Ever wondered how much is the salary of a Delta Air Lines Flight Attendant?
Delta Air Lines is known not only as one of the world’s best airlines, but it is also known as an airline that has some of the highest paid Flight Attendants in the world!
Let’s have a look into how much a Delta Air Lines Flight Attendant really earns in their salary!
Delta Air Lines Flight Attendant Salary:
How Much Do Delta Flight Attendants Make?
The Flight Attendant salary at Delta is slightly higher than most of the other large airlines in the US.
Within Delta Air Lines, the annual salary for Flight Attendants varies vastly – from around $33,000 for new Flight Attendants, to over $110,000 for the most experienced Flight Attendants!
HOURLY RATE (STANDARD FLIGHT HOUR PAY)
It’s important to remember that like most jobs, salaries for Flight Attendants increase the more senior they become in the role and with the more experience they have.
The hourly rate for Delta Flight Attendant pay is calculated according to how many years the crew member has worked as a Flight Attendant with Delta.
Every single year at Delta a Flight Attendant’s Standard Flight Hour Pay will increase considerably – roughly by 2 dollars per hour which is really good! Once you reach 12 years the hourly rate will be maxed out and therefore stay the same year on.
Your hourly rate is directly related to your seniority.
The starting hourly salary for Flight Attendants at Delta is just over $30 per hour in their first year working, whereas Flight Attendants at Delta with 6 years of experience receive an average of $50 per hour.
Furthermore, Flight Attendants with 11 or 12 years of experience can expect to make a whopping $60 or $70 respectively per hour at Delta!
Check out the graph below to see the hourly pay of Flight Attendants at Delta Air Lines.
In addition to the Flight Attendant’s hourly rate (calculated by their length of time in the company), the Flight Attendant salary is also worked out according to how many flight hours the Flight Attendant has worked that month, as well as some other factors.
The amount of hours a Flight Attendant works that month will directly affect their pay and so it is a vey important factor when working out a Flight Attendant salary.
It’s important to remember that a Flight Attendant at Delta only starts getting paid once the aircraft door closes.
So all the time at the briefing, getting to the aircraft, doing safety checks, boarding the passengers and any delays before closing the last aircraft door will go unpaid.
Equally, they stop getting paid once the aircraft door opens at the gate at the destination, so disembarkation of the passengers and any delays exiting the airplane will go unpaid.
So the hourly pay for a Flight Attendant at Delta is only from when the aircraft door closes for departure, until it opens again at arrival.
Whilst it seems quite unfair, this can be quite standard in aviation. Technically you aren’t always getting paid nothing for this time, as sometimes you can be getting paid per diem in this time if you are outstation (more about Per Diem further down the article).
How Many Hours Does A Flight Attendant Work Per Month?
On average, a Flight Attendant at Delta works between 75 to 100 hours per month. However, they do have the choice to work more or less than these hours if they prefer, as there are no ‘fixed hours’ in this job.
A new Flight Attendant who works around 100 hours a month can expect to earn a little over $3,000 a month, from about 17 flying days in the month.
Some Flight Attendants may choose (or be rostered) to work more or less hours one month compared to another, which will therefore affect their pay.
Some of the more junior Flight Attendants can work up to 130 hours per month, whilst the older Flight Attendants may just want to fly part time hours – it is really up to you what you choose.
You also have the option to pick up extra flights for your schedule, or give them away if you don’t want them.
There is an online interactive system where you can give away flights for others to pick up, or you can pick up extra flights if you are looking for extra money.
This is great as it gives Flight Attendants more control over their salary and how they want to spend their time.
When Do Delta Flight Attendants Get Paid Their Salary?
Delta Air Lines Flight Attendants get paid every 2 weeks. They will get paid for the two weeks that they have worked prior.
BREAKING DOWN THE DELTA FLIGHT ATTENDANT SALARY PAY
Flight Attendant salaries are worked out very differently to regular standard jobs. The salary of a Flight Attendant working in a commercial airline will vary a lot every month.
Instead of getting paid a fixed monthly salary like most regular jobs, Flight Attendants will get paid not only according to their standard flight hour pay and the hours they have flown that month, but which destinations they have been to, and whether the flight was a layover or a turnaround, and whether they had any on-call/available duties.
A Flight Attendant Salary is made up of:
- Crew Duty Payment (the amount of hours flown that month multiplied by the Hourly Flight Pay)
- Layover Payment (Per Diem)
- Available/On-call payment
- Special Roles: pursers, language speakers etc.
These payments can vary considerably, depending on what the Cabin Crew Roster looks like that month.
Also if Cabin Crew have had leave or been sick one month, or didn’t get called on their Available Days, their salary will be lower as they will have had more days off from flying.
A regular monthly roster of a new Delta Flight Attendant would be around 9 days of flying, 6 on-call/available days, downtime outstation (layovers) and days off.
Crew Duty Payment
Hourly Rate x Hours Flown = Flight Attendant Salary
To work out your Crew Duty Payment for the month, add up all the duty hours flown for that month and times it by your Standard Flight Hour Pay.
Salaries get paid after the month worked, like other airlines, as it is impossible to predict Crew Duty Payment as rosters and flights can change last minute.
So let’s say you are a new Flight Attendant (salary is $30.96 per hour for newly hired Flight Attendants at Delta) and you just worked 5 flight hours. You would get $30.96 x 5 = $154.80.
But if you were a Flight Attendant with 12 years experience, (salary is $69.59 for Flight Attendants at Delta with 12+ years experience) and you also worked the same 5 hour flight, you would get $69.59 x 5 = $347.95. Not bad right?
Hence why when people get a job as a Delta Flight Attendant they tend to hang onto it!
Layover Allowance (Per Diem)
The Layover Allowance (also known as Per Diem) is a tax-free allowance Flight Attendants get when they are out-station (eg: when you are on a layover, not at your base). This money is in addition to a Flight Attendants hourly rate.
The layover payment is calculated to cover the expenses of all your meals and some other expenses on the layover, so at the end of the month Delta in effect reimburses you for the meals you had to buy outstation.
It works out as a rough estimate, of course you don’t need to keep receipts and submit anything – Delta just works it out automatically.
The Per Diem Layover Allowance at Delta is $2.20 per hour for domestic destinations within the US, and $2.70 per hour for international destinations.
The Per Diem Allowance is the same regardless of your seniority, so all Flight Attendants on the same flight get the same amount Per Diem.
So in addition to your hourly rate, for every hour you are away from your base (and this is calculated from the time the aircraft door closes at your base, until the time the aircraft door opens again at your base) you get the Per Diem allowance of $2.20 per hour domestically or $2.70 per hour internationally.
The Layover Allowance may seem small but it does add up!
Let’s say for example you do an international flight to Europe. It is a 24 hours layover (hence the name of this website!), and let’s say adding in all the flight time on top of the layover time, the total time you were away from base was 40 hours.
You would be making 40 x $2.70 = $108.
That’s an extra $108 on top of what you will earn from your flying hours for that flight!
Seeing as usually you’ll have several trips on your monthly schedule, that can mean several hundred extra dollars instantly added onto your salary!
On-Call/Available Days Payment
Delta Air Lines no longer has the reserve/standby/on-call month for Flight Attendants which many FA’s are so happy about! Especially as many other airlines still have it.
This is another reason why Delta is a great airline to work in for Flight Attendants, especially for new hires and junior Flight Attendants.
The Reserve Month was basically where a junior Flight Attendant would be put on standby (reserve) for the whole month.
So basically they wouldn’t have any flights rostered on their schedule, they would just have to wait until the last minute to get called for flights.
In Delta the junior Flight Attendants now have 6 days each month where they are rostered to standby/reserve/on-call. These are known as “A” days, or Available Days.
Available Days are when a Flight Attendant is on call 24 hours. They could get called at any time (usually last minute) to go for a flight.
The flight could be to any destination, it could be a layover or a there-and-back / turnaround, or they could even not get called for a flight at all.
Generally, let’s be honest: you get called for the flights nobody wants – the short there-and-backs and multi-sector days, the red-eye flights, or the flights with very short layovers.
However the odd time you can get called for a great flight, so it’s not all bad.
In addition to these 6 Available Days where the Flight Attendant is on call, the Flight Attendants will of course have rostered days off, as well as scheduled flights.
What Is The Pay For The Available Days For Flight Attendants At Delta?
For the 6 Available Days, the Flight Attendant will be paid a total of 28 hours worth of their time (according to their hourly rate – so $30.96 for new Flight Attendants).
Of course if they get called for a couple of flights and the amount of hours they work ends up being more than 28 hours, they will get paid for those extra hours.
Whether they get no flights, or they get called for up to 28 hours or lower, they will be paid that amount, which would be 28 x $30.96 = $866.88 for new Flight Attendants.
So $866.88 is basically the minimum amount you will get for those 6 days, as usually you do end up getting called.
This on-call amount the Flight Attendant receives will then be added to the remaining flight hours worked that month, plus any incentive pay they will receive that month. This will all make up their salary that month.
Like the regular scheduled flights, Flight Attendants can try and give away their 6 Available/reserve days, but only if someone is willing to trade them off you.
It’s not easy to give away your Available Days though, as generally people don’t want to pick them up.
In addition to the hourly rate and per diem, some Flight Attendants can also earn extra money in special roles – for example when they are a language speaker or a purser on the flight.
A Purser is the Flight Attendant who is in charge of the whole cabin. They often need to fill out detailed safety reports and any incident reports and deal with any conflicts or challenging passengers (or even challenging Flight Attendants).
The Purser is paid extra as they have more responsibility and oversee the whole customer experience.
Most of the Pursers at Delta will have at least 20 years experience, so it can take a long time to become one!
Language of Destination (LOD) Flight Attendants are paid extra for being language speakers on certain flights as it is an additional skill.
Any Flight Attendant or aspiring Flight Attendant who speaks another language besides English fluently that the Airline requires can apply to be a Language Of Destination Flight Attendant.
They are paid extra to speak the LOD throughout the flight to the customers and give assistance in the language where needed.
Other Special Roles:
Other special roles that Flight Attendants can take on for extra money, or just to experience something different include:
- joining the safety team or becoming a trainer in initial and recurrent Flight Attendant training
- joining the recruiting team
- working on charter flights
There are several opportunities where Flight Attendants at Delta can get extra pay.
They can include:
- Working red eye flights (night flight arriving in early morning) will earn you $0.50 extra per hour worked on top of your hourly rate
- ‘Sky Bucks’ – where Flight Attendants can earn around $100 for positive reviews from customer surveys
- ‘Drafting Pay’ – being used at another base
- profit sharing
- monthly shared rewards
- holiday pay
Delta Flight Attendants can also receive commission from Duty Free products sold.
As an average, Delta Flight Attendants can receive around $5,500 per year in these additional benefits ($900 for an annual bonus, a bonus of $4000 from the profit share, and around $600 for commission payouts).
These additional benefits are amongst one of the highest additional payouts in all airlines.
Salary Deductions For Flight Attendants At Delta
Medicare, Social Security and other taxes are taken out of your paycheck. Remember that each state in the US has different levels of taxes.
Other deductions most staff choose to have include 401k, medical, dental, stock purchases etc.
What Factors Can Affect A Flight Attendant Salary?
As we can see, several factors can affect a Flight Attendant’s Salary:
1. Seniority Of The Flight Attendant
As mentioned above, the seniority of a Flight Attendant plays a big part in how much their salary will be.
Not only does your level of seniority affect your hourly pay, but it also affects what destinations you get rostered to and what your schedule looks like, which also affects your salary.
The more senior you are – the higher your hourly pay and the more choice you have over your schedule.
Seniority definitely plays a big part in determining what your salary and schedule will look like.
2. Hours Worked
The number of hours worked also greatly affects the salary of a Flight Attendant. The more hours you work, the higher your salary will be that month.
3. Per Diem
4. Special Roles
6. Available Days
If you’re looking for help on applying to become a Flight Attendant and the Application Process check out these guides:
Delta Air Lines Benefits
Benefits for Delta Flight Attendants include:
- staff travel discounts
- comprehensive insurance and medical coverage (vision, medical & dental insurance)
- staff discount program
- retirement plans – 401K plan
- employee stock purchase plan
- wellbeing programs
- development opportunities
Delta Air Lines has very generous benefits, bonuses and commissions for their Flight Attendants.
In addition to their salary, Flight Attendants at Delta also receive bonuses relating to their performance and profit sharing of the airline.
Interested in becoming a Flight Attendant for another airline?
Check out these articles:
If you would like to see how the salary for Flight Attendants in one of the wealthy Gulf airlines compares, check out this article on Etihad Cabin Crew Salary.
How To Become A Flight Attendant At Delta Air Lines?
As with any other airline, to become a Flight Attendant at Delta you will need to fulfil certain requirements.
These include education requirements, appearance requirements, ability to live and work in the USA, background checks, fluency in English, minimum age requirements and more.
If you meet all the requirements you can apply. The application process involves several stages: online application, video interview, talent assessment, live interview and the face to face interview.
Successful applicants need to make it through all the stages, which can be quite tough as there is so much competition!
You’ll find all the information about the different stages as well as the requirements, in this Delta Flight Attendant requirements article.
Is Delta Airlines Currently Hiring Flight Attendants?
Delta periodically opens vacancies on their official careers website. Click here to view the vacancies for Flight Attendants.
It’s good to apply as soon as you see the vacancies opening up, as sometimes the job vacancy can close after just a few days if they have too many applications.
How Long Does The Whole Process To Become A Flight Attendant With Delta Air Lines Take?
As there are so many stages in the application process, getting a job as a Flight Attendant at Delta is definitely not a quick process.
It’s also important to bear in mind that the application process length can really vary amongst applicants. For some it may take just a few months, for others it may take a year.
It often depends on how many Cabin Crew they need to hire at that particular time, the number of applications received at that time, and if you have a specific requirement that they are really looking for at that time (for example: language speakers for a foreign destination).
Remember that this is a very competitive field, and hundreds of thousands of people apply for only a few spots.
Once you get selected and have the conditional job offer (CJO) to join Delta, depending on the operational needs of the company you might have to wait a few weeks or months to commence your initial Cabin Crew Training.
The Flight Attendant training will take 8 weeks, and then once you have successfully passed you will finally be a Flight Attendant! It’s a long process and it may feel frustrating having to wait so long but it’s sure worth the wait!
Delta Air Lines Flight Attendant Training Program
Delta provides the initial Flight Attendant training at their headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
The training program for Delta is 8 weeks long.
The Delta Flight Attendant training course intensive course to prepare you for the many different types of scenarios you can encounter as Cabin Crew.
During the training, Delta will provide you with training pay (many airlines don’t pay you for your training so this is a bonus that Delta is one of the only ones that does!) which also includes room and board if needed.
The weekly pay during the Flight Attendant training is around $1800, which is very generous!
You must complete the Flight Attendant training and all the associated background checks, as well as demonstrate your proficiency in order to get your flying licence.
After successful completion of the Flight Attendant Training Course you will get your wings, be assigned a base and become one of the Delta Cabin Crew team!
Like all Flight Attendant Training Programs, Delta focuses their training on aircraft specific training, passenger safety (medical emergencies, fire, security, emergency landing etc), customer services, culture at Delta, and more.
Delta Air Lines Flight Attendant Salary Summary
Delta currently has one of the highest hourly rates in the US for Flight Attendants and it is one of the best airlines to work for.