
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Your comment about once you get yourself back in a flight attendant uniform your regrets will go away really hit home for me. Made me tear up, in fact. I tear up every time I get on a damn plane when I travel...I am not a cryer at all so those emotions are still there under the surface. I tried a new profession in the last year but there is no camaraderie, no feeling of shared experiences, just alone-ness. Thanks again for your comments and your reply. I thought all this time I was just crazy and now I know there are others who feel/felt like I do.
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Apr 11, 2017 Solution
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I relate 100%. I also had those questions in my mind. I can relate to anyone who has given up a flying position only to find themselves feeling lost with no where to go. Please take the initiative to apply. Take those baby steps. If you get on with Delta, you will not be flying with just people half your age. I fly with all ages junior and senior. Also, you will be in-training with a group of people your age. Not all will be in their 20's. The only thing you would need to overcome is starting over in pay. All the issues you are thinking about in terms of what you listed above will becomes unimportant. Once you get yourself to flying, you will feel a sense of purpose, a sense of belonging, and your outlook of yourself and your future will change. Remember, this does not have to be a permanent decision. If you feel flying is not what you thought it would be the second time around, you can always make a decision to resign. I doubt that will happen. Apply once Delta reopens its need for flight attendants - fall 2017.
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Oh thank you.
I flew mainline in Canada for eight years, and left it a year and a half ago to come to the US to live with my husband. I knew commuting to Canada was over, so I left the industry that I loved and hated at the same time, if that makes sense. I thought I was ready. I didn't realize how difficult the transition would be.
It just feels like nothing is working. Yesterday, I had a meltdown of sorts in my bathroom and all I heard in my head was "I just want to put on my uniform and go to work and know what is expected of me." I was so good at what I did, so confident. I have completely lost that confidence.
Now, to start over? I am in my mid-40s. Do I want to work with girls half my age? Do I want to be a junior? Do I want to be away from home again? So many questions, no answers, and I truly don't know what to do. Your story gives me hope, Houston. Maybe it isn't too late for me.
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If you happen to read this as your post has been 3 months ago, my advice is to go back to flying. Forget about having to start over. Once you get yourself in a flight attendant uniform, you will forget about any past regrets you've made. You will make that starting salary work for you. And you will work your way to getting based at home with the right airline.

How do I know this. I lived what your are going through. I left a major airline after 18 years in hopes of a better future by transitioning to a different industry. Things didn't pan out. An employment agency told me since I never used my BA degree in anything and had no experience that it was best for me to return to flying. I didn't listen, because I wanted to prove myself. I had been unemployed for several years living off of my savings since I met with that agency. Finally a few years ago after multiple attempts, I finally got chosen by Delta. I wept when my name was called. That day when I received a CJO by Delta, my fears all went away and that feeling of being lost with no where to go also went away, because I knew then I had a purpose, a sense of belonging, and a window of opportunity. Training wasn't easy for me, but there were several people in my class in their 40's and 50's and we stuck together and helped each other out.

Start the process and apply as soon as the position opens. You have nothing to loose. See where it takes you. You don't have to commit, but if you're feeling anything like I was, you will be in a better place once you get yourself back as a flight attendant. I'm praying for you. I know how it feels. I was there.
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I have been following this thread. I just want to say it's really important to get to know ourselves. We need to know who we are before making a job decision. I was lost in searching for the perfect job but really l was searching for who l was as a person. What my passion and dreams are, what makes me happy. Forget about money and other people, we need to go deeper to discover ourselves before showing others what we are capable of. I was a cabin crew for EK for 3 years in my early 20s, my very first full time job. I got hired in my very first application. I enjoyed it but had resign after 3 years when my mum had a major surgery and l wanted to stay with my family to look After her. so l went on to study a business degree while working as an airport checkin staff with an outsource company. After 2 years of passenger services, watching my previous airline colleague walking past in elegant uniforms while l was drenched in sweat pushing wheelchairs, my chance finally came when I got the airline representative role at the international airport for 2 years. Then, l was asked to Join the sales and ticketing team, which allowed me to learn all the ticketing systems (Seba, Amadeous, etc, airline platforms) and really understood how seats are sold in an airline. I then got promoted to a HR project role, responsible for setting a brand new CC base for this airline, from hiring to interviewing. I did this for 3 years then l left aviation altogether after 10 years of multiple aviaiton roles. What l have learned is that, I really enjoyed the people despite the pay was low. pay is fairly low in any airline roles in comparison to any banking industry roles. After had a taste of different roles within the airlines, I left and went back to study to become a teacher. I made more money working as a part time teacher than working as a full time cabin crew/ticketing officer/airline rep. I do get bored with teaching but nothing is perfect. Keep walking!
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Hey Guys, I see a lot of negative remarks of post flight attending. I am in my late twentys (single) and I am thinking in diving into this field. What do you recommend? Can you make decent money? Can you work enough hours? Is there time for rest? Can your base be your hometown?

Thank you!
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I flew in my twenties and transitioned into a non-aviation career in my thirties with the hope of having children, making more money, and living a more balanced life on the ground. I have a degree, but I feel I made the switch by being proactive- getting a part-time job on the side (with a local city government), and then transitioning full time to a consulting firm.

I make 2x as much money, but I have much less free time and flexibility. I work Monday-Friday at a desk, 8am-5pm. I have off: weekends, holidays, and 10 days paid vacation.

I still dream of flight attending. I miss my coworkers, the take-offs, the landings, gossiping in the galley, reading multiple books a week, soaking in deep hotel hot tubs with plush towels. I miss every day being completely different.
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I was very kind. I told her that she has plenty of good flying years left. What point did I miss? She was very clear about why she left her FA job. I was simply stating to her (and anyone else who might be reading this) that she shouldn't make major life decisions based on some "Old Maid" stigma.

Her exact words were, "I also didn't like the idea of being a typical flying cat lady, old and bitter, unmarried." When did getting older, not having a husband and owning a cat become such a horrible thing anyway? That seems to be the #1 fear of every woman over the age of 30. Seems like a pretty good life to me! The "cat lady" gets to do WHAT she wants, WHEN she wants. Some of the loneliest people I know are married. Yet the spinster stigma lives on. And bad decisions are born from it.

Best wishes for 2017. 🙂
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You're still young enough to have at least 20 years in the sky as long as you take care of yourself. You'll probably be in your 50's before you can go to Paris, but who cares. There are enough interesting places right here in the US to keep things exciting. If you miss it that much, go back.
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Dec 23, 2016 Solution
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