Flight Attendant Salary: How much are Flight Attendants paid in the Middle East Big 3 Airlines


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

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.

Flying pay

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.

Layover allowances

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.

Housing 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.

Other benefits

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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Share your opinion

  1. “This accommodation comes fully furnished, with utilities included and located in top areas of the city.”


  2. It’s all wrong, you must work to make money, I don’t know about Asain companies but at my US company we are paid quite well perks added. I work 15 days a month. I have no complaints, and let me add Financially ready to retire after 20yrs at this company. thank You Jesus.

  3. The article is not for dumb people. The calculation is made of ALL cash as basic salary, flying hours, layover allowence, accomodtion cost, transportation cost, uniform cost. Some ME3 crew choose not to get cash for accomodation, transportation etc, so of course they get less cash, but they do not need to pay for free accomodation, transportation, uniform etc, like crew from airlines around the world. Please refrain from comments “I have a friend who told me”, cause you do not understand what you are saying. Crew from ME3 fly to ALL destinations, no matter turn around or layover, Europe, Asia or USA. You first opearational flight as newly joiner coud be a nice layover in Phuket, New York, Barcelona or Mauritius and your allowence will be like on any other cabin crew based on the price of the full meals in hotel you stay. If you stay for 48 hours and you must eat 2 breakfasts – 20$ each, 2 lunches – 30$ each, 2 dinners – 40$ each, 2 nightstops – 5$ each, you get 190$ in cash at the reception, no matter you are junior or senior. Pursers enjoy suites usually.

  4. I am Cabin Crew with 5 years seniority. I made US$77,000 in 2015 averaging about 110 flying hours/10 day off per month. Many of my coworkers complain they make 20,000-40,000. Of course you’re not going to make money working 8-10 days a month or up to 70 hours. You want 20 days off and $80,000 yearly? Get real!

  5. first month 800 euros second moth 1000 euros third month 1100 and then like this for 3 years including everything allowance and all …….

  6. This article is far away from the truth, e.g (for example) I know exactly how much the crew earn in Emirates coz my relative work in HR in there. And Dubia it self is the most expensive city in M.E, plus those crew if they go to layover in Europe or north America they ll pay triple if not quarteble what they earn for layover expenses. But whatever is less than whst mentioned above.

    Good day

  7. Have never commented on any blog before..but this article is so not true that i had to comment.i work in one of these middle east airline and the salary for economy crew is not even $3000 and not $47000.not even business class crew earn that much.

  8. You guys are not considering all the allowances you are entitled to. If you don’t consider housing allowance, layover allowances, transportation allowance, medical allowances, etc.. of course you think you are making less..
    What I really see is that you are not being smart and you are claiming a big chunk of your salary

  9. I use to work for one of the big three. It’s all wrong. I was there for 3 years and I was not earning no way near that. It was more like $25-30000 usd. Get your facts right.

  10. This is not true at all, I work for one of the big 3 ME airlines, yes it’s correct that we get company paid accommodation but the amount written there isn’t correct at all. Middle East has a very low currency rate infact it’s one of the currency’s which doesn’t make much in any other country that we visit, The money we get paid is good for ME and perhaps Asian countries such as Philippines or Thailand but other than that it doesn’t make extreme amounts in U.S, or Europe. We pay 3x more with our currency for such simple things like a meal or even a bottle of water in Europe than we do here in ME so please stop giving out such huge amounts as if it’s true.

  11. this article is dead wrong about “base” pay. I work for one of the big 3 U.S. airlines and have friends and all the others and we get no – ZERO pay for duty time – nothing for checking in — sitting in airports…boarding passengers….waiting for maintenance. We get paid the hourly block rate — once we push back – and per diem for every trip — even day trips — although if you don’t overnight away from home this is taxable.