How do Flight Attendants Survive a Demanding Schedule?

Every day, there are hundreds of thousands of flights around the world – which requires one cabin crew to render working hours for about 8-10 hours a day, and sometimes would increase if there are particular circumstances that happened.

Because of the demanding schedule and roster, most cabin crew find it hard to balance their work and other personal responsibilities such as spending quality time with their loved ones or managing their business. Sometimes, a flight attendant would be too tired and exhausted to attend to certain events that they end up staying indoors instead of going to an appointment.

But if you want to be able to have a life aside from your work, how would you survive a demanding schedule? Here we share some tips.

Image Credit: Austrian Airlines under Wikimedia Creative Commons

Missing out an Appointment

You’ll never know when and where you will be assigned one day, so missing an important event or occasion is unfortunately inevitable. Please accept this reality if you plan to become a flight attendant.

If you’d ask a fellow cabin crew who has been in the industry for quite some time now, he/she would probably know what it feels like to miss an occasion that he/she has been looking forward to. That happens quite often.

The best way to deal with it is to be accepting of the fact that you will always have a higher chance of missing out on something, and that you should try to attend to the things that truly matter.

10 Tips to Survive a Demanding Roster Schedule

So, how will you manage to still look fresh and perky despite the long hours? Here are some tips on how cabin crews survive a demanding schedule:

1. Get Enough Sleep

Cabin crews always make sure that they get enough sleep even if it means sacrificing their free time. Since they need to be always alert during flights, getting enough rest is very important to avoid any mishaps. To get enough sleep, most of them would take naps in between flights or in their hotel room. Please make sure you sleep and get some good rest during your hotel work layover. Make sure you have enough energy to survive the next flight duty.

2. Eat Healthy Meals

A healthy diet is also important for cabin crews to maintain their energy levels. They usually pack their own meals or snacks to avoid unhealthy food options. Some would even bring their own coffee to avoid consuming too much caffeine.

3. Exercise Regularly

Aside from eating healthy meals, exercising is also important for cabin crews. Most of them would find time to work out either before or after their shift. Some would even do it in between flights. Exercising helps them to stay fit and energetic despite the long hours.

4. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is also very important for cabin crews. They make sure to drink a lot of water and other fluids to avoid getting dehydrated. Dehydration can cause fatigue and other health problems.

5. Take Breaks When Needed

Cabin crew attendants know when they need to take a break. If they feel tired or exhausted, they would take a few minutes to rest or take a nap. They know that it is important to listen to their bodies to avoid any accidents.

6. Keep track of appointments through a calendar

You will need to plan ahead if you’d like to balance a couple of things at once. Say, if there’s a particular affair that you’re not allowed to miss, you should immediately put it on your phone’s calendar and set it for an alarm early in the morning, or the night before. That way, you’ll be able to prepare yourself without having to rush.

7. Write down the things you accomplish to do for the day

In a notebook, think of the tasks you need to do for today starting from the most important ones to the least important errands. As you accomplish each one of them, put a check mark on it and write down the total amount of time it took you to do it so you’ll be able to assess if you need to improve your time management skills.

8. Don’t slack off

If you are aware that you do have a lot of things to do for the day, encourage yourself to get it done as soon as possible and never let the thought of ‘doing it later’ get to you. Remember that slacking off won’t get these tasks done!

Try to tell yourself that if you do it now, you’ll have more free time later on.

9. Don’t stress yourself out

If in case of today is a busy day for you according to your schedule, don’t rush yourself by thinking that you don’t have time to do all of those. Sometimes, it is just your brain that assumes you can’t do everything in a single day. Avoid cramming at all costs. What you should do is remain calm and accomplish these tasks one by one. Or better yet, do the harder ones on the days that you are free, so your chores won’t pile up.

10. Don’t forget to have ‘me time’

It is important to take a break from all the work and just relax once in a while. You can do this by taking a long bath, reading your favorite book, or watching your favorite movie. Just do something that would make you feel at ease and de-stress yourself. This will help improve your productivity at work the next day. You can also take a break and travel in between months of work. After all, you deserve a holiday after working hard.


Balancing work and other activities can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Cabin crew attendants have mastered the art of balancing their hectic schedules by using various time management techniques.

You can use some of these same techniques to help you balance your own busy life. Start by writing down all of the tasks you need to do, both big and small. Make a list of appointments and events that you cannot miss, and make sure to plan ahead.

When it comes to working on multiple tasks at once, try to focus on one task at a time instead of trying to do everything at once. And finally, remember to take breaks when needed and relax with some ‘me time’ every now and then. With these tips, you too can achieve balance in your life!

Cabin crews rarely get a not-so-busy day. What do you do to survive your demanding schedule? Do you have some secrets you can share?