Have you ever wonder how much money do Flight Attendants make? What determines their salary? What are the hidden benefits and perks? What’s the difference between flying in the ME and flying in Europe, the States or Australia?
A Flight Attendant’s paycheck make up of different contributing factors. There is a base salary, a flying pay, layover per diem, seniority, housing allowance and other specific allowances. All of this determine how much a Flight Attendant makes these days in the Big 3 Middle East airlines also known as the ME3.
Base salary is a fixed part of your paycheck that will always be there regardless how much you fly. Base salary in the ME3 starts at US$1,100 for a Flight Attendant in the first year. Those in supervisory positions as Cabin Managers or Pursers get a base salary in the range of US$ 1,700 per month.
The next important factor that determines how fat the payslip will be is the flying pay. Flying pay is set per hour and varies depending on the working position and seniority. The average starting flying pay per hour in the ME3 starts at US$ 17 for those working in Economy class, and goes all the way up to US$ 28 for Cabin Managers. If we estimate that you are flying an average of 80 hours a month, that would add between US$ 1,360 – US$ 2,240.
Chocks off/chocks on
The chocks on/off term (a kind of wedge that is put in front of the plane’s wheel to prevent it from moving) is used to mark the beginning and the end of your flying paying time. Having said this, Flight Attendants start getting pay from the moment the plane pushes back or start moving, and they stop getting pay the moment the plane does a final stop.
However, a Flight Attendant is on duty longer than that, from sign-in, through the briefing, while waiting for passengers and after all passengers have disembarked. This is why there is a base salary too.
Whenever Flight Attendants have to overnight at a destination to fly back the following day, the airline will provide meal allowances and a hotel room. Meal allowances are calculated based on the amount of meals needed during the layover. These allowances are either paid in cash to the crew member or added to the payslip at the end of the month.
As mentioned before, seniority provides Flight Attendants higher base salaries and flying payment. Seniority translates to money as senior Flight Attendants have more chances of choosing flights/trips that provide both more flying hours and better allowances.
Flight attendants working for the ME3 are given company-provided accommodation as part of their relocation package. This accommodation comes fully furnished, with utilities included and located in top areas of the city. For those opting to leave out of the company accommodation, the airline will give a housing allowance in a year basis. This allowance varies according to seniority and go between US$ 13,000 – US$ 21,000 per year.
Flight attendants living in company-provided accommodation enjoy of free transportation to and from work. This reduces the expenses that need to be covered when on duty. For those living out of company accommodation, a transportation allowance is added to their payslip on an average of US$ 120 per month.
Opposite to the practice in western airlines of deducting uniform items from the first salary payslips. Flight Attendants in the ME3 are provided a completely free set of uniform, suitcase and cabin bag. These items get replaced every one or two years depending on normal wear and tear. For those starting from zero in this career, it is a big help not to spend your previous savings in the first months of flying.
Another perk provided to Flight Attendants is free laundry services for the uniforms. You can count this as a perk, a pampering or another way of saving money.
ME3 Flight Attendants have built a network that provides discounts in stores, restaurants, clubs, spas and beach resorts across the city. Living in these cities: Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is all about location, location, location.
To sum up all of the above and give you the figure you have been waiting for, we can say that the average annual package for a Flight Attendant in the Middle East goes from US$ 47,000 up to US$ 78,000.
I forgot to mention… all this is TAX FREE
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