Minimum Flight Attendant Requirements – I
I have been very interested in becoming a flight attendant for a long time, but I am not sure I have the minimum flight attendant requirements. Can you please list the minimum qualifications necessary to become a flight attendant?
One of the first steps in evaluating a flight attendant career is determining whether you qualify for the position. Every airline has a set of minimum flight attendant requirements. If you have taken our flight attendant pre-qualification test, you should already have a pretty good idea if you are employable as a flight attendant.
In this blog, we will address some of the minimum requirements for consideration as a flight attendant. In the next issue, we will continue the discussion. In this issue (Part I), we address minimum flight attendant requirements for age and height.
So how important are these minimum requirements? They are critical to your future as a flight attendant. If you do not meet the minimum hiring requirements (especially in the areas of age, height, education, and citizenship) for a particular airline, you are not qualified for the job. Keep in mind, however, these are only minimum requirements. To truly separate yourself from the competition and improve your chances of getting hired, you must have something more to offer, such as solid customer service experience, a higher education, excellent communication skills, or the ability to speak a second language. Most airlines use a weighting system, assigning you a score based on your level of qualification; this score then determines whether you will advance in the application process.
If you are certain you do not meet the minimum hiring requirements for a particular airline, do not bother applying (until you do), since you won’t even make it past the first interview.
Age is one of the firm flight attendant requirements. You either meet the minimum age requirement or you do not. Airlines won’t waiver on this. The minimum allowable age for some U.S. airlines is 18, but most require you to be at least 20 or 21.
The age requirement is usually based on the age you will be upon graduation from training. So, if you are not at the minimum age at the time of your initial application, but will reach that age during training, you can still apply for the job.
With increased hiring now underway, airlines are constantly lowering their minimum age requirements in order to broaden their audience of prospective applicants.
If you do not meet the minimum age requirement for a particular airline, you can still apply for another position within the airline as a reservationist or customer service agent, which usually have lower minimum age requirements. As an employee of the airline, you would greatly improve your chances of getting hired in the future since many airlines prefer to hire from within rather than take chances on unproven newcomers.
You could also spend this time improving your chances of becoming a flight attendant by taking enrichment courses (such as learning a second language) or getting experience in customer service outside of the airline industry. Customer service experience can be as complex as working as a Dell Technical Support Representative or as simple as working the drive-thru window at Taco Bell. It all counts.
Due to discrimination issues, there are no maximum age requirements. In fact, in every flight attendant class, there is always a small percentage of “older” new-hires. Because there is no age limit, many people are pursuing second careers as flight attendants – and are gladly accepted because of their experience and level of maturity. Do not ever think you are too old to apply for a flight attendant position. A recent class of 100 new hires at a major airline had 7 people between the ages of 40 and 49, 5 people between the ages of 50 and 59, and 1 person over 60!
Most flight attendants are between 5’2″ and 5’9″ tall. Outside of this normal range, certain airlines have minimum and maximum height requirements.
A very short person may have difficulty reaching the overhead compartments in an airplane, which are typically between 6′ and 6’10” inches high. Some airlines have no minimum height requirement, but do require you to pass a reach test. The reach test is nothing more than a demonstration of your ability to reach all the necessary components inside an airplane’s cabin.
You can perform a reach test on your own. Simply grab a tape measure, measure out a distance of 6’10” from the floor, and mark it on the wall. If you can reach the mark in bare feet, chances are you will pass any airline’s reach test.
If you find you do not meet the minimum height requirement for any of the major airlines, do not let this discourage you. You can always apply to be a flight attendant for a commuter airline; commuter aircraft are much smaller, making height less critical.
Conversely, if you are a little on the tall side, most major airlines’ maximum height requirement is right around 6’2″. If you are taller than 6’2″, keep in mind that you will be working in small galleys and may find it difficult to work 8-hour days in such a cramped environment.
Next week: Flight Attendant Requirements – Part II: Weight and Health, Education, and Customer Service.
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