How Much Is a Flight Attendant’s Salary?

Flight attendants can make between $30,000-$113,000 a year, here are the top paying airlines.

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Flight attendants are key to making your commercial flights comfortable. Whether you are a current flight attendant,  thinking of becoming one, or are genuinely curious about what flight attendants make, we have the answers.  The answer is cut and dry, each airline has specific pay scales regarding their flight attendants, we have compiled a list of them. 

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How Much Do Flight Attendants Make Annually?

What flight attendants make annually is dependent on how much experience they have and how long they have been with their current airline. On average, a new flight attendant will bring home roughly $30,000 their first year, while more experienced flight attendants can bring home more, around $70,000 annually. 

What Is a Flight Attendant’s Starting Salary?

Different airlines offer different starting pay for flight attendants. Most seem to hover close to $30,000. 

What Impacts a Flight Attendant’s Salary?

Many things impact a flight attendant's salary, location, experience, and airline, are among those. 

  • Qualifications and Skills: Most airlines will require a flight attendant to have a high school diploma and to be certified by the FAA. The certification covers emergency procedures like emergency landings, evacuations, and medical energies. 
  • Experience: Because being a flight attendant requires exceptional customer service, most airlines look for candidates with a background in customer service fields such as restaurants or retail. 
  • Location: Each flight attendant will be based at a specific location/airport. The airport the flight attendant is assigned to will impact their pay. The larger the home airport, the higher their pay will be, in most cases. 
  • Airline: Different airlines pay their flight attendants differently depending on the above impacts. Major airlines such as American and Delta will pay their flight attendants slightly more than smaller airlines. 

Do International Flight Attendants Make More?

International flights, on average, are longer and come with higher per diem pay than domestic flights. Because flight attendants are paid on an hourly basis, international flight attendants will make more money. 

What Benefits Do Flight Attendants Get?

In addition to getting paid, flight attendants are offered other benefits through their airline such as hotel accommodations and free flights. 

  • Health insurance: Most airlines provide health benefits for their flight attendants.
  • Retirement plan: Retirement plans are offered by most major airlines. 
  • Free or discounted flights: Most flight attendants can fly for free when they are off the clock if seats are available. Free flights can also be given to family members. 
  • Reimbursement for expenses: While flight attendants are away from their home airport, most airlines reimburse food costs that flight attendants incur in between flights.
  • Hotel compensation: Similar to food reimbursements, flight attendants will have all accommodations paid for by their airline while on overnight layovers. 

Example of Flight Attendant Salaries

Each airline has a different pay structure for their flight attendants. 

AirlineLow (Bottom 10%)AverageHigh(Top 10%)
American Airlines$30,000$43,460$86,000
Delta Airlines$24,000$40,236$91,000
Southwest Airlines$30,000$42,000$65,000
United Airlines$28,000$44,129$100,000
Spirit Airlines$25,000$39,000$68,000
Frontier Airlines$27,000$29,400$45,000

American Airlines

American Airlines flight attendants have the opportunity to earn bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing. These additional forms of pay average $2,825 per year.

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines offers many incentives to their flight attendants including the standard free flights and per diem. The additional benefits, which included bonuses, pay on average $6,400 per year. This is among the highest of the airlines we looked at.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest has one of the highest average salaries of all the airlines we looked at, but the potential to make more on the high end is lacking. The airline does offer bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing, which gives flight attendants the opportunity to make an additional $4,800 per year.


JetBlue may be one of the best airlines to work as a flight attendant for. High, six-figure, earning potential, place JetBlue as one of the highest paying airlines in terms of flight attendants. In addition to base pay, JetBlue also offers bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing., which can add up to $2,350 per year, 

United Airlines

Like JetBlue, United has one of the highest potential salaries for a flight attendant. After years of service at United, a flight attendant can bring home six figures. United also offers bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing, which can pay an additional $5,200 per year.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines comes in pretty average in terms of base pay for its flight attendants. In addition to their base pay, flight attendants can earn an additional $1,500 per year through bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines may be one of the lower paying airlines to work as a flight attendant for, but they are a great stepping stone to consider if you are just starting out. In addition to base pay, flight attendants can make an extra $1,100 a year with Frontier through bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing.

What Airline Pays Flight Attendants the Most?

When it comes to new flight attendants just starting out, the highest paying airlines are JetBlue, $32,000, and Southwest Airlines, $30,000. For seasoned flight attendants looking for earning potential, JetBlue, $103,000, and Alaskan Airlines, $113,000, are the highest paying airlines. 

Being a flight attendant can be a great long term career path. Pay, benefits, and the ability to travel the world on your employer's dime may be all you need to convince yourself to take the leap. If you want to stay up to date on more flight attendant information or keep tabs on all things aviation subscribe to FLYING Magazine today!

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