How do Cabin Crew get Paid?

Estimating a flight attendant’s pay is more complex than you might expect. It is not simply a case of taking a basic hourly, monthly, or annual average salary.

In fact, it isn’t easy to compare pay rates, as they depend on so many factors. These include the airline you’re working for, the country in which you’re operating, and your seniority or experience. Then there are things like included benefits and living expenses in different locations. They vary from airline to airline and country to country. So let’s take a look at this now in more detail.


Factors Affecting a Flight Attendant Pay

You will usually be paid a basic compensation plus extra for hours actually spent flying.

However, hours flying do not include time spent in the terminal waiting for your flight. Even if the flight is delayed. And they don’t include time spent on the ground waiting for departure, etc. So how much actual flying you do can make a lot of difference.

There are other things that affect cabin crew pay. One example is the location and the airline you work for. As you might expect, large airlines pay better than small, regional or low-cost ones.

Your experience level will make a difference, as you would probably expect in any job. Don’t expect to start at a high salary, although you might possibly be surprised.

The type of aircraft and working hours (for example, working nights may well pay more and layover allowances on longer trips) also affect a flight attendant’s pay.

Then there are benefits in addition to the basic pay. These are worth looking at in the next paragraph.

Flight attendant

Benefits Adding to a Flight Attendant’s Earnings

Free flights or discounts on air travel are the best known benefits and sometimes include family or friends of flight attendants too.

Most airlines also provide medical and dental care and discounts in hotels, airport shops, beauty centres, and similar places.

Some airlines pay rent and utilities for their employees. Free medical and life insurance are pretty common perks too. And some airlines will pay an allowance for living expenses if time is spent in another country.


Salaries for Flight Attendants

As you will already have realised, the differences between companies and other factors make flight attendants’ salaries hard to estimate. But for comparison, here are approximate figures for well-known airlines’ average flight attendant salary.

The figures below (rounded to the nearest thousand) represent the estimated annual total pay, including bonus, profit sharing, commission, or other compensation, as found on Glassdoor. This source employs a statistical method that takes into account current and recent job listings from the past year, along with user-generated salary reports for the job title of a flight attendant.


European airlines

  • Finnair €21,000
  • British Airways €25,000
  • Lufthansa €25,000
  • Air France €40,000
  • Swiss International Airlines €44,000


Non-European airlines

  • Air Canada $55,000
  • Qatar Airways $56,000
  • American Airlines $59,000
  • Emirates $61,000
  • Delta Airlines $67,000


how much cabin crew earn at different airlines

As seen from the above, cabin crew at large and well-known airlines like Emirates pay flight attendants significantly more than smaller ones, and US-based carriers may pay a little more than European ones. But there is a lot of variation in this; as explained, additional perks may significantly affect the amount a new flight attendant earns.

Emirates cabin crew

However, in any case, you will certainly make a reasonable living. And the highest-paid flight attendants earn $60,000 or more. With added perks, this compares quite well with many other professions.


Are Flight Attendant Salaries Growing?

The cabin crew profession is facing a surge in average base salary, with a promising outlook for further growth. The increasing demand for flight attendants causes this upward flight attendant salary trend. Airlines compete to attract and retain skilled and experienced cabin crew, leading to a higher median salary and improved benefits.

Within the next ten years, 599,000 new cabin crew members will be needed worldwide and 122,000 in Europe alone. In 2032, out of the currently active 535,000, only 180,000 will still be flying, so 355,000 will be needed to replace those who leave the profession and 244,000 more to cater to the industry growth.

Therefore, choosing a flight attendant’s role as your life occupation might open many opportunities for you.


new cabin crew demand per region within next 10 years


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Become a Flight Attendant

Not only flight attendant jobs are about welcoming guests and providing food and drinks on board, but also about ensuring the safety procedures are followed. They know how to behave with safety equipment, handle emergencies, and more. So it is a highly responsible yet glamorous profession!

Along with the good money flight attendants make, they get more valuable perks, such as the ability to go sightseeing in different countries (for a moment, you might think you are on holidays!), learn about new cultures and make valuable connections with people.


Requirements to Become a Flight Attendant

As for the requirements, you must be at least 18 years old, have a High school diploma, speak English fluently and have good swimming skills. The last prerequisite is obtaining a cabin crew medical report. If you would put a “check” next to each of these requirements, you are ready to apply to the course!


cabin crew training entry requirements


Cabin Crew Training: Groups Start in Jul/Aug/Sep

The good news is that the timing is also suitable. Here at BAA Training, we have scheduled groups for cabin crew training at the end of July, August and September, so feel free to choose the one that suits you best and prepare for the next chapter of your life!

By the way, if you prove to be a good student, we will recommend you to the pool of our partner airlines, which raises your opportunity to get employed right after. It is relieving not to be stressed out looking for flight attendant jobs when you finally have a cabin crew certificate.



Flight attendants make a reasonable living, and they are paid fairly. When you consider all the additions to the salary, it is often extremely good.

You may make more by picking and choosing your routes and companies, but remember that other flight attendants will be trying to do the same thing, so be aim-oriented and consistent in pursuing your goal of building a successful career at an airline.

So if this is something you want, go for it, but do keep your eyes open when it comes to practical points! BAA Training is ready to help you at every step on the way to the skies.