A look at why dating flight attendants is hard

Six reasons dating a flight attendant is HARD!

Dating a flight attendant comes with its set of pros and cons. On one hand, you have someone who is adventurous, exciting and always has a story to tell or a place to recommend.

On the other hand, dating a flight attendant can be hard because of the unique lifestyle. We’re constantly on the go. Whether it’s for work or pleasure, we always seem to be jetting off somewhere. And while that can be exciting, it can also be exhausting – both mentally and physically. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. But it hasn’t made my love life easier!

So — in the spirit of full disclosure — here’s everything that can make dating a flight attendant hard work. I’ll keep it light-hearted, no tears at the back, but before you consider asking that cute flight attendant out, remember that this job comes with a lot of baggage!

So, without further ado, here are some of the many challenges you might face if you end up dating a flight attendant!

Last-minute plans

It’s Saturday I’ve got off this week. No wait, sorry, Sunday. Actually. Can we do Wednesday?

Our lifestyle is not exactly conducive to maintaining a healthy relationship. It’s shift work on steroids! Not only are we often working odd hours, at all times of the night and day, but a key part of working in the aviation industry is standby — effectively being on call.

This can mean dating a flight attendant is perfect for people who love spontaneity. That can be great, some studies have shown, spontaneity does wonders for romance, but a lack of commitment can also take it’s toll.

If you’re the type of person who loves to plan everything in advance, dating a flight attendant is definitely not for you.

Changing schedules are common working as cabin crew

Because of the frequent reserve periods and last-minute trip changes, we can be pretty flaky when it comes to making plans. Flight attendant schedules are constantly changing, and occasionally the actual days worked will look entirely different to our planned roster at the start of the month. For this reason, it’s hard to commit to anything in advance.

This can make it difficult to find time to spend together, and it can put a strain on even the strongest relationships.

Layover envy

Drinking cocktails in a pool at work

You just go to work to sit on a beach, right?

Every ex-boyfriend of mine!

Work envy is real when dating a flight attendant. The downsides of being cabin crew — the long days, jet lag, and missing home life — can only become apparent later on in a relationship.

Many new partners have a misguided understanding of what the job entails, having only really seen the social media side of flying. I’ve had multiple dates assume my life revolves around drinking margaritas by a pool!

Explaining to multiple prospective dates that you do have to pass the intensive safety training, handling passenger complaints, and in-flight emergencies is stressful, and yes — working as a flight attendant is a real job — can get tiring.

That’s not to say there isn’t an element of truth to our lifestyle. If you end up dating a flight attendant, there will be times while you’re stuck at home, they’re off exploring new cities and meeting new people. This too can be tough — seeing your partner jetting off to places without you — but try to remember that they’re just doing their job!

Job insecurity

This one’s kind of a big deal, but is very rarely mentioned. Unlike the most stable industries such as healthcare, public sector work or utilities, the aviation industry is a wild ride. This can put a strain on relationships.

As an example, here’s the list of current UK airlines. At the time of writing, there are 5 scheduled and 4 low-cost airlines in total. Nine. For a country of nearly 70 million people. The list of UK airlines that have gone bust or are no longer flying? Hundreds.

It’s a similar story in countries across the globe, and is another downside to dating a flight attendant. Every flight attendant knows someone who has been made redundant — two previous airlines I have worked for no longer exist — so it’s always a possibility that your partner could lose their job.

The reasons are numerous but all have the same end result.

  • Financial crash? Job cuts.
  • Covid-19. Job cuts.
  • High fuel prices. You guessed it — job cuts!

Even smaller details, such as failing a medical or becoming pregnant, can place your career as a cabin crew on hold.

This can be a hard pill to swallow, but try to remember that they’re not the only one in this situation.

The airline industry is highly cyclical and flight attendants are often furloughed or made redundant

Tight-knit community

Why are you getting sent selfies at 2am? Didn’t you miss me when you were away with all your friends?

One of the best things about working as airline crew are the co-workers. There’s something about a combination of tiredness, shared passenger horror stories, and being stuck together for 72 hours on the other side of the world that bonds people together!

As a result, it’s pretty common for flight attendants to form life-long friendships, and bond together rapidly. We’re one big — strange! — family.

Friends having a great time

Upon landing somewhere, normally a group WhatsApp is quickly set up, with flight attendants and pilots for that trip planning on meeting, and making the most of the time at their destination.

After the most memorable trips, anecdotes and in-jokes remain for years. It’s not uncommon for the WhatsApp group to stay alive on your return home, with your new-found besties updating you on their latest gossip at all times of the day and night.

This is great, but, for some partners, it can place a strain on the relationship, and make them feel a little left out of a considerable section of your life.

Far away problems

Long distance calls can add pressure to relationships with flight attendants

In any relationship, it’s normal to take comfort in your other half and rely on their support to get you through tough times.

Unfortunately, for flight attendants, the ability to drop everything and give your partner support can be limited.

In fairness to airlines, most employers are usually good at ensuring that during major family issues — like bereavements or accidents — flight attendants can return home quickly.

However, due to the very nature of the job, when something goes wrong at home it’s typically the middle of the night at the other side of the world, or you’re airborne and won’t land for several hours. We’re difficult to contact, and even with a sympathetic employer there will be times when we can’t get home for 24 hours regardless of the problem.

If you want a partner that can pop over unexpectedly with a bottle of wine or some chocolates at the end of a particularly difficult day, dating a flight attendant is not for you!

Landing day jet lag

Post trip jet lag and tiredness is something else to seriously consider. While I’ve left it to last on this list, I would argue it’s one of the most frustrating things about dating a flight attendant. 

Known as landing day blues, when flight attendants come back from a trip, they may not be in the best frame of mind for socialising or dating.

From screaming babies to drunk passengers, all we want to do after a 12-hour overnight flight is snuggle up with a blanket on the sofa. Of course, this isn’t uncommon in any job, but the difference with crew is the jet lag.

It can really take it out of you, and instead of a quick power nap followed by an afternoon spent together, you might find your date is still sleeping 14 hours later!

Cabin crew dating tips always say things like:

”Give them some time to recover, maybe just have a quiet night in after trips

Jet lagged flight attendant in bed

The advice is easy to type, but much less easy in practise. Think about it. You’ve been working a stressful 9-5 all week, and the one Saturday of the month I’ve got off, all I want to do is sleep. It takes an understanding partner, and has been the cause of many crew breakups.

Summary

Happy flight attendant couple in Greece

If you’ve made it this far, and are still considering asking that cute flight attendant on a date, congratulations!

If you can handle the downsides, dating a flight attendant can be a fantastic experience. You’ll get to see the world in a whole new way and meet people from all over the globe. So if you’re up for the challenge, my advice would be to go for it.

However, dating a flight attendant is not for everyone. Reserve blocks, jet-lag, antisocial hours and the physical distance can place big barriers to a successful relationship. It takes a special person to understand and accept our lifestyle.

However, if you find yourself feeling jealous of our constant travel, take comfort in the fact that it is our job, and we’d much rather go travelling, and spending time together with you.

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Alissa
Alissa

Flyingbynumber’s Resident Senior Flight Attendant — Alissa

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