How Much Can I Earn Working as Cabin Crew?

How much can I earn working as Cabin Crew is one of the biggest questions that potential applicants ask. And it’s an important question, with bills to pay and holidays to save for (if you want to be Cabin Crew you’ve got to love travelling, right?) money matters are important. Unfortunately for me, this was a deal breaker when I lived beyond my means and almost went bankrupt, so I left life in the skies for something a bit more grounded (and well paid). Anyway, for those you considering working as Cabin Crew, here is all you need to know;

how much can I earn as cabin crew

Basic pay

Every airline is slightly different, but for most Cabin Crew jobs you will be paid a combination of basic pay or base salary and allowances. If you’re based in the UK your basic pay likely rages from around £10,000-£15,000 per year.

Flight pay

Flight pay or sector pay differs according to which airline you work for. Some airlines will pay you a set amount for each sector (i.e. Virgin Atlantic pays around £50 per flight), whereas other airlines pay hourly (i.e. British Airways Mixed Fleet receive around £2.50 per hour from the start until the end of their shift including layover times).

You might also be interested in my post ‘what’s it like to be Cabin Crew for easyJet?


Some airlines will provide an allowance for stopovers. The rate of this is often set depending on the cost of living in the destination. So, for example, two nights in San Francisco would give you more money than two nights in Mumbai. This may be paid to you in cash at the hotel or you may have some type of credit system where you are provided with a card you are paid allowances into your final salary minus any spending.


It is likely that allowances or flight pay is tax-free, meaning that you only pay tax on your base salary. What’s more is that in the U we currently do not pay tax until we earn at least £11,850 which is likely to be a good proportion of your salary. You are therefore unlikely to have to pay much tax on your income.


Working for an airline has its benefits and after working for a qualifying period of time you will have access to hugely discounted flights along with discounted hotel rates, car hire etc.

You might also be interested in my post ‘Flying for Jet2: Everything you need to know!’.

Which airlines pay the best?

Many people aspire to work for the likes of British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. The general rules, therefore, of supply and demand mean that they can pay their staff less because people will still want to work there. Remember also that get the benefit of leisure time down route and staying in nice hotels, sometimes they even include meals. Airlines such as easyJet or Ryan Air are known to pay their staff better but you don’t have the added extras as there are not many night stops when working for a budget airline.

Can I afford to work as Cabin Crew?

Ultimately this is the fundamental question and it really depends on your individual lifestyle. When I was 20 years old and had no mortgage or bills to pay it was perfect, but once I had a car on finance and rent to pay I couldn’t sustain it. You can read about how I got myself back into credit here. My advice is to research the airlines you hope to work for and to calculate all of your monthly outgoings to check that working as Cabin Crew is the right job for you financially.

For more information on what it’s like to work as Cabin Crew read about why it can be your dream job, and top tips for your assessment day.  You can also purchase my book Life of a Hostie: Everything you Need to Know to Become Cabin Crew which provides comprehensive details on everything from securing a job to undertaking your training.