Since starting Kale in the Clouds, I’ve received so many messages about my job. I absolutely love being a flight attendant, but it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. I am getting REAL with you with this Q+A and I hope that this can help you in some way! Feel free to comment or DM me on my Instagram account if you have more follow up questions. I’d be so happy to answer them for you!
How did you become a flight attendant?
Everything happened super fast! I submitted an application online after my friend told me about it. Within a week or so, I scheduled a phone interview. Immediately after the phone interview, I received an e-mail to schedule an in person interview. The in person interview was none like any other interview I’ve ever been to. I showed up along with 60 other applicants. There were 3 interviews that day and as the day went on, the numbers of applicants went down. At the end of the day, about 15 of us were hired!
How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been flying for 3 years.
Do you fly international routes?
With my airline, I’ve worked flights to Canada and Mexico. We also fly to Costa Rica!
How many days do you fly a week?
Because of my flexible schedule, I can fly as often or as little as I want. I don’t have a “typical” schedule because some months I work A LOT whereas some other months, I have travel plans so I’ll work less!
What’s it like being a flight attendant?
It’s amazing, crazy, tiring, fulfilling, busy, and testing. As tired as I get and as much as it can wear my immune system down, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. The opportunities are endless with this job and the flexibility in schedule it allows is incredible too!
Do you have a makeup for tattoo cover that you’d recommend?
I use Estée Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover to cover my tattoos when I’m working.
Do you get to pick where you’re based?
When you first start, they ask you for a preference. This doesn’t guarantee your first base of choice. Depending on your preferred base, you may need to wait awhile before you are able to get in. Luckily, I got Seattle after just one month of flying!
How much notice do you get before you fly?
When you’re on reserve, you may get a 2 hour call out but usually you find out before then when they need you. Now that I am a line holder, I get to put my own schedule together and I’m able to decide a month in advance what trips I want to work.
Even on reserve, are you able to find a healthy work/life balance or are you chained to waiting for a phone call?
Oh, reserve life! I was definitely chained to my phone for the first 6 months – just super paranoid about missing a phone call. Then, I was able to transition to going to the gym with my phone volume on high as I waited for a call. I do want to touch on balancing my social life though because that was HARD. Being on the go so often, it’s hard to watch your friends at home hangout without you. I learned that I had to be really proactive about reaching out to people and making sure they knew I was home instead of sitting on my bum and being butt hurt seeing them hangout without me on Instagram. Also, SLEEP. Sleep whenever you get a chance! You’ll learn that it’s actually so important and easily neglected when you first start flying.
Does your airline give you a stipend when you stay somewhere in between flights?
Hotel is paid for and with my airline, you do get a stipend!
What’s your typical work day like?
I get to the airport, check in on my work device, go through security, and check in with the gate agents. When I get on the plane, I put my stuff away and start checking to make sure all of the emergency equipment is good to go. When all of the flight attendants are on board, we introduce ourselves and brief our positions and typically the Captain will come introduce himself and tell us more details about the flight. Boarding happens pretty quickly after that, and before you know it, we’re off! Duties on the plane are different depending on which position you’re working.
How do you deal with jet lag and different time zones?
Jet lag is so real. 3 years in and it still doesn’t get much easier! I try to stay in the pacific time zone no matter where I am because my layovers usually aren’t very long. This means going to bed SUPER early when I fly east coast routes so I can get up earlier for that 7am EST departure.
How do you stay calm and continue to do your job when it’s turbulent?
I feel super lucky because turbulence doesn’t bother me. With that said, it’s easy for me to stay calm. However, when it gets to a point where we’re in the middle of service and it gets too bumpy, I usually go with my gut and speak up to other crew members. For the most part, we’ll be on the same page and pause service if it gets too bumpy. Safety first!
What is your brand of skillet that you travel with?
Nesco and I got it on Amazon!
What is your brand of lunch cooler?
It’s a Strongbag and I highly recommend it!
What kind of food can I pack? What can’t I pack?
You can pack so many good eats when you’re traveling! Salads, macro bowls, burritos, fries, roasted veggies, a sandwich, you name it! Just be cautious about packing salad dressing, guac, yogurt, premade oats, nut butters, anything with a cream or liquid consistency is a possible no-no depending on how strict TSA at your airport is.
Any tips for a traveler trying to stay healthy on the go?
- ask your flight attendant for hot lemon water! it will help aid your digestion while flying
- you can get free salad dressing past security at any restaurant in the airport
- pack your own food and snacks because eats at the airport can get spendy
- bring your daily vitamins and supplements with you! try to maintain consistency when you’re traveling
- bring a reusable water with you and fill it up every time you see a water fountain or coffeeshop at the airport
- pack greens tabs with you! these are the ones I use and love
- other goodies to consider packing: collagen peptides sticks, apple cider vinegar shots, nut butter packs, matcha collagen travel packs
- great on the go snacks: fruit, Perfect Bars, Simple Mills crackers, veggies and hummus, popcorn, dried fruit, nuts, bliss balls, protein bars, dark chocolate (I love Honey Mamas and Eating Evolved coconut butter cups)
- pack some workout bands for at home pilates/barre in your hotel room
- having such a flexible schedule
- the travel benefits
- meeting the most amazing people of all different backgrounds
- going to work in a good mood because I genuinely love what I do
- LOVING WHAT I DO
- getting to see so much of the world
- the amount of money you save on gas
- free parking at the airport
- getting to help others when they’re nervous to fly
- getting to make someone’s day (traveling is stressful! sometimes all someone needs is an extra glass of OJ and to know everything will be okay.)
- free therapy sessions via the jump seat
- getting paid to travel
- getting to pack over 3 oz. liquids when traveling
- so much me time
- getting to stay in boujee hotels
- getting so much vitamin D when it’s raining/snowing at home
- stomach/digestion issues (I take probiotics, triphala, and digestive enzymes to aid my gut)
- lack of sleep/short layovers
- the feeling of not having a grasp of life balance
- lack of social life with friends and family at home when you start flying
- schedules/routine goes out the door when you start reserve
- when food goes bad because you don’t have a fridge in the hotel