Flight attendant wages is a hot topic among ‘wanna be’ flight crew and seems to be a highly used search term on the net. So if you’ve typed this in looking for an exact figure I’m sorry but you won’t find one.
Here’s an indirect answer that comes with lots of variables. The big problem to giving you a simple answer is that there is no simple answer because there is no ‘one wage’ across the board as there is no ‘one conditions of employment’ or no ‘one maximum duty hours’ or no ‘one minimum rest’ hours or no ‘one contract’ that all aircrew work under.
Here’s some more variables that can affect hourly rate for crew and more importantly your after tax take home hourly rate:
• Origin of aircraft – under what orators certificate does it operate?
• Where do you call home, ie in what country are you employed in?
• Do you fly on a single aisle aircraft or wide-body?
• Do you fly domestically or are you international crew?
• Are you a dedicated language speaker other than your mother tongue?
• Are you paid allowances?
• Are your allowances paid in cash and in what currency?
• Do you receive a grooming allowance?
• Do you receive a travel allowance and is it tax free?
• Is your base wage tax free?
• Are you a flight attendant or senior flight attendant (on the day of operation)
• Are you a Cabin Manager?
• Do you work on a single crew or multi crew aircraft?
• Does your company supply accommodation at your home base?
• Does your company share in any accommodation savings?
• Do you participate in a company share scheme?
• Is your company a LCC?
• Is your company a legacy airline?
• Does your company outsource employment?
• Is your flight attendant work force under the same work contract?
And this is just to name a few variables that affect what air crew are paid. No wonder flight attendant wages is a hot topic and so difficult to answer. I am loath to give you any stand alone figures because there are so many variables.
Here’s just one personal example. In my time I have cross-crewed an aircraft with crew from another country as was the inter-airline agreement at the time. I live in a 1st world affluent country. My co-crew lived in stark contrast to it in every way. My take home pay was unfathomable to them. In fact their take home pay was unfathomable to me however I totally understood why. If they took their monthly wage down to buy my weekly groceries they wouldn’t have enough to pay the check out operator.
With most international airlines, an allowance is paid by them so that you can eat three (3) square meals a day in the accommodation that you/they are staying in. Sometimes this is paid to you in cash as you arrive at the hotel, sometimes it’s paid in your wages and sometimes its paid via your room bill by the company.
When you are paid in cash it is a great way to save money because you can decide to have noodles for a meal and pocket the difference in your allowance which is effectively a way additional or supplemental to your wage. However back to my co-crew here… their allowances weren’t supplemental to their wage! Their allowances far exceeded their wages!
So in lies the real difficulty of flight attendant wages. Add any of the other variables above to the mix and the real figure becomes even more blurred for each individual case or airline wage earner.
The cost of living is different for everyone but here’s just a couple of stipulated wages that I have gleaned from a couple of sources and the career pages of some airlines. Ryanair state a potential to earn in excess of £25,000/€30,000 gross per annum after just one year. Again, the word ‘potential’ means there are conditions attached!
According to an International Comparison of Flight Attendant Salaries (opens in a new window) the following Gross monthly average Flight Attendant incomes for selected countries around the world were quoted as:>
• Australian $5,104 per month gross
• U.S.A $3,520 per month gross
• Japan Y449,000 (yen) per month gross
• Peru 5,301 (sols) per month gross
• Germany 3,371 (euros)
• Italy 2,227 (euros) per month gross
• Thailand 23,202 (bahts)
• Latvia 482 (lats) per month gross
• Mexico 10,005 (pesos) per month gross
• Russia 14,547 (roubles)
• Kuwait 280 (dinars) per month gross
• China 1,307 (yuans) per month gross
Again, here is the danger or at least the difficulty in stating an average dollar figure for flight attendant wages In Australia, Jetstar crew (a LCC subsidiary of Qantas) operate under four (4) different contracts, all varying in hourly rates, allowances and conditions! – It means little until you know the whole contract and the wages as per the contract before a true figure can be calculated.
By the way, you can get access to all the career web pages of all the airlines featured on this site which will give you more info about flight attendant wages, allowances and working conditions plus you’ll get some other free downloads by becoming a fan of my FAAN ezine
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