More Than 20,000 Apply to Become American Flight Attendants, More Than Entire Current Staff

About 16,000 people serve as flight attendants for American Airlines, and they get paid an average of $45,000 a year to do so. In less than a week earlier this month, more than 20,000 job-seekers applied to fill 1,500 openings, the Star-Telegram reported this afternoon.

“We’re thrilled with the overwhelming response to our regular flight attendant job postings, and believe we now have enough qualified candidates to consider for these openings,” American spokeswoman Missy Cousino said. “In the meantime, job postings for several language speakers, including Korean, Mandarin, Finnish and Japanese will remain open.”

It’s the first time American has hired new flight attendants in a decade, the article states, so if you think you keep seeing the same man handing you peanuts year-in and year-out, you’re probably right.


  • Heather_Poole

    You got it wrong. First year flight attendants make less than $18,000 a year! It takes YEARS to make the “average” pay stated in this article.

  • JSS

    @Heather, re “average”: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • Sunshine

    It take 15 years to make it to the top pay scale of $45000. Starting pay is less than $18000 when you add in all the cost for uniforms, insurance,taxes. Plus once you make it to 15 years you stay on that pay Forever… I have not had a pay raise for more than a decade. In fact just had my base pay cut by $100 a month.

  • Chris Berger

    The reason the average AA flight attendant makes 45K a year (a number I’d argue is higher than what the average really is) is because over 95% of AA flight attendants have 15 years or more with the airline. At 15 years, their pay tops out at the max pay rate. My first year income at AA in 1997 was17K. My first year as a flight attendant, in 1990 I earned 13K (I worked for TWA at the time). This is not a high paying profession. The general public has such a skewed perception of our profession – it looks so easy from the outside. The pay cited in articles like this make it sound like easy money. The “free flights” lie runs rampant. It will be interesting to see how long the new recruits last with today’s realities of the job.