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

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Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

  • Flight-attendant pay varies depending on experience, hours worked, and base airport.
  • Pay differs among major carriers as well. Some flight attendants reported their salaries on Glassdoor and PayScale.
  • Here are what some flight attendants say they make on different airlines.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Flight-attendant pay is a tricky 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 the six-hour flight, according to Taylor Garland, a representative for the Association of Flight Attendants union.

The 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.

Read more: Here are all the ways being a flight attendant has changed in the last 50 years

“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.”

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 $49,000, 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. (For two carriers, the number of flight-attendant responses wasn’t available.)

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 $29 to $30 an hour.

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Delta/YouTube

Glassdoor average base pay: $29 Delta flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 114

PayScale average hourly rate: $30.42 Delta flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 32


American Airlines flight attendants say they make about $30 an hour.

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Robert Alexander/Getty Images

PayScale average hourly rate: $30.52 American flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 45

Glassdoor average base pay: $37,926 a year (Hourly rate not available on Glassdoor.) American flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 109


Flight attendants for United Airlines say they make about $28 to $40 an hour.

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Getty Images

Glassdoor average base pay: $28 United flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 157

PayScale average hourly rate: $40.29 United flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 49


Southwest Airlines flight attendants say they make $31 to $35 an hour.

Glassdoor average base pay: $31 Southwest flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 79

PayScale average hourly rate: $35.47 Southwest flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 37


JetBlue flight attendants say they make $21 to $23 an hour.

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JetBlue

PayScale average hourly rate: $21.80 JetBlue flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 13

Glassdoor average base pay: $23 JetBlue flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 55


Allegiant Air flight attendants say they make $20 to $22 an hour.

PayScale average hourly rate: $20.48 Allegiant flight attendants who reported to PayScale: n/a

Glassdoor average base pay: $22 Allegiant flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 46


Flight attendants for Spirit say they make $20 to $21 an hour.

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REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

PayScale average hourly rate: $20.32 Spirit flight attendants who reported to PayScale: n/a

Glassdoor average base pay: $21 Spirit flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 50


Flight attendants for Frontier Airlines say they make $19 to $21 an hour.

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Frontier Airlines
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Frontier Airlines

PayScale average hourly rate: $19.85 Frontier flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 14

Glassdoor average base pay: $21 Frontier flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 57


Alaska Airlines flight attendants say they make $23 to $30 an hour.

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Getty Images

Glassdoor average base pay: $23 Alaska flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 19

PayScale average hourly rate: $30.06 Alaska flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 8


Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants say they make $23 to $30 an hour.

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Hawaiian

PayScale average hourly rate: $23.74 Hawaiian flight attendants who reported to PayScale: 15

Glassdoor average base pay: $30 Hawaiian flight attendants who reported to Glassdoor: 4