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Laura Hutcheson, 34

Despite studying law and training as a barrister, Hutcheson found she didn’t have the funds to travel, let alone travel the way she liked to.

“I was never the backpacking type and the thought of throwing a bikini and a pair of flip-flops into a rucksack and heading to a hostel filled me with dread,” she says.

With her student loans looming, she decided that being cabin crew would allow her to “see the world in style, stay in nice hotels and get paid for it.”

After 13 years, Hutcheson is still flying around the world enjoying the perks of the job. 

“We get a minimum of 24 hours in a destination and up to three or four clear days. We organise activities such as catamaran trips in the Caribbean, cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge or just a shopping trip to a nearby mall,” she says.

The working schedules vary from airline to airline, but in the worst cases crew can spend up to 50 hours a month in airports waiting for flights (unpaid), and another 65 hours on shift. However, Hutcheson says her company, Virgin Atlantic, only expects five or six flights per month from its crew, and also gives them plenty of time to recover at each destination.

“It varies between a one and four-night stopover. Or seven nights away, if you are doing really long routes,” she explains. For this flight attendant being part of Virgin Atlantic crew isn’t just a job, it’s “a lifestyle choice”.

Get into the air

To become a flight attendant contact individual airlines’ human resources departments about their training programmes and benefits.

To be cabin crew for an airline there are height restrictions – you have to be above 5ft 2in and below 6ft 2in. Most airlines require four GCSEs, including English and maths.

If you speak another language as well as English, you’ll increase your chances of being selected for the crew.


Photos: Getty, Virgin, British Airways


High-flying job: Work as a flight attendant and get paid to see the world
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