Flight attendants must be able to work a variety of shifts, which might fluctuate from month to month. Passenger service workers may have to work on the weekends or on public holidays when flying throughout the globe.
Flight attendants’ flying hours are regulated by airlines and regulatory norms, however the more seniority a flight attendant achieves, the more freedom they have.
Here, we address questions concerning flight attendant work schedules and the rules and situations that determine flight attendant schedules.
What Are the Working Hours of a Flight Attendant?
It is the total number of hours that a flight attendant spends doing his or her job that is counted. More than 50 more hours are needed to prepare the aircraft, process passengers during boarding and complete post-flight operations.
If you don’t include overtime, flight attendants typically work 12-14 days a month and clock 65-85 flight hours.
There may be a lot of variation in flight attendant job schedules from month to month. With little control over where they go or how long their shifts run,
new flight attendants often operate on an on-call or standby reserve schedule. Crew schedules are determined by the length, location, and duration of the plane’s stopover. For instance:
- A turn is a one-way flight, with no stopover, to a single destination and then back to the same airport where the flight originated.
- Passengers on these flights complete one leg of the journey in a day, then return to their destinations the next. With layovers ranging from 10 to 24 hours on average, most airlines fly three flights each day with a three-day stay possible on lengthier layovers.
- Taking a three-day journey requires crew members to fly more than one leg every day. In certain cases, they may have many layovers or a very long one.
- In order to accommodate lengthier journeys (up to four days), flight attendants are allowed to fly for seven days straight before needing a day off. Longer trips may need flights, layovers, and other travel arrangements.
- Over seven hours, these flights are long-haul. Flight attendants may pick where they fly on long-haul flights, which are typically international, and usually over seven hours. Long-haul assignments are often given to senior flight attendants who have already completed the same journey or have received special training for a particular aircraft.
Does the Schedule of Flight Attendants Have Any Limitations?
It is the responsibility of the Federal Aviation Administration to make sure that flight attendants have enough time to sleep. The number of flight attendants is strictly regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Airline flight attendants’ “duty hours,” which do not include layovers or commuting, are defined as the time they spend working immediately before and after the plane takes off from its origin gate. It’s important to distinguish rest periods from travel time or layovers, since they are distinct from those times when a worker is off the clock.
In order to comply with FAA regulations, flight attendants must:
Rest periods of nine consecutive hours are required for shifts lasting more than 14 hours.
As long as a planned 10-hour rest time occurs within 24 hours after a decreased rest period, eight-hour rest intervals are allowed.
If you are on duty for more than 18 hours a day, you must take a 12-hour break.
The FAA mandates a particular number of flight attendants depending on the number of passengers on board, so that crew members may get some rest.
Are Flight Attendants Employed on a Regular Basis?
Flight attendants’ schedules may vary depending on the preferences of the attendant, their seniority, and their location. Some flight attendants favor long flights, while others prefer shorter journeys with a few days off in between.
Commuting is an important factor for some passengers, especially if they’re flying in from their home airport. More flights may be worked by flight attendants who reside near their home airport compared with flight attendants who must go to their home airport.
If you’re just starting out as a flight attendant, you may have to live near the airport, or even wait for a call at the airport.
Senior flight attendants have greater control over their work schedule and travel locations than their lower-level counterparts. As far as vacation time is concerned, both positions get the same 12 days off every month.
The two most common timetables are:
Reserve a Time Slot
Flight attendants on the reserve schedule are available around the clock and often work on flights that have been rejected by senior crew, which may lead to extended leg or layovers.
Flight attendants new to the industry should anticipate to be on a standby schedule for at least 18 reserve days and for a few months or even years, depending on the airline and location.
A Timetable for Line-holders
Line-holders may bid for preferred routes or workdays, and can change or remove trips if they choose to do so. There is a monthly bidding period for flights,
and flight attendants may pick their schedules based on their needs. However, particular airlines may limit the amount of hours that flight attendants may work every month.
Exactly When Do Flight Attendants Clock in and Clock Out of Their Shifts?
Flight attendants should obtain their schedules at least two weeks before their first flight, either at the beginning of the month or at the end.
Flight attendants may find all of the pertinent details regarding each leg of the trip on a schedule, often known as a roster. Attendees’ lodging and transportation arrangements are also included in the itinerary.
Schedules also include coded information for the following:
- For each city, there are specific airport codes.
- Types of vehicles and equipment.
- When the flight attendant returns after a layover.
- during takeoff and landing, an attendant is given a certain role.
- The first day of the attendant’s shift
- Predicted time of departure
- Afternoon or afternoon halt
Can Flight Attendants Alter Their Work Schedules?
When flight attendants begin their careers, they may work on a reserve or standby basis. As flight attendants acquire experience and knowledge, they advance to the level of senior flight attendant, gaining access to more desired schedules and itineraries.
Senior flight attendants may request itineraries based on preferred locations, vacation days, and stopover periods. Certain airlines may have mechanisms that enable attendants to exchange flights with another or locate covering for a journey.
Are Flight Attendants Responsible for Their Own Lodging?
Flight attendants who fly overnight or longer are reimbursed for their meals and lodging costs by the airline. All the details about the stopover are provided to flight attendants after they have received their itineraries. Regular remuneration for a flight attendant may also include meal allowances.
During Layovers, Do Flight Attendants Get Paid?
Once the aircraft lands, the flight attendants are officially off the clock. Flight attendants are on duty from the moment the aircraft leaves the gate until it reaches its final destination. Delays, layovers, preflight, boarding, and postflight are not considered official duty time, thus flight attendants are free to do anything they like with their downtime.
What Are the Advantages of Becoming a Senior Flight Attendant?
A career as a flight attendant might have advantages as one moves through the ranks from flight attendant junior to flight attendant senior. Earning seniority as a flight attendant has the following four advantages:
- Senior flight attendants frequently have the freedom to determine their own schedules. In order to preserve a schedule, senior flight attendants have the option of working the same line every day, even if they can’t accommodate every request.
- Flights are available to them: Senior flight attendants have the option of working close to home or taking frequent trips away from their families. They are rewarded with the ability to change routes, stopover durations, or destinations without incurring additional fees.
- Depending on their preferences, some senior attendants choose to fly to their home base airport, while others prefer a nearby airport in order to save on travel time.
- So they’re entitled to a raise: Flying more often and for a greater salary is an option for senior flight attendants, who are paid more for lengthier trips. Senior flight attendants may work as much or as little as they choose since their schedules are flexible.