Flight Attendant Requirements - Complete Guide

Flight attendant requirements may differ from carrier to carrier, but most of the requirements worldwide are the same. I said this because I’ve been employed by major airlines in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and the United States.

 

I concluded that wherever I am in the world, all airlines require the same set of skills, education, and training but differ in physical requirements, age & weight depending on the airline’s culture.

 

In this blog entry, I will cover the basic flight attendant requirements and mention how it differs from airline to airline. I will also give tips on how you can meet this requirement for you to step forward and start applying for your dream job.

Table of Contents

Education Requirements for Flight Attendants

Most airlines have at least a minimum education requirement of a high school diploma or GED equivalent in the US.

Some airlines may require a college level. This is mostly seen in airlines based in Asia, where flight attendant jobs are highly sought after.

 

However, due to the high competition of this job, your college education or bachelor’s degree can help you step up over many flight attendant applicants.

 

Any higher educational attainment is good however is not required by most airlines.

 

In fact, according to US News, flight attendant jobs are among the highest-paid jobs without having a college degree or a bachelor’s degree.

Flight Attendant Training Requirements

flight attendant training

After receiving a job offer from the employer, a successful flight attendant applicant will undergo an initial new hire training program. Depending on the airline’s requirements, this training program can last from three to six weeks, or sometimes more.

 

A flight attendant trainee will learn different security & safety procedures, first aid, and service etiquette at a flight training center.

 

After completing the program, the employer will apply your Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency from the Federal Aviation Administration (USA), or its equivalent, if you’re not based in the United States.

During the training, trainees will learn different flight attendant roles and flight attendant job duties:

Safety duties of a flight attendant

  • pre-flight safety equipment and how to use each piece of equipment

  • monitor bags during boarding and ensure overhead bins are closed properly for departure

  • assist special handling passengers and relay safety information to them

  • demonstrate safety features before takeoff by playing a safety video or performing a live safety demo for passengers

  • ensure cabin safety for takeoff and landing

  • seatbelt compliance, cabin monitoring, and enforcing no smoking

service duties of a flight attendant

United Airlines flight attendant serve food
  • Serve food, snacks, and drinks to passengers accordingly
  • hydrate passengers by serving drinks regularly or at least every hour on long international flights
  • Serve requested meals to correct passengers with dietary restrictions
  • Provide comfort to passengers by giving pillows, blankets, headset/earbud, and amenities for long international flights
Note: In some airlines, they have additional service training that will enhance their flight attendants’ customer service skills. This is often seen in airlines in Asia and the Middle east. So if you want to improve your communication skills and service skills, apply for these airlines.

Other Flight Attendant job duties

flight attendant safety briefings
  • Relay important safety information to the purser or pilot-in-command

  • Able to perform aircraft evacuation depending on the type of aircraft

  • Able to effectively solve emergencies to avoid bigger problems from happening

  • Coordinate with other airline staff such as caterers for meal counts and ground agents for special handling passengers

  • Able to work different flight attendant positions in the aircraft and work effectively with other flight attendants

  • Handles emergency situations very well

  • Able to answer questions of passengers who need assistance on their flight

  • Responsible in serving alcohol onboard

Physical Requirements for Flight Attendants

A flight attendant must have good physical stamina. The job requires standing and walking for long hours and long periods either on the plane or at the airport.

 

Although flight attendants are not required to lift passenger baggage during boarding and deplaning, flight attendants are required to lift heavy objects such as safety equipment.

 

Also,  a flight attendant trainee must be able to lift a window exit  during evacuation training.

 

If you cannot do so, removal from the training is possible.

 

Lifting is part of the job as flight attendants need to remove service items from atlas boxes and carts.

Grooming Requirements for Flight Attendants

Flight attendants are required to adhere to the airline’s grooming standards.

 

In some airlines, grooming and uniform are part of their branding image. Thus, a professional appearance is a must from when flight attendants check-in for their flight until they reach their hotel room on layovers.

 

Learn more about the basic flight attendant grooming standards here.

How To Maintain a Professional Image

  • Cover visible tattoos with a tattoo concealer. Although United Airlines already allow their flight attendants to show their tattoos, most airlines don’t hire flight attendants with visible tattoos.

  • If you are dyeing your hair, ensure your roots are not showing. Unnatural hair colors are not allowed by most airlines.

  • Hairstyles must always be neat. Long hair must always be tied in a bun or a ponytail.

  • Uniforms must always be kept clean and ironed. It must fit well to your body and allow you to move without any restrictions.

  • Facial piercings must be removed unless allowed by the airline.

  • Nails must be kept clean and polished for both males and females.

  • Shoes must be polished at all times and follow uniform compliance.

  • Accessories must be simple. A pair of pearl or round earrings and a simple necklace are good.

  • Apply an antiperspirant to avoid bad odors. Avoid using strong perfumes.

  • Follow the grooming standards of the airline at all times.

Learn more about the basic flight attendant grooming standards here.

Flight Attendant Age Requirements

The minimum age requirement for flight attendants is between 18-21. You must check the job advert for specific age requirements.

 

Flight attendants prepare alcoholic drinks and serve them to passengers that’s why minimum age requirements must be met.

Height Requirements for Flight attendants

flight attendant closing overhead bin

Height requirements for flight attendants depend on the aircraft type. Remember, the bigger the planes, the higher the required height.

 

Flight attendants must be able to reach safety equipments easily in case of an emergency.

 

This is also why height requirements must be met for you to become one.

Weight Requirements for Flight Attendants

Weight has always been a sensitive topic for everyone. But, is there a weight requirement?

 

In the earlier era of aviation, there was a weight requirement for flight attendants. However, as the world is increasingly accepting, unions make it possible for everyone to become a flight attendant.

 

Most airline requirements globally must be weight in proportion to height.

 

In the United States, a flight attendant must be able to strap in the jumpseat, where flight attendants sit for take-off and landing.

Other Flight Attendant Requirements

Medical Exams

Major airlines require trainees to pass a complete medical examination before going to the flight training center. This incles:

  • Vision test – If you think you have poor eyesight, check the airline requirements for vision. Some airlines require a good vision of 20/20, and some allow corrective lenses.

  • Color Blind Test

  • Audiometry Test

  • HEPA, HIV, and TB Tests – The government requires these in the Middle East.

  • Drug Test

  • Others: Physical exam, 2D Echo

Background Checks

Flight attendants travel the world that’s why airlines require their crew to have a clean background check with no criminal record.

Language

English is the primary language used globally by flight attendants. If English is not your first language, that’s ok! You can still become a flight attendant if you understand English and speak English fluently.

 

Having a second language is not required, but it is a plus!

 

Legal Documents

valid passport
  • Valid Passport

  • Visa, Citizenship, or Legal Right to work in a specific country – Unless you’re hired from your home country, your employer will provide a working or residency visa from the host country where you will be based.

  • Crew Member Certificate – A crew member certificate is earned once you pass the airline’s initial training program. In some countries, you must present this to the immigration officer as proof that you’re a certified flight attendant.
  • FAA certification (Certificate of Demonstrated Proficiency) – A counterpart of the Crew Member Certificate in the United States.

  • Vaccination Card – Nowadays, proof of COVID-19 vaccine is a must.

Ability To Relocate

A flight attendant must be willing to relocate to base airport or assignment given to her/him by the employer. Many flight attendants move to their preferred bases after gaining seniority.

 

Some flight attendants start with a reserve status and have to be at their base airport during their scheduled reserve time.

Conclusion: Flight Attendant Requirements

Flight attendant requirements may differ from carrier to carrier but similar when it comes to skills needed. Therefore, you must always check the job requirement on the job advert before the application process.

 

Here are some examples of job adverts. Notice how the requirements are different from one another.

Delta flight attendant requirements
emirates flight attendant requirements
qatar flight attendant requirements

Overall, airlines are looking for people who can comply for their standards. If you think you are short in one required aspect, do something about it for you to be able to achieve your dream of becoming a flight attendant.

FAQs About Flight Attendant Requirements

Although entering a flight attendant school can help you develop some skills, airlines do not require you to attend other training aside from theirs. 

I never went to a flight attendant school, but I joined workshops to develop public speaking, such as Hosting & Emceeing Workshop.  

Reading books that can help you pass an interview can also help you be ahead of the game without spending thousand bucks on flight attendant schools.

Get 21 Smart Answers To Common Flight Attendant Interview Questions to help you ace your answering skills.

Interview questions and answers ebook

In the United States, airlines require at least one year of customer service experience as posted on careers page. However, in other parts of the world, even a fresh graduate with no work experience can get accepted. As long as you pass the interview process.

It depends on the airline’s requirements since aircraft fly over bodies of water in most of their destinations. However, most airlines nowadays don’t require flight attendants to swim because they provide life jackets for the crew in the aircraft for an emergency water evacuation.

As long as your teeth look presentable and you are confident about it, then you’re fine.

Yes. Fixed dentures are accepted. 

No. However, it would be best if you cover imperfections with make-up concealer because flight attendants are the face of the airline. As a brand ambassador, you will follow the airline’s grooming standard while at work, and it’s your job to look presentable appearance at all times.

The primary reason airlines set a height requirement for their flight attendants is safety and not for aesthetics. A flight attendant must reach emergency equipment in the overhead bins as quickly as possible if a situation arises.

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