Corporate Flight Attendant Salary Negotiation

TWC facilities at KVNYRecent research shows that a corporate flight attendant salary is typically between $45-90K, depending on location, responsibilities, and experience. So, when negotiating your flight attendant salary, your “ask” should be commensurate with how your prospective employer values your skills and experience, and the market for the type of flying you will do. How to get inside your prospective employer’s head? Here is some concrete guidance on the specific ways your skill set and other factors might contribute to your pay, and your career prospects.


Flight Attendant Pay Scale: As a rule of thumb, fractional operators (Netjets, Flight Options, Flexjet) pay less than charter companies (Part 135) who pay less than owner-operators (Part 91).


Flight Attendant Jobs & Salary Factors


Location. Business flight attendants based closer to major metropolitan areas get paid the most. New York and Los Angeles are the two busiest areas for private flying, and when you’re in demand, you can ask for a higher salary.


Responsibilities. Will you be expected to manage the entire cabin from the cockpit door on back, or are you thought of as simply another passenger who manages passengers? This has everything to do with the perception of the company doing the hiring, and the value they place on flight attendant jobs. Find an employer who recognizes the need for a well trained, professional, efficient, safety-capable flight attendantKeep in mind that the written job description may differ from what the job actually requires.


Does the company place value on your culinary expertise, your safety and security training, your related job experience, etc? Companies looking for someone with “no experience necessary, will train” almost always pay less than those who have specific requirements, including up-to-date with their training and years of past experience.
When you get to the corporate flight attendant salary negotiation phase, these are the key points to keep in mind:


  • How often you will be flying, and where (i.e. will you be flying back and forth between set cities, or will there be international travel involved?)
  • How many days per month you will be flying – i.e. how much downtime you’ll have
  • Whether or not you’ll be on call
  • Whether you’ll be working in the office when you’re not in the air
  • Whether you’ll be responsible to “look after” children or play a “nanny” role when not flying
  • Will you have any supervising, scheduling or management roles? (i.e. will you be managing a team of flight attendants? Will you be asked to fill in when they are ill or away?)
Experience. The more experience you have flying corporate, the better your corporate flight attendant salary potential. The best companies reward you based on your business flying background, safety and security training (a.k.a. whether or not you have attended flight attendant school), culinary expertise, language skills (if you’ll be flying internationally), management acumen, and people skill. Some companies require that a flight attendant act as a personal assistant to the CEO. When this is part of the job, you should ask for extra compensation for these non-aviation related responsibilities.


Average Salary of a Flight Attendant


Fractional Operators: 33K-45K, corporate experience not always required. These companies will train you to their specifications. One of the big pluses for fractional flight attendants is that you can live mostly anywhere. Some companies will pay for you to fly a commercial airline to meet up with the aircraft, and they’ll also let you accumulate and keep your airline miles.


Charter Operators: 45K – 80K, depending on location of aircraft and your experience. Charter operators today typically pay flight attendants in the low to mid-50s range, and a recent survey by the NBAA supports this, with the average corporate flight attendant pay just over 53K per year.


Owner-Operators: 25K-100K+. Pay for corporate flight attendants working for owner-operators varies quite a bit, because there are companies that will expect you to bend over backwards to fly on their aircraft, and for comparatively little pay. On the other hand, if you are a chief flight attendant your salary could start at 75K and can easily exceed 90K. The higher salary can be expected when you have a “VP” title and are managing other flight attendants. This title usually requires additional work, including office duties, scheduling and filling in for your direct report flight attendants when they are on vacation or sick. 100K+ is unusual, but not out of the realm of possibility. Flight attendants making this much salary are almost always flying internationally, and flying often.


Contract Flight Attendants: $300-$500 per day plus per diem, but this also varies widely. We have heard of flight attendants flying for no pay … just to get the experience and hours. At the opposite end of the pay scale, there are flight attendants making $600+ per day flying internationally. Contract rates vary widely and depend, again, on your location, responsibilities and experience.


Corporate flight attendant salary does vary, but if you have the right combination of skills and experience you should be able to negotiate with a good employer. See the Corporate and Contract Flight Attendant Job Board to start your corporate flight attendant job search today.


Call today for assistance and advice with your corporate flight attendant job search – we’re here to help!