Everything You Need to Know About Flight Attendant Seniority

seniority flight attendant

You might have heard of those exciting stories from flight attendants, but the truth is that it takes a long time to get to where they are. The industry, after all, puts a premium on experience. Ask any flight attendant and pilot, and they’ll tell you that everything is determined by seniority.


What Does Senior Mean in the Aviation Industry?


From the day you start training, a large part of your career would be determined by seniority. Many factors affect your seniority, but it’s generally based on how long you’ve been working for an airline. 


Seniority determines your flights, vacations, and privileges, such as you can be placed in special lists that allow you to fly for free as a standby.


Benefits of Seniority



  • First Pick on Top Destinations

One of the reasons people want to become flight attendants in the first place is to travel. But not so fast: going to Paris or Tokyo isn’t going to be that easy! Flight attendants don’t actually have fixed routes, rather they bid for the flights they want. Those with seniority get to pick first. In fact, it even became an issue last year as senior flight attendants tried to sell the most desired locations.


  • Flexible Schedule

Similarly, senior flight attendants also get to choose their schedules first, which is why a lot of the newer attendants usually end up with night flights. Part of the perks to being a flight attendant is the ability to pick your work hours. Some months, you could just be flying for a couple of weeks while others would have you working almost every day. Having priority picks means you can choose how long and which days you can take a break. 



  • Longer Layovers

Long flights can be a drag for both the passengers and the cabin crew, and that’s why being able to choose the length of their layover is great for them! You would definitely prefer a break after serving all those people for eight hours, but it’s hard to do that if you only get a few hours. Seniors can stay in their layover destination for as long as 48 hours, just enough time to check out the city. The airlines would pay for their accommodation, too.


  • Better Hotel Discounts and Benefits

While all flight attendants have benefits around hotels and transportation services, it would only get better the longer you work for an airline. To add to that, if you’re always staying in the same hotels, you can get points and other perks from being a loyal client.



  • Bigger Pay


Flight attendants get paid by the hour and on top of a higher hourly salary, seniors can choose to fly more often than others. More time on the air means more money for them, so the system can really work to their advantage.


Being a flight attendant isn’t all about fun, and you have to work hard to get your dream life. It takes a long time, sometimes years, before you can achieve seniority. The best way to start reaping the benefits is to start as early as you can! With Eton College’s Flight Attendant Preparation Program, you can get exceptional skills in just under a year. Sign up now to jumpstart your dream career!