How lot do flight attendants make in AA? Let’s explain it every (Photo credits: tash_vera)

American Airlines is just one of the highest paying of any agency in the us for flight attendants. Because that this article, ns spoke come a lot of my colleagues, questioning them questions about their rates of pay and also the way it works for them within American Airlines.

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So here are the outcomes of that research, a watch from the frontline that the flight attendant’s world.

But simply a heads up here; it has to be said that your an initial year with any kind of airline is walk to it is in a gaue won challenge.

Flight attendants v American airline start the end at $30,000 – $56,000. This money consists of payment because that their flight hours, layover payment (per diem) and any various other bonuses. But as they become much more experienced that rate goes up quite considerably. Extremely experienced trip attendants v AA can comprise to $80,000 per annum or more.

So, as you can see, over there is a large difference between the lowest and highest wages paid to trip attendants. It is why it’s not basic to provide a critical number because so numerous factors come into play;

Things prefer seniority, how many hours you fly every month and your position in the hierarchy, space all aspects that influence the salary level of one individual employee member.

So permit me walk you v the different considerations that impact what pay price a trip attendant is on.

Table the Contents

American Airlines flight attendant career and working conditionsHow much money execute AA trip attendants earn?Other determinants that can include to your paycheck

Salary is tied come seniority

This is the most necessary factor of all. Seniority really matters.

The more hours girlfriend work, or the much more senior your position is, the higher the salary you will certainly get.

It’s not just your paycheck, however the device for assigning cabin crew come flights is additionally based ~ above seniority, as are the job off the you will be granted.

So, as with all various other aviation companies, in American Airlines, your salary is tied directly to your seniority.

And the good part about that is that you will get guaranteed annual pay raises.

As a new-hire, girlfriend will gain a mandatory salary raise after her 6 month of probationary employment, and also after that boost each year.

American Airlines flight attendant career and also working conditions

For the entirety of your very first year, you will certainly be “on-reserve”.

This method that you will certainly be on-call, and will have to be at your airport within 2 or to 3 hours.

For each of those reserve months, girlfriend will receive a schedule that will display the days that you room on-call and the days that you are off.

Usually, you’ll work-related 18 work on and have 12 job off.

What the means, is that in your first year together a trip attendant you are contractually mandatory to be on-reserve, on-call, for 18 job in every month.

From the second year to the fourth, you will certainly be on standby every various other month.

And then, ~ the fourth year, you on-reserve for simply one month and for the rest of the moment you will hold a line. To hold a heat simply method that you will be given monthly schedule of paris assignments, rather than be on-call.

This will be because that 3 months until you are an elderly enough to constantly be off. Being “off” method that you room in the lucky position of constantly having flying assignments instead of gift on standby.

So those the difference in between the to make reservation vs heat Holder pay?

While on to make reservation you have no idea as soon as you’re going until you receive that phone call call.

So you have actually no regulate at all over how lot you knife or your hrs worked.

Everyone starts on to make reservation in the USA, however the longer you job-related for the airline, the much less likely the is the you will be inserted on that duty.

In AA, after ~ your an initial year top top reserve, you’ll have the ability to hold present (have a normal flight schedule) every various other month.

This means that you’ll have actually the capability to bid because that the certain trips you’d like to work, layovers, days off, etc. And also you’ll have actually the option to drop or trade or pickup the trips you desire or don’t want. So you will do it have more control over how much girlfriend earn and also your schedule.

Okay, So stop see just how all the looks in actual life.

Up come 1 year seniorityUp come 4 year seniorityAfter 4 year seniority completed
Straight reserve1 month ~ above (on-reserve) & 1 month turn off (holds a monthly schedule)1 month ~ above (on-reserve) & 3 months turn off (holding a monthly schedule)


It looks pretty challenging at very first glance, but it’s no really as negative as it seems.

There is a mechanism that allows you come arrange your preferences in bespeak of what girlfriend want.

This device is separated into 3 sections:


So the day before you room on-reserve, every flight attendant deserve to bid for:

Sequences: basically these are the trips that other flight attendants have dropped or trips the haven’t to be assigned come anybodyStandby shift: 4-6 hours shifts wherein you sit at the airport and also have come be easily accessible for an prompt assignmentRAPs (Reserve ease of access Periods): These room 12 hrs shifts where you deserve to be dubbed on for assignment and must report come the airport in ~ 2 hours. This uses to the airline’s DFW, ORD, STL, PHL, BOS, RDU bases.

Any other base that has actually a co-terminal airport has actually a 3-hour contact out choose LGA, MIA, LAX, SFO, DCA bases.

Co-terminal airports space a marketing facet of the aviation industry and also this no the place to explain them here. Simply be conscious that they space a component of the RAP ar of being on reserve.

So gift on standby is not as straightforward as the name suggests, there are variations on exactly how this works. But, favor all points new, you’ll get used to it and also learn to work-related with it. Trip attendants space nothing, if not smart.


Okay, let’s relocate on indigenous the contempt confusing human being of scheduling and also talk around something that is nearby to all our hearts. Money.

How lot money execute AA trip attendants earn?

It relies on how countless hours girlfriend fly and your seniority.

There’s the word again, seniority.

As a guide, this table listed below is the pay per trip hour reviewed each year in American Airlines.

Pay per trip hour



The pay per trip hour is just how much you acquire paid because that every flying hour.

Which way from the minute the door of the aircraft closes before takeoff, come the moment the door opens up again in ~ the pane’s destination.

Using this salary scale, girlfriend can inspect how much you’ll get depending upon your endure level.

For example, if you space a cabin crew starting in 2019 friend will get $30.35 per trip hour (last column first step or year) and also once you end up your “year of service” her pay step boosts to $32.18 (last column second step or year) and also so on until your 13th year.

Once you reach your 13th year you get paid $68.25 per trip hour. Together you have the right to see, over there is a large gap in between the lowest and highest-earning trip attendants. But if you do it that far, deserve to you imagine obtaining paid the amount per flight hour? Woo hoo!!

75 hours a month paid guaranteed when on-reserve

You i will not ~ really know how plenty of hours you will certainly fly every month, yet at least you are guaranteed a minimum the 75 hours a month top top reserve/standby, even if lock don’t speak to you to fly.

So even if you work less, you’ll always get paid 75 hours.

That’s obtained to be good, right?

So let’s say you paris 75 hrs that month:

75 hours x $30.35=$2,276

And psychic that’s simply for the trip hours.

If you’d prefer to knife more, you can select to work-related on your off days. It’s your call.

So let’s say you only occupational 75 hours on reserve, yet you pick up a 15-hour expedition on your days off, you will be acquiring paid because that 90 hours flight time.

And this is the thing; if you occupational only 50 hours however you choose up a 15-hour trip, you will certainly be working 65 hours yet getting paid because that 90 since your 75 guarantee hours and not the 50 hours are included to that extra 15-hour expedition that you picked up.


In some other airlines, it have the right to be hard to choose up much more trips, yet with AA it’s quite easy to go above your 75 hour guarantee.

You can pick up as many hours as you want through AA.

You can fly till you drop if you desire to.

Some civilization fly 110 or 120 hours. Native experience, I need to tell you that although 75-80 flight hours a month could not it seems ~ a lot however you will feel tired and drained. So please don’t job-related yourself to death in order to earn the extra cash.

Bi-weekly pay – you’ll acquire paid twice a month

The first pay will certainly be on the 15th, and also it will be “The Check”, the large one, the one that matters. It’ll include all the overtime you choose up on her days off, her “per diem”, premium payment plus any type of bonuses you have actually gained, prefer credit card commissions.The 2nd pay ~ above the 30th is always less. Your paycheck top top that date will always total the end to approximately $800 ~ taxes in the first couple of years. That’s since it’s your bare hourly pay.

K. Gonzalez, one AA flight attendant ns spoke to says, “To aid you gain an idea, in my first-year, by flying 90 come 115 hours, i earned $2300 top top the 15th and also $800 on the 30th but without the benefits and also other fees taken the end yet. If, like me, you fly a lot of 3 work trips, her per diem (layover pay) goes increase a lot. I barely perform turns (going come a destination and also coming back in the day) and also that help a little”

Other factors that can include to her paycheck


It’s what you acquire paid on your layovers, likewise when you are on standby, all set reserve.

This is $2.20 for residential extra one hour for time away from your base and also $2.50 for international.

It starts when you sign in and it ends once you get back to her base.

Don’t it is in fooled reasoning that’s simply a pittance, since it yes, really adds up as soon as you are having plenty of 2, 3 or 4-day trips.

Plus in the US, per diems are thought about tax-free. So everything you obtain is yours to store if you employed through the airline in the said countries.


A deadhead is a paid, non-working flight in i m sorry the company needs to move a flight attendant indigenous one city come another.

So every time your firm needs to deliver you to an additional base to job-related from (because, for example, you’re instead of someone it is sick), or to lug you back to her base once you have finished her assignment, you take trip as a passenger.

And the good part about that is the you’ll get paid the same amount together if you were working.

And that is really cool.


There’s also a premium pay from $1.25-$3.25 extra every hour depending upon your place in the flight sequence (FA1- command purser, Galley, etc.) and additionally depending on the plane (A321, B757).


Working holidays: over there is also compensation that $75 for functioning on holidays.Credit map commissions: this is the money we acquire for opening or submitting airline credit card applications. If anyone filling one out and sends the in, we obtain $50 for each approved application.LOD (Language the Destination) speak premium: extra $2 per flight hour. Girlfriend will obtain the speak premium if you room working flights that require trip attendants in the language that you are qualified in. Yet you won’t acquire the speaker premium on continual flights the don’t call for a foreign language flight attendant. No one you will gain it on flights that call for a language you no qualified in.

American airlines Monthly value examples

To assist you advice your flight attendant job search, I’m giving you some examples:

Let me it is in honest, your first month will certainly be rough. Your first paycheck ~ above the 15th deserve to be roughly $600- $800 and the 2nd on the 30th roughly $900.

This is due to the fact that of how the pay mechanism works. For your first month, you space not getting paid any kind of flight hrs or any type of other extras as you just started v the agency and every flights are paid one month behind.

The following months it gets better. You’ll get approximately $1500-2000 ~ above the 15th ($2,300 maximum if flying lead and galley), and also $600-$800 ~ above the 30th. 

There room too countless variables to come best out and say this is the level rate, yet it is a ballpark number somewhere in that range, after taxes and also flying together a reserve.

Once you end up being a heat holder (senior enough to organize lines – flights – rather of gift on reserve), you have the right to make $3,000 a month ~ taxes in her second-year, paris 95-100 hours.

But together a brand-new hire on-reserve, it’s very unlikely that you’ll make $3,000. However it is possible, it simply depends on her base and also the time the the year.

Deductions and taxes

All these numbers above were calculated there is no deductions, before taxes, uniform, 401k…

Based top top that, you need to take out 20% in taxation (low balling) much more or less $500 in taxes, including medical/dental/vision insurance, uniform and also luggage ($30) costs and also union dues.

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Okay, that’s all the information I have for wages in American airline this year. Perhaps next there will be improvements since airlines space in consistent negotiations about flight attendant contracts. So things can readjust and I’ll shot to keep you updated as soon as they do.