How I went from minimum wage to earning six-figures as a corporate flight attendant

I thought I had made the biggest mistake— leaving my job as an international cabin crew member to…literally nothing. I left without a job lined up, without savings to fall back on, AND without knowing that what I hoped to do would be tougher than I ever imagined. I didn’t realize the hustle in becoming a corporate flight attendant.

I was attracted to the career by the earning potential or what I thought was what corporate flight attendants made. I later learned that I had a misconstrued snapshot of the industry. The two private jet cabin attendants that I knew made over six-figures a year, but what I didn’t understand was that they were unicorns in a land of— UNICORNS. They were literally the 1 percent of success in an incredibly competitive and exclusive industry. Most never achieve their story, BUT IT IS POSSIBLE!

For those corporate flight attendants who are excellent, the earning potential is incredible. That being said, the amount of good, secure, and enjoyable jobs are slim. For those working for one private jet operator, going in for the money is the worst idea in the world. To be honest, I went into private aviation for the money, but it wasn’t what motivated me to keep going. Doing something solely for the money will never be a positive motivator long-term. You will have to find what else within what you do ignites your fire. Some commercial flight attendants do as well as some corporate flight attendants, financially; with a better quality of life, less stress, and a lot less work involved. If you don’t like a good challenge, thrive amidst unpredictability, or are up for a little risk, corporate flight attendant life is probably not for you. Surprisingly, being a corporate flight attendant was more ‘for me’ than I ever imagined or expected. 

My career journey is a bit unbelievable at times. There are moments when I think, “Wait? Was I really able to do that??!” In truth, I never thought it would happen for me. I went from cashing a $400 paycheck one month, given to me from the government to float me through a broken ankle, to the next year earning consistently $8,000—$12,000 a month as a contract corporate flight attendant. I look at where I started and how quickly my career ramped up, and I’m blown away. It’s unreal and incredible to have achieved this level; especially when, as a commercial flight attendant, I was used to barely scraping by at $2,200 a month. Just goes to show the power of hard work, risk, and a bit of luck.

So, how was I able to go change my earnings so quickly as a corporate flight attendant? There are a few things that I did in my career that can be attributed to earning six-figures in my first year flying. I’ll be brutally honest with you that it’s not because I am a culinary genius, the prettiest girl out there, most organized, or have the best relationships with in-flight departments (which is one of my faults, actually. I don’t do private jet company politics well). But what I did do is made strategic decisions and dedicated myself to a goal. 

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In many of these posts, you may think I’m discouraging you from becoming a corporate flight attendant. I don’t want to discourage you, but I also won’t be the one to give you false hope. Sadly, yes— it matters what you look like. Definitely— you will have to “know someone.” It’s true— you don’t always get what you deserve, and you will always have to hustle to stay relevant. No one owes you shit! But you will realize that people will help you and the Universe rewards your kindness, care, and work ethic. If I can be successful, you can too! I’m not much different or more special— just a girl with a dream.

I’m a girl who hoped for more and somehow stuck with it long enough to see if hope was real.


If you want to know the 10 actions that helped me make a six-figure income as a flight attendant, download my guide. In it, I share, step-by-step, of what helped me break into such a competitive industry. Everyone’s story is different, but hopefully, sharing mine will help.

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About the Author Kara

Curious. Bubbly. Creative. Curating a life I don't need an escape from and inspiring you to do the same.

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