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What My Flight Attendant Schedule Is Like!

Have you ever wondered how much flight attendants actually fly? What is their schedule like? How are they paid? The career is far from your typical 9-5 job. Flight attendants work odd hours, weekends and holidays, yet it is still one of the most flexible jobs out there!

Highlights of a Flight Attendant schedule

Below are some highlights on the most important aspects of what goes into creating a flight attendant’s monthly schedule.

Reserve versus Line Holder

There are two different monthly schedules that flight attendants and pilots can have. One is a reserve and one is called having a line.

Flight attendant reserve schedule

Think of reserve as being on call similar to nurses or firefighters. While on reserve flight attendants must have their phone on them and wait for crew scheduling to call.

Depending on the airport you’re based at you’ll have 2-3 hours after scheduling calls you to make it to the airport to sign in for your assigned trip.

While on reserve you have NO idea where you’re going until you receive that phone call, which can be stressful but also fun especially when you get a great trip!

The longer you are with the airline the less likely you are to be on reserve. While on reserve you can bid for days off and hope that you can hold them at your seniority. 

Flight attendant line holder schedule

Having a line is much different. A “line” means that you have and you know your monthly schedule of trips ahead of time. The month prior you are able to “bid” for the specific trips you’d like to work, layovers, days off, etc. The type of schedule you hold depends on your seniority with the airline.

For example, a flight attendant with only 5 years seniority will not be able to hold a line of international trips, but a flight attendant with 20y ears seniority would be able to. Having a line is great for the flexibility aspect of this job because you can drop/trade trips. 

Dropping & Trading Trips 

When you are on a line month you have the option to drop your trips on our electronic trade board. The electronic trade board is where flight attendants can go to drop trips, trade trips, and pick trips up.

For example, if I have a few days off and want extra hours, I can go to the trade board and pick up a trip I’d like to fly. If you cannot get another flight attendant to pick up the trip you’re attempting to drop then you do still have to work it.

On the trade board, you also have the option to trade your trip with another flight attendant’s trip only if they approve of it though. Having the option to drop and trade your trips helps tremendously especially if something comes up last minute and you are not able to work your original trip. 

The schedule of a flight attendant can be a little all over the place but that’s what makes it really exciting because you are always doing something new!

I hope you all enjoyed this article. Make sure to check out my YouTube video below for an inside look at my own schedule from October!

Thanks for reading and following along!

  • Julia 

Featured Image: Jetting Julia.

Norma Heape, flight attendant

p.s. Did you read our popular story about Norma Heape, the World’s Most Experienced Flight Attendant?

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