TikToker Exposes The Reasons She Despised Being A Flight Attendant

Flight attendant morale seems to have diminished in recent years, and according to some in the business, there are plenty of reasons to explain why. Besides disobedient passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a lot of downsides to being a flight attendant that can make the job less than glamorous. In a viral video, TikToker and influencer Kat Kamalani described her grievances with the role after working as a cabin attendant at a major airline for six years.

The first reason she says she hated being a flight attendant was that her career and personal life were largely dictated by seniority. As Kamalani explains, seniority determines which days you work, what types of planes you fly in, and which perks you have access to. "And I would say 'new' is considered at least five years or less," the creator adds.

Kamalani also reveals how emotionally and physically taxing the job is. Many flight attendants take up to three flights a day, starting their days early and getting little time to rest during layovers. On top of that, cabin crew members are responsible for keeping passengers safe and tending to their needs when they're often at their worst, the TikToker says. To prepare for the role, Kamalani notes that she had to complete a rigorous two-month training period with 15-hour days.

Other flight attendants have also pointed out the flaws of their industry

Other flight attendants have come forward to expose the drawbacks of their jet-setting job. Two cabin crew shared their shocking experiences in the air with the Daily Mail, including a passenger who insisted on smoking, a family that refused to leave the plane after landing, and flyers who left behind major messes (including, um, biohazardous waste).

Then there are the medical emergencies, which can be traumatic for flight attendants to witness and assist. One woman told the publication that she had seen multiple heart attacks and even the death of a small child during a flight. Given these and other challenges, it's not so surprising to learn that flight attendants often experience mental health struggles. "A lot of us are suffering from really bad anxiety, being trapped in a tube with people all day," one attendant told Quartz. "We're not allowed to show our real emotions, ever."

Moreover, many in the field say they don't get paid fairly or consistently. In February 2024, this led three different unions to organize protests against multiple U.S. airlines in the hope of securing updated contracts with better pay.

Do the pros outweigh the cons?

Being a flight attendant is still a dream job for many people who love hopping on flights and traveling the world, and while the position might not be as luxurious as it appears, it still comes with several benefits. Kat Kamalani admits at the end of her video that being a flight attendant allowed her and her husband to go on trips together they otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford. She was also able to score seats on flights for her children and family members.

The TikToker has highlighted a few other perks in additional videos, such as one clip where she shows off the secret bunk beds attendants sleep in during long-haul flights (enough to make anyone in economy jealous) and another where she talks about brushing shoulders with famous celebrities on flights.

Some flight attendants also enjoy a healthy work-life balance, where they get to create their own schedule and work only a few days a week. However, exercising this benefit and still being able to earn a full-time salary might be something that not everyone can access, especially flight attendants who have only been working for their airline for a few years.