My mom and I were talking more about my "back up plan" and I have come up with a few options that I would be able to afford my horse habbit if I dont make it as a pro. One of them was a flight attendant. Long story short, I just think its a really cool job and I would have a lot of fun doing it. I know that there would be days off and that aside from sometimes being kept in a city, is it possible to still ride and compete while being a flight attendant? Is anyone on here one or know of anyone who is? I have a family member in the business, but I am unable to get a hold of her at the moment.
~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor
I know someone who is a pilot and someone who is a flight attendant, both for a regional airline. They both have 3 days off in a row, same days every week. They do overnight away from home on their days 'on'. Best roomates we've had as they use our spare room for their overnights here- we hardly see them They all collectively rent an apartment in city for their regular work days, then all disappear to their hometowns for days off.
Downside as I understand it is you are usually based out of a major centre, but most have a pass where you can fly wherever home is for your days off. I think you'd need to make sacrifices as far as having set in stone days off or hours of work, they experience delays and cancellations for all sorts of reasons - sometimes our roomates get bumped by paying customers as well so have to wait for the next available flight to make it home.
I would think it would be possible to ride, but you would need to have a full board type situation and maybe have someone to ride on your days of work.
Everyone I've met though really loves their job and there seems to be almost a family type atmosphere between them all.
I used to be a flight attendant for 5 years for an international airline. Time off was great, worked for 3-4 days a week but pay wasn't so hot and I didn't have horses then. I was on call quite a bit as I was rather junior and if asked to work, had to be ready to roll at the airport within a hour so not conducive to riding while on call. I did love the travel and eventual flexibility.
On the other hand, a friend of mine stayed in the business and barely works more than a few days a month now but then she has over 20 years seniority. Her first years were spent flying a lot of short hops and uncertain schedules. Her pay now is good but it did take a while for her to make a decent paycheck.
Make sure you get with a financially stable company and in general, the bigger the airline, the better the pay and the variety of destinations. Just remember it is all based on seniority and your first years will be marked by lower pay and being on-call.
I flew for nearly 6 years for one of the big 3 airlines. I was on reserve the entire time! Phone calls at odd hours, horrible trips, and idiot passengers, made for stressful times. The good friends and places I went helped out a lot. I had gotten a young horse during this time, and I never felt I could be really relaxed if I did go to the barn, because the "call" would come in. I may have had hour to get to the airport, or several hours before sign in. I had a M/T off to begin w/, then could add one day, then 2 days to the off day schedule as time went by. I will say my mother and I had to "invent illnesses" so I could have time off to ride or really to have a life. You can forget holidays and weekends for a while. The smaller airlines could fly up to 6 legs a day. Sign in early, finish late. I finally had enough of being frazzled by such an unstable schedule, that I quit to work in law enforcement. I have a ton of time off, and when I'm on nights, I can ride every day. I truly love what I do, and the pay "ain't bad!" Like Pandorasboxx said, seniority says it all. Just remember the training factor will keep you out of the irons, and the potential to be based away from home is also a possibility. Good Luck!
I have a friend that has been a flight attendant for years and it seems the quandary for her has been that in order to pay for her horse she has to work a lot of trips which means not enough time to ride. At one time she had her horse on full board and managed three maybe four times a week riding. Now she has horses at home and it's a constant struggle for her to find the time to care for the horses let alone ride. She is always picking up trips to pay the bills. That said she absolutely loves her job!
I think it would depend on what kind of riding you do and how much you want to be able to ride and/or show.
I would do some research. When you first start out, as others have said, you are junior and have no real ability to choose your trips. The airline you choose and where you're based makes a big difference. I know some folks based out of Chicago that were on reserve for years.
Remember, too, the majority of airlines are currently furloughing FA's so I would think it would be hard to even find a job!
The glamorous idea of being a flight attendent and jetting off to Paris for a couple of days then having 4 or 5 days off is not the reality for people starting out. Unfortunately.