Being a flight attendant has to be one of the most challenging jobs in the world.
After you get through a rigorous training programme you’re then constantly jetting all over the place, working long hours and dealing with difficult passengers.
For those of us on the outside however, it can seem like a luxurious lifestyle – filled with sunny destinations and immeasurable perks.
Surely the flight attendants working in the first class sections are experiencing a bit of luxurious bliss while we sit cramped in the back of the plane, right?
For many putting in the hours in the skies, the stresses of working economy pale in comparison to those found in business and first class.
During a discussion on Quora numerous flight attendants claimed that the big demands of the elite few in the posh parts of the plane often makes life a lot harder.
The thread asked “if there was no difference in pay would attendant prefer to work economy, business and first class?” It provoked some interesting answers.
Nurlia Mazlan, who is works for Air Asia wrote:
My first airlines was a full service carrier and it’s stressful to be working in business/first class.
All the extra works, the liasing with supervisory crews and flight deck crews, the “entitled” attitude of certain passengers; you’re always wondering who in your cabin is related to your CEO or royalties or etc.
Ecomony was a lot easier in contrast. She adds:
On the other hand, serving 100 in economy class (better call as school canteen sometimes) is better than 16 in business class anytime for me.
Passengers take their meal, dont complain much, ask only a few other stuffs, we do collection for their rubbish and voila! They’re done. Dim the cabin lights and get ready to sleep.
Former air steward, Heather Wilde echoed Nurlia’s thoughts:
When flying economy, everything was straightforward – the most senior flight attendant on the plane would handle all the announcements, paperwork, stocking in addition to everyone’s duties of completing drink/snack service, aisle checks.
Charter Service was more like a First Class experience.
In addition to the announcements, each person on the aircraft receives personalized service.
This takes a lot of extra time before the flight to learn everyone’s name/seat assignment and remember it during the whole trip.
There is no time to rest as you have to be able to cater to every passenger every minute of the flight – and ensure you still make all the required announcements at the right times.
Kerwin McKenzie, who works in the airline industry shared his observations.
I’m not a flight crew, but have flown enough to see that business/first class is more work as the passengers demand a lot more since they are paying more.
I’ve seen people be really nasty to the crew for no reason or be quite demanding.
Not everyone shared this point of view.
Jennifer Halstead admitted that the benefits of working first class were far more rewarding.
First Class! It can be a long service but the atmosphere is more relaxed.
You have time to get to know the passengers and it can be very rewarding.
I like preparing the food in the Galley where I have to be organised as it can be very hectic and I enjoy presenting all of the different courses.
The New York Post adds that some particular flight paths can attract rude passengers.
They report that flights to LA, plus New York to London and New York to Miami are the worst.
So, whether you fly economy, business or first class please take into consideration the flight attendants, no matter how lofty your demands.