Being a flight attendant is NOT a lucrative job
"When I started flying for the second time, 10 years ago, I qualified for food stamps. Starting pay is abysmal. The new kids that start out [today] are broke and live 24 to an apartment. We get paid by flight time, meaning only from when the captain releases the brakes to move the aircraft to when we land. If they close the door at the gate and we sit for 30 minutes, we are not paid for that. Nor are we paid for the hours before the flight when we have to be there."
The travel perks are great, but they're not THAT great
"Every airline is different, but after you pass your probationary six months to a year, you do have flight benefits. And while the flights are greatly discounted -- you mostly just pay taxes -- there has to be an empty seat on the plane to take advantage of them, since you're essentially flying standby. Also, there's a pecking order based on hire date and status: the first level is for employees, the second is for retired employees, the third is for friends & family, and the fourth is for buddy passes. My hire date this second time around was 2006, so anyone hired before 2005 gets an empty seat ahead of me."