These Are the Airlines Where the Happiest Flight Attendants Work

It may be the pilot who’s in charge of your aircraft, but it’s the flight attendants who can really make or break your flight. And while there are certainly things you can do to be treated better by your flight crew, such as being kind and avoiding habits they find annoying, you’re much more likely to enjoy the experience if the flight attendants are happy.

There are several factors that create happy airline employees, from adequate pay to the way they’re valued. And according to recent data, some airlines have happier crews than others.

What makes a flight attendant happy?

flight attendant serving a meal

You can help boost their moods. | Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Obviously, your flight attendants will be happy if they’re paid well, offered plenty of time off to recoup, and offered some special perks (like free flights to their favorite places). But they’re also happy when their flights go smoothly and land on time, which makes sense since impatient travelers tend to take out their frustrations on them.

You can contribute to your flight attendant’s pleasant disposition by being kind, having everything ready to go at boarding time, and not expecting them to be a babysitter. But if you want the best odds of flying with a friendly crew, these are the top five airlines to use.

Next: It may surprise you to see this airline on the list.

5. United


Employees consistently give the airline high rankings. | Scott Olson/Staff/Getty Images

There’s no denying that United has had some serious problems, and 2017 was a horrible year for customer service. But in spite of all this, the airline receives consistent high ranks from its employees who appreciate the company’s flexibility, opportunities for growth and advancement, and generous benefits. Also, their pay rates are some of the highest in the industry, according to Investopedia.

Next: This airline offers great benefits and a profit-sharing program.

4. JetBlue

Jetblue plane

The perks are good. | Daniel Slim/Getty Images

According to the latest Investopedia research, JetBlue employees seem happy with the company. Although the pay is a bit low in comparison to other carriers, the employee perks, which range from excellent benefits to free travel and reduced rate standby flights on other major airlines, seem to make up for it.

Next: Employees and passengers alike seem satisfied with this airline.

3. Southwest

Southwest airline plane

They have great job security. | Daniel Slim/AFP/Getty Images

If the flight attendants on your next Southwest flight seem especially happy, it’s probably because they feel like their jobs are secure. According to Investopedia, in their 45 years of operations, the company has never laid off a single employee — and there are currently more than 53,500 of them. Southwest is also continuously named one of the Best Places to Work on Glassdoor.

Next: You’ll probably always be greeted with friendly flight attendants on this airline.

2. Delta

 Delta Air Lines interior

The company offers excellent benefits. | Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images

According to Payscale, Delta tied with Southwest with a 73% overall employee satisfaction rate, which is pretty high since it employs around 80,000 people worldwide. Investopedia notes the company’s generous retirement plan, great insurance benefits, and free travel for both employees and families as the main reasons for the happiness.

Next: This airline is known for its on-time arrivals and departures along with its happy flight crews.

1. Alaska

Happy attendant

The company has a bright future. | Oshifumi KIitamura/AFP/Getty Images

You may not be surprised to learn that the most optimistic employees are usually found working for Alaska Airlines. This is probably because they feel secure in their company’s future — since acquiring Virgin Airlines, Alaska has improved its already stellar service and increased its destinations. The airline ranks highly in several categories, most notably overall employee satisfaction.

Next: Here’s the carrier to avoid if you want to see happy flight attendants.

The unfriendly skies

hostess delivers information to passengers

Don’t book with Ryanair if you want to see happy flight attendants. | Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

If you’re hoping to see happy flight attendants, you may want to avoid booking with the Irish airline Ryanair. Apparently, flight attendants face disciplinary action if they do not meet certain sales targets and are often encouraged to coerce passengers into making additional purchases. Flight attendants, who are known to receive low pay in general, have also complained about having to pay for their own uniforms and training. This would make anyone grumpy.

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