7 Best Airlines For Flight Attendants (Analyzed & Ranked) (2024)

Selecting an airline to work at as a flight attendant is an important choice. Once you are hired, switching airlines can be a hard thing to do because you will have to attend training and start off back at the bottom of the seniority list all over again!

Of course, this means you want to choose the best airlines to apply for, but which airlines are the best and how do they compare?

Well, look no further! We have put together a comprehensive ranking of the top US-based airlines to work for as a flight attendant and compared them to one another to find out how they stack up.

Flight Attendant Airline Table Overview

CompanyOur RatingGlassdoorIndeedBest QualityWorst Quality
Delta4.64.34.2InclusivityUnunionized
United4.44.04.0LayoversReserve
Southwest4.334.14.3Company cultureLimited layovers
American4.33.83.8BenefitsCompany culture
Jet Blue4.23.74.0LayoversPay
Alaska4.13.93.8InclusivityLimited layovers
Frontier4.03.33.3ReservePay

What We’re Considering

To arrive at our ranking, we considered a number of factors including:

  • Company Culture
  • Layover options
  • Work-life balance
  • Reserve
  • Pay
  • Diversity & inclusion
  • Satisfaction with senior management
  • Benefits (health insurance, retirement, profit sharing, etc.)

Our information for these categories come from three main sources, flight attendants themselves, Indeed and Glassdoor.

A Note About Our Sources

Indeed provides two ranking scores for each company, a star rating (1-5), and a work well-being score (0-100%). Indeed’s star rating is based on employee reviews and the well-being score is determined by occupational wellness experts.

Like Indeed, Glassdoor rates each company on a scale from 1-5 stars based on employee reviews.

Our ratings will differ from Indeed and Glassdoor’s because we are taking a flight attendant-specific perspective, while these sites look at each company as a whole.

Okay with that clarified, let’s jump into the rankings!

1. Delta

🎖️ Our Rating: 4.6

Delta constantly ranks among the best airlines to work for because of the company’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion.

In fact, Delta has been ranked the “Best Employer for Diversity” a number of times. And this ranking is in comparison to all other US-based companies (not just in aviation).

We gave Delta a 4.6 because of its inclusivity, reserve system, and hourly pay.

Beyond the fact that Delta is a safe place to work for everyone, Delta’s reserve system is unique in the airline industry because no one ever serves straight reserve, or even a full month of reserve, making it one of the most equitable reserve systems for junior flight attendants. Meanwhile its hourly pay scale is also industry-leading!

Read more: Delta Airlines Flight Attendant Salary Complete Breakdown

The main weakness for Delta, from a flight attendant’s perspective, is the fact that it is not officially unionized. There is a campaign among Delta flight attendants to join the AFA, but as of the publication of this article, Delta flight attendants are not officially represented.

The lack of a union for Delta flight attendants has two very real consequences:

  1. Delta flight attendants earn less than their fellows at United and American because they lose out on more competitive profit-sharing benefits.
  2. They did not have representation when their uniforms turned out to be toxic, whereas American flight attendants did.

This resulted in lower ratings for benefits.

That said, Delta’s benefits in terms of retirement, non-rev travel, and health insurance, are still on par with the rest of the industry and their overall score places them at #1 on our ranking list!

Our Rating Broken Down:

  • Company Culture: 4.6
  • Layover options: 4.7
  • Work-life balance: 4.3
  • Reserve: 5.0
  • Pay: 4.6 ($35.02 per hour)
  • Diversity & inclusion: 5.0
  • Satisfaction with senior management: 4.6
  • Benefits: 4.0

Glassdoor Rating: 4.3
Indeed Rating: 4.2
Indeed Wellbeing Score: 82

2. United

🎖️ Our Rating: 4.4

United Airlines is the perfect airline to work for if you want to be paid well to travel the world. They offer the largest number of layover opportunities and the highest pay in the industry!

We gave United a 4.4 because they are an exciting company to work for, they pay well, and they keep pace with other airlines in terms of work environment and benefits.

United is a good place to work as a flight attendant, but unlike Southwest and Delta, they aren’t well known for a stellar work environment. (At least it isn’t United’s defining characteristic).

United’s main weakness however is its reserve system because it employs a straight reserve system that keeps junior flight attendants stuck on reserve until they are finally senior enough to hold a line. That said, it seems to work well enough.

Our Rating Broken Down:

  • Company Culture: 4.0
  • Layover options: 5.0
  • Work-life balance: 4.0
  • Reserve: 3.9
  • Pay: 4.7 ($35.06 per hour)
  • Diversity & inclusion: 4.8
  • Satisfaction with senior management: 4.0
  • Benefits: 4.7

Glassdoor Rating: 4.0
Indeed Rating: 4.0
Indeed Wellbeing Score: 78

3. Southwest

🎖️ Our Rating: 4.33

Southwest has a really good and well-known reputation in the airline industry for being a fun place to work. Flight attendants at Southwest are able to be a little more relaxed and creative when it comes to passenger interactions because the airline is marketed towards family travel, instead of business travel.

We gave Southwest a 4.33 because of its company culture, the work-life balance options, and the benefits.

In addition to having a fantastic work environment, Southwest offers more flexibility and therefore a better work-life balance than other airlines.

Southwest flight attendants can, for example, drop down to a 0-hour schedule, which is unique in the industry. They also consistently receive the best crew discounts at hotel restaurants and airports compared to any other airline!

The main weakness for Southwest is just their layover options, compared to larger international airlines, Southwest has a smaller route network, but I’m confident Southwest flight attendants are still satisfied with the layovers available!

Our Rating Broken Down:

  • Company Culture: 4.7
  • Layover options: 4.0
  • Work-life balance: 4.7
  • Reserve: 4.3
  • Pay: 4.3 ($31.23 per hour)
  • Diversity & inclusion: 4.1
  • Satisfaction with senior management: 4.0
  • Benefits: 4.6

Glassdoor Rating: 4.1
Indeed Rating: 4.3
Indeed Wellbeing Score: 78

4. American Airlines

🎖️ Our Rating: 4.3

If it were up to me, I’d put American Airlines at the top of this ranking, but I’m biased because I loved working there but American’s reputation as a place to work as a flight attendant is good, but nothing to write home about.

We gave American Airlines a 4.3 because it is a perfectly fine place to work as a flight attendant.

American offers slightly better pay, benefits, and layover opportunities than some of the other airlines on this list, which is why it got ranked a little higher.

Job security at American is great because it is unionized, and the airline is financially stable (for an airline).

American’s weakness is its company culture. Right now there is a lot of tension within the flight attendant work group because the US Airways merger left a large portion of the workforce feeling like they lost out in contract negotiations and because no one is happy with the current reserve. Because of this, satisfaction with senior management is also taking a hit.

Our Rating Broken Down:

  • Company Culture: 3.8
  • Layover options: 4.8
  • Work-life balance: 4.0
  • Reserve: 4.0
  • Pay: 4.5 ($33.86 per hour)
  • Diversity & inclusion: 4.7
  • Satisfaction with senior management: 3.9
  • Benefits: 4.7

Glassdoor Rating: 3.8
Indeed Rating: 3.9
Indeed Wellbeing Score: 76

5. Jet Blue

🎖️ Our Rating: 4.2

Jet Blue is a great airline to work for if you don’t want to work for a legacy airline, but do want a wider variety of layover options.

Offering a slightly more relaxed working environment than American, Delta, and United, Jet Blue has the trappings of an international airline with a little more fun.

We gave Jet Blue a 4.2 because it surpassed our expectations in terms of diversity and inclusion and layover options.

Jet Blue is a safe choice to work for as a flight attendant because it offers exactly what airlines need to in order to allow flight attendants to build happy, long careers, but it doesn’t offer the fills some of the other airlines do.

Jet Blue’s biggest weakness is its pay scale. It just simply isn’t as competitive as the legacy airlines.

Our Rating Broken Down:

  • Company Culture: 4.0
  • Layover options: 4.5
  • Work-life balance: 4.0
  • Reserve: 3.9
  • Pay: 4.2 ($28.85 per hour)
  • Diversity & inclusion: 4.6
  • Satisfaction with senior management: 3.8
  • Benefits: 4.5

Glassdoor Rating: 3.7
Indeed Rating: 4.0
Indeed Wellbeing Score: 74

6. Alaska Airlines

🎖️ Our Rating: 4.1

Alaska Airlines is a solid airline to work for, flight attendants are happy with the work environment, and reap the same high-quality benefits enjoyed by the top airlines in the industry.

We gave Alaska Airlines a 4.1 because it is a good airline to work for and it has a slightly better commitment to diversity and inclusion than other airlines, but nothing in particular sets it apart.

Its company culture, work-life balance, and reserve system are pretty standard compared to other airlines in the industry.

Like Southwest, the main weakness for Alaska Airlines is its limited layover opportunities, operating primarily in the Pacific, Alaska Airlines does not offer many international destinations.

Our Rating Broken Down:

  • Company Culture: 4.0
  • Layover options: 4.0
  • Work-life balance: 4.0
  • Reserve: 4.0
  • Pay: 4.4 ($31.73 per hour)
  • Diversity & inclusion: 4.6
  • Satisfaction with senior management: 3.5
  • Benefits: 4.5

Glassdoor Rating: 3.9
Indeed Rating: 3.8
Indeed Wellbeing Score: 74

7. Frontier

🎖️ Our Rating: 4.0

Frontier surprised me, for a budget carrier it offers a pretty attractive place to work as a flight attendant and I know many Frontier flight attendants who are satisfied with their choice to work for the airline.

We gave Frontier a 4.0 because it keeps up with many of the other airlines here, it isn’t the best at anything though.

Frontier may not lead the industry, but it isn’t falling far behind either and a flight attendant who chose to work here can expect a slightly better work-life balance over the course of their career because they get off reserve quickly.

Frontier’s weakness is that it is good, but just not quite good enough. Satisfaction with senior management is low, and a lot of flight attendants leave Frontier to re-start at a larger, better-paying airline.

But if you want a predictable career, Frontier might just be the best option for you yet.

Read more: Frontier Airlines Flight Attendant Salary Complete Breakdown

Our Rating Broken Down:

  • Company Culture: 4.2
  • Layover options: 4.0
  • Work-life balance: 4.2
  • Reserve: 4.3
  • Pay: 4.1 ($26.18 per hour)
  • Diversity & inclusion: 4.0
  • Satisfaction with senior management: 3.5
  • Benefits: 3.9

Glassdoor Rating: 3.3
Indeed Rating: 3.3
Indeed Wellbeing Score: 70

Final Thoughts

Here’s the thing. It’s a safe bet that you can have a wonderful and fulfilling career as a flight attendant working at any of the airlines we ranked above.

Delta might be the highest-ranked airline on this list, (and others), but that doesn’t mean it will be the perfect airline for you.

And that is what matters most! So, work for whichever one will make you love your job the most. Whether that is Delta or Frontier.

Similar Posts:

  • American Airlines Flight Attendant Salary Breakdown

  • Delta Airlines Flight Attendant Salary Complete Breakdown

  • How Many Hours Do Flight Attendants Work (Day, Week, Year)

  • How Much Do Flight Attendants Really Make? (11 Airlines Compared)

7 Best Airlines For Flight Attendants (Analyzed & Ranked) (2024)

FAQs

Which airline is best to be a flight attendant? ›

The best companies for flight attendants to work for in 2024 are United Airlines and American Airlines. If you are looking for the best-paying companies for flight attendants, you should consider Lockheed Martin with a median flight attendant salary of $38,031 or SkyWest Airlines with a median salary of $35,993.

Which airline pays flight attendants the most? ›

Southwest flight attendants are now the highest-paid in the industry thanks to a historic pay raise—'This is the least they deserve' The pandemic put extra pressure on the already stressful job of a flight attendant. Now, they're fighting for more.

Which airline treats their employees the best? ›

Best Airlines to Work for in the US
  • Delta Air Lines. Delta Air Lines consistently ranks as one of the bet airlines to work for in the US. ...
  • Alaska Airlines. Alaska Airlines is another top-rated airline when it comes to employee satisfaction. ...
  • Hawaiian Airlines. ...
  • Qatar Airways.
Feb 20, 2024

What is the hardest airline to get into as a flight attendant? ›

One airline that does not mess around with background checks and drug testing is Delta; it's one of the hardest airlines to get into as a flight attendant for those who have anything less than a squeaky-clean background.

What airline pays the most for flight attendants in Canada? ›

Air Transat's 2,100 flight attendants have a new collective agreement that makes them the highest paid in the industry in Canada. Following information meetings held from February 19 to 22, they voted by 62.7% to accept the recommendation of federal mediators.

Which airline has highest salary for cabin crew? ›

Frequently Asked Questions about Cabin Crew Salaries
  • Emirates Airlines Cabin Crew Salary - ₹16.9 Lakhs per year.
  • Qatar Airways Cabin Crew Salary - ₹16.7 Lakhs per year.
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines Cabin Crew Salary - ₹8.7 Lakhs per year.
  • Jet Airways Cabin Crew Salary - ₹8.1 Lakhs per year.

What is the highest ranking flight attendant? ›

Purser. The Purser is the chief Flight Attendant, managing all cabin crew on board. They handle administrative duties, coordinate with the flight deck, and take charge during irregular operations or emergencies.

Do flight attendants make 6 figures? ›

One of your first questions may be, how much does a flight attendant make a year? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary is $63,760.

Which airline has the happiest employees? ›

According to Simple Flying, Southwest Airlines has been "the top 20 best employers in Forbes" for a really long time, so this is one of the airlines with the highest employee satisfaction. Cheat Sheet says Southwest hasn't fired anyone in its entire run, which is definitely impressive to hear.

Which airlines have the hottest air hostess? ›

Most south east asian airlines have young and attractive stewardess like : of course Singapore airlines, Garuda indonesia, Thai airways and Malaysia airlines. East asian airlines like Japan air, hainan air have slim and attractive stewardess.

What is the best airline that pays well? ›

Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and others are topping the list of the best-paying carriers in the country. Most regional airlines are paying lower salaries.

What kind of flight attendant makes the most money? ›

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.

What is higher than a flight attendant? ›

The chief purser (CP), also titled as in-flight service manager (ISM), flight service manager (FSM), customer service manager (CSM) or cabin service director (CSD) is the senior flight attendant in the chain of command of flight attendants.

Is 52 too old to be a flight attendant? ›

There's not an age limit. There's no retirement age for [flight attendants].” If you're interested in becoming a flight attendant after age 50, here are some basics you should know — and prepare for — as you dive into this competitive and exciting career.

What airlines pay the most? ›

Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and others are topping the list of the best-paying carriers in the country. Most regional airlines are paying lower salaries.

Which airline has the best cabin crew in the world? ›

GARUDA INDONESIA AWARDED "WORLD'S BEST CABIN CREW" FOR THE FOURTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR. Thank you for your support.

Where is the best place to become a flight attendant? ›

Best cities for flight attendants
  • Nashville, TN.
  • Memphis, TN.
  • Indianapolis, IN.
  • Milwaukee, WI.
  • Fort Wayne, IN.
  • Minneapolis, MN.
  • Tulsa, OK.
  • Oklahoma City, OK.

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