Here's how much flight attendants in 10 airlines say they make

Leonhard Foeger/ReutersFlight attendants in the US earn on average about $US50,938 a year.

Flight attendants are concerned about their jobs as demand for air travel continues to decrease during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Flight attendants, who are in very close proximity to customers in an enclosed space, have a high chance of being exposed to the coronavirus, according to Business Insider’s analysis of occupational work characteristics and measures.

And members of this occupation may be worried about making ends meet as more flights get cancelled during the outbreak because a flight attendant’s earnings isn’t a straightforward metric.

Airlines pay flight attendants for each hour they’re in the air – meaning they could be on duty for 14 hours yet get paid only for a six-hour flight, according to Taylor Garland, a representative for the Association of Flight Attendants union.

Base pay also varies depending on a flight attendant’s level of experience, which part of the plane they serve, total hours worked, and the airport they fly out of.

“Flight attendants can fly high (a lot of hours in the air) or low (part-time),” Garland told Business Insider. “It’s really up to contract provisions and what best suits their needs.”

Working as a flight attendant comes with a particular set of challenges, from dealing with disrespectful passengers to exhausting schedules. But they have also faced more serious challenges. For example, flight attendants on Delta airlines told Business Insider new uniforms cause them to break out in hives, lose their hair, and cough uncontrollably.

In addition to these issues, pay has fallen significantly for flight attendants over the past 40 years: Median hourly wages dropped by 26% from 1980 to 2007, adjusting for inflation,according to the Population Reference Bureau. Some flight attendants work overtime to pay bills and even qualify for food stamps.

Another major factor contributing to flight-attendant pay variance is which carrier they fly on. While flight attendants in the US earn on average about $US50,938, the pay can vary depending on whether they work for Alaska Airlines, Southwest, or Spirit. Pay for flight attendants on regional carriers can be about 45% less than that of workers of main airlines.

Some flight attendants have reported their salaries on job-listing sites like Glassdoor and PayScale to help prospective applicants get a better sense of their hours. These salaries are self-reported to the websites and are an average of all flight attendants who chose to write in – counts ranged from under 10 to over 100.

Here’s how much flight attendants say they make on 10 major carriers, according to data on Glassdoor and PayScale.


Delta flight attendants say they earn $US29 to $US31 an hour.

Shutterstock/Philip PilosianDelta Airlines

PayScale average hourly rate: $US31.05Delta flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 47

Glassdoor average base pay: $US29Delta flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 127


American Airlines flight attendants say they make about $US35 an hour.

Robert Alexander/Getty ImagesAmerican Airlines

PayScale average hourly rate: $US34.82American flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 66

Glassdoor average base pay: $US38,192 a year (Hourly rate not available on Glassdoor.)American flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 153


Flight attendants for United Airlines say they make about $US28 to $US45 an hour.

Getty ImagesUnited Airlines

PayScale average hourly rate: $US45United flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 56

Glassdoor average base pay: $US28United flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 325


Southwest Airlines flight attendants say they make $US32 to $US36 an hour.

Associated PressSouthwest Airlines

PayScale average hourly rate: $US35.85Southwest flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 43

Glassdoor average base pay: $US32Southwest flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 101


JetBlue flight attendants say they make $US21 to $US24 an hour.

Donald Traill/APA JetBlue flight attendant.

PayScale average hourly rate: $US21.34JetBlue flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 15

Glassdoor average base pay: $US24JetBlue flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 62


Allegiant Air flight attendants say they make $US22 to $US25 an hour.

APAllegiant Air

PayScale average hourly rate: $US24.88Allegiant flight attendants who reported to PayScale: N/A

Glassdoor average base pay: $US22Allegiant flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 51


Flight attendants for Spirit say they make around $US22 an hour.

REUTERS/Rebecca CookSpirit Airlines

PayScale average hourly rate: $US21.94Spirit flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 7

Glassdoor average base pay: $US22Spirit flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 54


Flight attendants for Frontier Airlines say they make $US20 to $US21 an hour.

FG/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor/Getty ImagesFrontier Airlines

PayScale average hourly rate: $US19.89Frontier flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 16

Glassdoor average base pay: $US21Frontier flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 63


Alaska Airlines flight attendants say they make $US23 to $US35 an hour.

Getty ImagesAlaska Airlines

PayScale average hourly rate: $US35.03Alaska flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 7

Glassdoor average base pay: $US23Alaska flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 22


Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants say they make $US20 to $US35 an hour.

Ted S. Warren/APHawaiian Airlines

PayScale average hourly rate: $US20.49Hawaiian flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 5

Glassdoor average base pay: $US35Hawaiian flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 6

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.