Tips for New Flight Attendants: How to Choose Location and Housing

Choosing a location to settle (or not settle) is very personal choice for a new hire. So much depends on your personal goals and desired lifestyle. Are you already settled in a town you love? Are you willing to relocate? Do you have family or friends nearby that you wouldn’t mind rooming with? Do you have a significant other and/or children at home? Are they willing to move to a new town? How do you want to allocate your time and financial resources? All of these questions play an important role in helping you decide what will work best for your lifestyle. How you answer the questions above will make a big impact on how you move forward when you choose an airport location and housing. Here are a few things you will want to consider.

Home Base Airport

This is the airport that you will start all of your shifts. When applying to be a flight attendant, many people heavily consider which airline has openings at a home base that works best for their situation. Many airlines have hubs in cities like Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Newark, etc. For a quick idea of airline hubs you can reference this website, but keep in mind that availability will vary depending on when you submit your application. There are pretty much three options when choosing the best home base for you.

Option 1: Choose an airline that has a hub in the city you currently live.

Option 2: Be willing to relocate to any city that has an opening.

Option 3: Commute. An example of this would be choosing to live in a small town in Texas and driving into Houston to be at your shift at the Houston Airport. Another example would be living in that same small town in Texas and working at your home base in Detroit. You would just have to drive to your nearest airport and fly to Detroit to make sure you make it on time for your shift. You would want to make sure there are easy flight options in and out of your nearest airport to your assigned home base airport. The pros of this would be living wherever you want and you would be able to hitch a flight for free. The cons would be that your commute would take more of your unpaid personal time as well as the risk of being unable to get to your shift due to weather or cancelled or delayed flights.

Where to Live: Housing

The first year of being a flight attendant can be hectic. Schedules are based on seniority and—while it’s easy to switch flight assignments with colleagues—you will more than likely be assigned the less desirable flights. You know, the ones with odd hours and Holiday shifts. This may make an impact on your choice of housing.

One of the little-known housing secrets in the industry is the “crash pad”. These are homes or apartments very close to airports that are rented out to flight crew. In general, the home provides beds for 8-12 airline crew roommates in a 1-2 bedroom space. The home also provides individual space for luggage, a shared kitchen, living room and at least one bathroom. The cost of rent depends on the city, but on average runs between $300-$400 a month. This sounds like chaos, but keep in mind that your roommates aren’t all there at the same time. Everyone has their own shifts, so they are in and out at all times of the day and night throughout the month. Beds very often are bunk beds covered with a curtain or a blanket for privacy. They are usually co-ed, but some are rented to specific genders. If you’re feeling luxurious, private rooms are sometimes available to rent, but they are more expensive with an average price of about $600 a month.

Some months you might only be “home” 8 days a month. The other days of the month are spent working or traveling the world. The crash pad can be an easy and cheap alternative to a mortgage if you’re ok with the nomadic lifestyle. Crash pads help the stress of commute time and keep expenses and housing upkeep to a minimum. It also has the added benefit of being a temporary location while you get used to your new job. This opens the possibility of relocation if you switch airlines or home base airports. Almost every flight attendant or pilot has stayed at a crash pad at some point during their career.

Interested in Becoming a Flight Attendant?

If you’re interested in becoming a flight attendant, consider our 20-week Flight Attendant Training Program! Financial Aid and Student Housing are available to qualifying students. For more information, please fill out the form, or contact us.