The flight attendant profession garners much interest for its diverse work environment and opportunities for travel. One common question is: how much do flight attendants make per hour in the USA? In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the average hourly pay, explore the factors affecting flight attendant earnings, compare salaries across leading airlines, and discuss additional benefits.

Flight Attendant Role and Responsibilities

Flight attendants are responsible for ensuring passenger safety, comfort, and satisfaction during flights. Their duties encompass pre-flight preparation, in-flight service, and post-flight tasks, including safety demonstrations, meal and beverage service, and assisting passengers with various needs.

Flight Attendant Hourly Pay in the USA

National Average Hourly Pay

As of 2021, flight attendants in the USA earn a median hourly wage of approximately $28. This figure represents a national average and may not necessarily reflect specific airline or regional pay rates.

Pay Range and Variability

Flight attendant hourly pay can range from $20 to over $50 per hour, depending on factors such as experience, airline, and location. Entry-level flight attendants can expect to earn on the lower end of the range, while senior flight attendants with more experience may earn higher wages.

Influencing Factors on Flight Attendant Pay

Several factors impact flight attendant earnings, including:

  1. Years of experience: As flight attendants gain experience, they typically receive pay increases and opportunities for promotion.
  2. Airline size and reputation: Larger, more established airlines generally offer higher salaries and better benefits compared to smaller or regional carriers.
  3. Base city: The cost of living in the base city can influence wages, with higher cost-of-living areas often corresponding to higher pay.

Flight Attendant Salaries at Leading Airlines

American Airlines

At American Airlines, newly hired flight attendants can expect to earn around $27 per hour, with the potential for pay increases based on experience, seniority, and performance.

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines offers competitive starting wages of approximately $29 per hour, coupled with annual raises and the possibility of bonuses based on company and individual performance.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines, renowned for its unique company culture, offers new flight attendants an hourly wage of about $26, with opportunities for growth, profit-sharing, and additional benefits.

United Airlines

United Airlines provides entry-level flight attendants with an hourly pay rate of around $28, accompanied by regular raises, performance-based incentives, and comprehensive benefits.

Additional Earnings and Benefits

Per Diem and Layover Allowances

Apart from the base hourly pay, flight attendants also receive per diem allowances for meals and incidental expenses while on duty. Additionally, layover allowances may be provided for accommodations during overnight stays away from their base.

Health and Retirement Benefits

Flight attendants often enjoy comprehensive health and retirement benefits, including medical, dental, and vision coverage, as well as access to 401(k) retirement plans with employer matching contributions.

Advancement Opportunities and Job Satisfaction

Promotional Prospects

With experience and seniority, flight attendants can advance to positions such as lead flight attendant, purser, or supervisor. These roles come with increased responsibilities, higher hourly pay, and more control over scheduling and work assignments.

Job Fulfillment

Many flight attendants enjoy high job satisfaction due to the unique nature of the role. The opportunity to travel, interact with diverse passengers, and work with dynamic colleagues contributes to a rewarding and fulfilling career experience.


Flight attendant hourly pay in the USA varies based on factors such as experience, airline, and location. On average, flight attendants can expect to earn around $28 per hour, with additional earnings from per diem and layover allowances, as well as benefits like health coverage and retirement plans. Comparing salaries across leading airlines, such as American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines, can offer valuable insights for aspiring flight attendants. With opportunities for advancement, comprehensive benefits, and the chance to explore the world, the flight attendant profession remains an attractive career choice for many.


We hope you found our blog on flight attendant hourly pay informative and engaging! We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic. Please share your comments or feedback below to help us improve our content and continue providing valuable insights. Your opinion matters to us!


We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback on our blog! We cover a range of topics related to flight attendants, including how to become a flight attendant, flight attendant lifestyle, beauty, health, fitness, travel, and inspiring stories from crew members. If you have any ideas, comments, or suggestions, we would be thrilled to hear from you. And don’t forget to check out our other blog posts on the website!

Leave a Reply