What is a flight attendant's schedule like?
Flight attendants have different schedules based on their seniority. After getting hired every flight attendant go through a reserve schedule for a few months up to a year or more. Senior flight attendants are able to hold a line which they bid for every month for the upcoming month. The line that you get awarded is based on seniority for that base.
Reserve flight attendants are usually on reserve 24 hours a day for everyday that they are on reserve. This means that you can expect to get call late at night or very early in the morning. You can also get short called where scheduling might give you an hour to get to the airport for your trip. You pretty much have to be ready for any type of trip they give you. Even if you get called for a round trip, you should always pack for at least a four day because they can change and add to your trip any time during your trip.
There are also ready reserve schedules for those flight attendants who are on reserve. This basically means that you go to the airport and are on standby for a day to cover any trip that scheduling might need covered at a very short notice.
Line holders on other hand bid for their schedules on a monthly basis for the following month. Lines are awarded to flight attendants by seniority. This means who ever was the senior of all the flight attendants who bid for a specific line number will get that line. Of course you bid for more than one line. If you are number 500, you should bid up to 500 to make sure that you don't get a miss bid and are award a line that you didn't want.
Reserve flight attendants will usually get ten days off a month on average. If you are a line holder, you can get anywhere between 10-20 or more days off a month based on seniority, and the line that you bid.