A former flight attendant who has 1million followers thanks to her travel hacks, tips and stories has explained why she’s quite life in the skies. Kat Kamalani claims she "hated" every moment of her career at 35,000ft – and says it’s "not as glorious as it seems".
Many of us have considered coming a flight attendant for the cheap travel, chance to see exotic places and the glam uniforms. But, after six years, Kat quit her role and claims a lot of other workers have done the same.
Kat, @katkamalani, 33, says that demanding passengers, intense training regimes and the hierarchical system are to blame. In a clip shared on TikTok, she noted: "I hated being a flight attendant and this is why I quit. I was [on] one of the biggest airlines that you could possibly imagine and I hated every single second of it."
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In the caption she said she was ready to 'spill her feelings/ secrets about being a flight attendant" and added: "Traveling the world [was] so much fun, but it comes at a cost and not to mention you don’t ever have a routine or schedule."
Kat continued to slam the lack of a regular routine. She said: "Everyone thinks when you're flying at the very beginning that you're flying to Honolulu and Paris – and that can be the case. But mostly you are flying to three destinations a day, having very short layovers and you're waking up super early and doing red eyes – it's just not fun."
But, that wasn’t the only downside to travelling in her eyes. Kat noted that the benefits and flight choices often went to the most senior workers first. It makes sense, but apparently means it can take years until you get much say over your time.
The ex-stewardess said: "Number one, your whole life depends on seniority – and what I mean by that is, when you get hired, that's your seniority date and that dictates everything. It dictates what aircraft you're flying, what holidays you're flying, if you have weekends off, if you can hold certain dates off. Another big thing of why it's so important is when you travel.
"For my airline you can book for standby – meaning if there are empty seats on the airplane, you can get on based on your seniority. And I would say new is considered at least five years or less." That means if you really want a cheap flight anyone who is higher up than you in the rankings can swoop in and take it – from your boss to the pilot.
We can see how that would get frustrating. But, Kate also thinks that the work isn’t as easy as everyone seems to think. She explained: "The next thing is the training is so intense. I had to do two months of training – it was six days a week, we did 15-hour days. You take a million different types of tests and if you don't pass tests within 80% or above, they kick you out of the program."
Finally, Kat added that it was sometimes the passengers who were the problem. She noted: "People think flight attendants are there just to serve you drinks – and truly, we're there for your safety first. People are traveling when they are in the hardest times of their life. They are sleep deprived, they are traveling for an emergency or a funeral… there's a lot of times people are at their lowest when traveling and who gets the brunt of it?"
She’s not the first flight attendant to claim that passengers are rude to the crew. Kali Harlow told the Daily Star that angry passengers can be a downside to the job. She said: "The most annoying thing that passengers do is they blame the flight attendants for things that are out of our control.
'This happens because we are simply the face of the company and the easiest target to take their frustrations out on, us and the gate agents. They blame us because we have to go back to the gate – they blame us because their bag doesn’t fit.
"They blame us because they spilled their coffee on them outside of the terminal even though we was on the plane not even around them (yes this has happened to me). They blame us because it’s a blizzard outside – the list goes on."
She added: "As much as passengers think that we do and have control over everything, we don’t. We are simply there and trained to help you in a case of an emergency and out of the kindness of our hearts – to help your travel experience a little more enjoyable. So, the next time you want to take your frustrations out on a flight attendant… don’t."
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