Southwest Airlines Community

Flight Attendant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) GENERAL DETAILS:

Is there a specific age criterion to become a Southwest Flight Attendant?

Every new Cabin Crew member must successfully complete the probationary period. Throughout this period of probation and evaluation, newly hired Cabin Crew members are supported by a dedicated team of Supervisors as well as Base Leadership. The probationary period lasts for six months and begins after successfully graduating from the Initial Cabin Crew training. You have the privilege of representing Southwest Airlines as an Ambassador. Your layovers will provide the opportunity to explore different cities and make numerous new acquaintances. It is possible for a Passenger to navigate through the airport and board our planes without ever interacting with or requiring assistance from another Employee. However, once onboard, our Cabin Crew members are prepared to excel and demonstrate their Fun-LUVing Attitudes, delivering exceptional Hospitality, and ensuring that each and every Passenger feels welcomed and taken care of – leaving a lasting impression: potentially transforming negatives into positives, anticipating needs, and ensuring that our Passengers remain loyal and share their wonderful experiences with friends and family. Maintaining flexibility with your schedule and maintaining a positive mindset are essential qualities for a successful Cabin Crew member. This means that schedules can frequently and unexpectedly change. For example, if you had plans to visit family during your layover in Salt Lake City, you may be rerouted and end up in Philadelphia due to inclement weather. Alternatively, you could be in the jetway preparing to go home and receive a call to fly additional trips that day. Your work schedule will be determined based on your Seniority as a Cabin Crew member under a collective bargaining agreement. There will be numerous occasions when you may not be granted your preferred days off. On average, Cabin Crew members spend 100 nights per year in a hotel, with consecutive nights away from home, all while living out of a suitcase. Additionally, there is the possibility of irregular operations and aircraft re-routes, which are part of the normal Cabin Crew lifestyle. It is necessary for you to obtain a current passport book at your own expense. On the first day of Initial Cabin Crew training, you must present a valid, unexpired passport book from your country of origin, or you will be dismissed from the class. If you have undergone a phone or in-person interview and have not been selected for the Cabin Crew position, you will be ineligible to reapply for this position for 12 months from the date of your last interview. However, you are welcome to apply for other positions at Southwest Airlines.

Please be patient, as the procedure may take some time. A federal background check and drug examination will be necessary as part of the pre-employment procedure if chosen to advance from the interview process. Candidates will also need to pass a physical performance standards test. In-person interviews will occur at our headquarters in Dallas, Texas, conducted by a Recruiter and a current Southwest Flight Attendant. If chosen from that stage, you will progress to an in-person interview, which is the initial phase. Once your resume is submitted, it will be evaluated in the order it was received. Due to the high level of interest we typically receive, it may take several months to more than a year to receive a response.

A: Every Flight Attendant trainee is required to stay at the hotel during Flight Attendant training.

PAY INFORMATION: Following your graduation as a Flight Attendant, you will be granted an Initial Training Pay of $1,200, with applicable taxes and benefit deductions deducted, to be received within five business days. Additionally, while going through the training, you will be provided with a meal stipend of $425 in the form of a pre-paid Visa card. Q: Will I receive payment during the training? A: No. Q: What grade do I need to maintain to successfully complete the initial training? A: Flight Attendant trainees must attain a score of 90% or higher on each mandatory exam. Trainees will also need to demonstrate proficiency and skill in specific areas through various proficiency and skill checks. There will be frequent proficiency checks, skill checks, and exams throughout the training. Q: If I fail to pass the initial training due to academic reasons, can I reapply? A: You are eligible to reapply; however, you must wait for a period of 12 months from the date of your last in-person interview.

A: The current per diem allowance for compensation designated as per diem is $2.30 per hour. This sequence starts after 30 minutes of their arrival on the last trip and the Flight Attendant is required to check-in at the base starting time. The Flight Attendant is paid an hourly per diem allowance for each hour away from their assigned Flight Attendant. Southwest: A: I receive a per diem allowance once I start flying. What is my per diem for a month of 80 trips? Q: On average, Flight Attendants are typically scheduled for 72 trips per month. “Line” assignments for scheduled trips are typically for 55 trips per month or approximately 243 nautical miles per trip. A: The rate of pay per hour for Southwest Flight Attendants is based on the flight time minutes per hour. What is the rate of pay for the position of Southwest Flight Attendant?

The commencement of the per diem rate of $2.85 per hour for international near duties, including flying international near destinations as defined (outside the contiguous 48 United States but within the North American region), will begin at the time of reporting for duty. If a Flight Attendant deadheads or works on an international near flight, they will receive the per diem rate of $2.85 per hour.

RESERVE DUTY DETAILS: Every following year, Flight Attendants will be granted $220 in a uniform fund for the purpose of acquiring supplementary or substitute uniform items. The initial uniform expense is around $500, which is deducted from the pay of each Flight Attendant in installments of $25, twice a month. Q: Is it necessary for Southwest Flight Attendants to bear the cost of uniforms?

Being on “reserve” means being on call and available for trips as needed by the company. This can involve being on call during specific hours of the day or night only (AM/PM Reserve), being called to wait at your base to be assigned a trip (Airport Standby), or being on call 24-hours per day, ready to report to the Flight Attendant Base within a two-hour notice (Ready Reserve). Reserve Flight Attendants are required to be in their assigned base city when on reserve duty.

AFTER INITIAL TRAINING: What will the Flight Attendant schedule appear as? A: Newly hired Flight Attendants will receive a fixed line schedule that cannot be changed for the initial month. Throughout the subsequent five months of probation, newly hired Flight Attendants will be on “reserve” status, also referred to as “on call,” and trips will be allocated to Flight Attendants based on necessity.

Does Southwest Airlines pay for the costs of relocating attendants to their assigned flight base? Could a transfer occur within a year, or would it take much longer? The length of time it takes to transfer depends on the operational needs of the Flight Attendant’s seniority and the Company. How long would it take for me to transfer to my preferred base? There is no limit to how many times a Flight Attendant can bid to change bases while on probation. When there is an opening for a base, it is based on the Flight Attendant’s seniority according to the collective bargaining agreement. Will I be able to change bases during probation? Bases are assigned during the initial training based on seniority and the operational needs of the Company. Our current Flight Attendant bases are Phoenix, Oakland, Orlando, Las Vegas, Houston, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Baltimore, and Atlanta.

It is important to consider the three days of travel assignments for which you are only compensated, as it may extend your trip to a total of five days. Moreover, while commuting is permitted, it is not recommended due to the strict attendance requirements and expectations of Southwest Flight Attendants.


Flight Attendants must be able to perform all job functions without being hindered by physical limitations and maintain a neat appearance. They should have the ability to assist customers with lifting items from shoulder level to the floor, including carry-on items. They should also be able to fit into a jump seat without the need for a seat belt extension or shoulder harness modification. Additionally, they should be able to fit through the over-wing window exit and walk comfortably down the aisle of the aircraft. While there are no specific physical performance standards, Flight Attendants must be able to perform all job functions and maintain a neat appearance. Any physical limitations that hinder their ability to perform these functions or maintain a neat appearance will be handled with progressive discipline, as outlined in the Flight Attendant Handbook and the Policies/Company Expectations & Rules for Flight Attendants.

Compliance with subject will regulations is required from the immediate dismissal of class to the Training Attendant Flight Initial Reporting. Male Employees in the uniform are allowed to wear single lobe ear earrings, with only one small stud per earring. They must not extend more than 1″ below the bottom of the lobe. Drops and hoops are not provided. Facial and body piercings, such as plugs/gauges in the earlobe, nose, and eyebrows, are not permitted. Visible tattoos are also not allowed. Flight Attendants must wear uniforms that are made to tailor No. 18 to size 0 for women and size 42 to 28 for men. Only standard uniform sizes are available. Female Flight Attendants must have their tattoos covered by a scarf, makeup, hair, long sleeve shirts, and pants. The list of prohibited items includes trendy or eccentric cosmetic colors and styles. Female employees’ complexion should complement the uniform and appear conservative and professional. Compliance with physical performance standards may be determined by an Inflight Leader in good faith and reasonableness, as it may impair the Flight Attendant’s ability to perform their duties. This determination is made at any time during Initial Training.