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What are some perks of working in the airline industry?

Most people would think you'd get to travel a whole bunch, but I'm wondering.. is that the best perk working for an airline? Or are there others? This question was posted by a CareerVillage administrator on behalf of the students of CareerVillage. #aviation #airline-industry #aviation-industry

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Sherry’s Answer

Hello Kim,
I have been in the aviation industry since 1978 as a flight attendant, purser, and trainer at the Boeing Company. I have just left to start my own training company because I am still very actively involved in the aviation community and combine my love of the industry with the love of teaching.

To answer your question, yes, travel and discounted tickets are the reasons that most people think of when entering into the airline industry. I do disagree with those reasons as being the only benefits, however. In my experience with two leading airlines, I traveled all around the world and that in itself is a broadening experience. I have many many friends from other countries who have opened my eyes to cultural differences and have given me opportunities to develop alternate ways of looking at the world. I have learned two languages, lived in 3 countries abroad - Invaluable lessons for life.

Working as part of a crew develops your communication and teamwork skills and you are able to make a difference sometimes in a passenger's day. There are those difficult people at times but that is an opportunity for you to grow and learn to handle difficult situations.

There are also many areas within the airlines in which you can apply your skills. Pilots and flight attendants are not the only jobs you can do and all airline employees have discounted benefits. Plus you do get time off: Time can be used to follow your other passions, go to school or travel a bit.

The airline job has changed quite a bit since I started flying (I flew for Pan Am) however the lifestyle is addictive. You do not take your job home with you, you do not work 8-5 or sit in a chair all day and you are opening yourself up to brand new and exciting experiences. I loved every minute of it. Good luck!

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Richard’s Answer

Without mentioning any specific airlines.
I am retired from a major carrier in the Atlanta, Georgia, USA area. I worked for them for 30 years, and then continued to work in the aviation field for another 16 years and still do.
Here is my take on benefits with an airline.
Naturally everyone thinks free or next to free flight benefits are a plus. And they are, a big plus. Working with a major carrier gives you those benefits like no other job. I always like to say that your salary is only half of your pay. You should expect a decent salary that can support a family. Vacation time to use those flight benefits. Then there is medical and dental. Really what is most important is comradery with your fellow employees. You should enjoy going to work everyday. You will spend more time with your fellow employees than your family. I can remember events where someone might come down with an injury and require more sick time then they were allotted. Employees would chip in and cover his work so he would not lose his pay. That’s the difference between a good job and one that just gets you by.
Many employees would go through years without using a sick day. But they were there for you if you needed them.
Getting back to flight benefits. Usually they applied to the employee, spouse, children and employees Mom and Dad. In the good old days it was easy to get on a flight because they never went out full. Keep in mind you do fly standby meaning you don’t get on if the flight is full. If you are out of town you may have the next flight to standby for or go to a hotel. These days planning is the key to a successful trip. Seems like all flights are full or close to it. But it’s still possible to make great trips and it’s just about anywhere in the world you chose. I can jump on a flight this afternoon for Hawaii or Amsterdam and it costs me nothing.

To come back to reality when you have kids you have commitments and that means you can plan that special vacation but you are not going to just jump on the next flight out. I would highly recommend a job in aviation with a major airline.
I suspect some in aviation would say, I have been out of the real world for some time, but I think much of what I am reporting still applies today.

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David’s Answer

I think it depends on the job category . If you want to be a pilot the big "perk" is theres going to be a ton of hiring for the foreseeable future as there is a shortage of people in the pipeline which has given us some pricing power , finally. This has been a predominantly male job category so women and minority pilots will have favor in the hiring process. Something to consider.

I agree with Sherry working in a crew develops your teamwork and communication skills.

I cant think of any perks in the normal sense of the word except free travel , unless you consider being gone some weekends and holidays a "perk". Some do.

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Steve’s Answer

One of the main perks is the travel. You get free tickets and some discounted. IF you are a pilot, you go to many destinations but you don't have a lot of free time to do things. On your off days, you can get a jump seat or maybe have a flight scheduled where you want to go and work it out from there. There are not a lot of perks otherwise.