Everyone Wants to Be a Flight Attendant

Southwest Airlines flight attendants demonstrate how to inflate the emergency life vests Photograph by Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Whenever airlines advertise openings for flight attendants, the applications gush in. Southwest Airlines recently received 10,000 applications for 750 attendant positions—in about two hours. A year ago, 114,000 people sought 2,500 flight attendant spots at the airline, known for its laid-back work environment. It’s the same at other carriers: US Airways had 16,500 applicants this past January for 450 spots, and Delta Air Lines got 22,000 for 300 to 400 positions a year ago.

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