United Airlines is once again accepting applications for new flight attendants, with the carrier continuing to benefit from robust consumer demand, especially from premium leisure passengers who have so far not been scared away by the threat of economic turmoil looming on the horizon.
New hire flight attendants who get through United’s multi-stage recruitment process have to complete a stringent six-and-a-half-week training program at United’s special training center in Houston, where they earn their wings and start to fly the friendly skies.
Starting pay for a new hire flight attendant fresh out of training school starts at just $28.88 per hour but can hit $67.11 for top-rate crew members based on seniority. Multi-lingual flight attendants can also earn additional compensation.
Like other major U.S. airlines, flight attendants in initial training at United don’t receive a full wage, but the airline provides accommodation, as well as breakfast and lunch. Trainee crew also get a $140 weekly per diem to cover other meals and expenses.
Flight attendants also have to cover the cost of their initial set of uniform and luggage, although United says it offers a payment plan to spread the cost out over a series of paychecks.
At the completion of training, flight attendants will be sent to one of United’s seven hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington Dulles.
United is aiming to hire as many as 4,000 flight attendants in 2023 alone and, along with veteran crew members undergoing refresher training, the Houston training facility will get through 600 flight attendants every month.
The Chicago-based carrier reported a shock loss for the first quarter, but chief executive Scott Kirby says he is confident United will swing to a strong profit for the full year.
International airlines in both the U.S. and Europe have been buoyed by booming travel demand, especially for international flights.