Their job isn’t exactly glamorous.
While TV shows and movies may make the life of a flight attendant seem like a non-stop party, the actual job is rarely that exciting, and involves early wake-ups and long periods of time away from home. “It’s not as glamorous as it seems,” says one flight attendant. “People think a lot of our job is traveling to amazing places all the time and having long layovers, but a lot of the time, it’s a flight to Newark with a 10-hour layover, or a redeye flight to Hawaii just to turn right around.”
They’re not allowed to accept your tip.
While Rivers says that many flight attendants aren’t allowed to accept tips, there is a way you can show your appreciation after a standout flight. “If your experience was so great that you want to tip, please take the time to write a complimentary letter to the airline about the flight attendant and your experience. Companies have incentive programs that employees qualify for when they are singled out for giving great customer service.”
They don’t have as many personal appearance restrictions as they did before.
While flight attendants once had to meet strict criteria regarding their age, weight, and grooming habits, most of today’s FA’s aren’t confined by such rigid and sexist rules. “Airlines used to have weight restrictions for flight attendants. That’s no longer the case,” says Rivers. “But during flight attendant training there is emphasis put on appearance and professional presentation. Some flight attendants try harder than others.”
They get hit on a lot
Save your corny lines; you’re probably not the first, fifth, or even hundredth person to hit on your flight attendant today. Many industry professionals say that compliments and sexual harassment are par for the course. “Passengers compliment me frequently. They tell me I’m beautiful or I have a pretty smile. I thank them and that’s the end of it,” says Rivers.