Why I Returned to Being a Flight Attendant After 13 Years
In my early twenties, I became a flight attendant because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. I was in my first year of college, and I couldn’t focus on school so I knew I had to make a change. My mom, a former flight attendant, saw an ad for a major airline hiring flight attendants and the rest is history. The first few years of my career, I enjoyed everything about it. I loved traveling, meeting new people, exploring new destinations and not working in an office. Unfortunately, due to the tragedy of September 11th, my career as a flight attendant came to an end after seven short years.
Once I left the airlines, I lived abroad and called Tokyo, London, Paris and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands my home. When I moved back to California, I enrolled in school and began working in entertainment public relations. Working in PR was fun, fast-paced and glamorous. On many occasions, I walked the red carpet at movie premiers and album release parties, and attended private events.
While the perks were good, the job was demanding and it wasn’t conducive to having a life outside of work. I stayed in the industry for years, but I knew it wasn’t going to last forever. Last year, I started looking for a new career and, somehow, I found my old one.
I loved traveling, meeting new people, exploring new destinations and not working in an office.
So, why did I return to this career after such a long absence? Well, in 2011, I married my awesome husband and we started this incredible life of travel together. In the first four years of marriage, we traveled to eight countries despite me only having two weeks of vacation each year. Plus, it wasn’t long before the travel bills started piling up from our extravagant vacations.
One day, we were talking and I said, “You know how we could save money on travel and I could have more time off?” My husband, obviously, was eager to find out. I told him that I had been toying with the idea of returning to the airlines and I wanted to find out what he thought. I’m sure you can guess what he said!
Now, 13 years later, I find myself in the familiar blue polyester uniform, wheeling my suitcase behind me and navigating my way through congested airports. The sights and sounds are the same but I’m looking at them through new eyes. As the old saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’m much more appreciative of being a flight attendant now than I was back then, and I realize that this is an incredible career. To be honest, there are tons of reasons that made me return to being a flight attendant after 13 years but here are my top five:
We save a large amount of money on travel by using my flight benefits. For example, we flew first class, round-trip to Barcelona for $67 and Paris for $123. These flights normally run for about $25K! Talk about saving money! Plus, we travel for free anywhere my company flies within the United States.
A common misconception about flight attendants is that we’re never home. That couldn’t be further from the truth because I only work 12-15 days per month. I work less than people with 9 to 5 jobs!
I have excellent medical insurance! When I have a child, I get six months maternity leave with an option to extend it for another six months. Yep, that’s right, I could be at home with my bundle of joy for a full year.
I don’t go to the same office and sit at the same desk everyday. My office changes from one aircraft to the next and so does my crew. Being a flight attendant can, at times, feel like being in a sorority or fraternity because you meet the crew and instantly become lifelong friends!
I’m a very social person and a huge part of my job is communicating with people from all walks of life. I’ve met everyone from CEOs and stay-at-home moms to dignitaries and steel workers and I enjoy every minute of my time with each person. I consider myself lucky because I have a wonderful career as a flight attendant and a way to pursue my passion for travel blogging.
Photo for Why I Returned to Being a Flight Attendant After 13 Years by Mia Herman.