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Insane requirements flight attendants must follow
Posted on 28/06/2018

FormalitiesUnited Kingdom

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Have you ever looked at flight attendants and wondered how they're so well put together all the time? Well if you didn't know, they actually have really strict requirements that they are obliged to follow. We have hand-picked some of the most crazy rules and regulations according to certain airlines that will be sure to surprise you.

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  • Tattoos and piercings
    Tattoos and piercings

    This one is quite obvious really. Tattoos and piercings are not allowed to be show on most airlines. However, some airlines take it that one step extra by not allowing any tattoos to be covered with cosmetics, plasters or even jewellery! Furthermore, tattoos on feet or legs are not permitted as they will be on show due to the uniform's shoe style and the hosiery density of the tights. What's more, most airlines don't permit tongue piercings or tattoos on wrists.

  • Ability to swim
    Ability to swim

    Most airlines expect their flight attendants to be capable of swimming at least around approximately 20 metres. Some even expect their flight attendants to be able to swim 25 metres as well as being able to tread water for at least a minute. When it comes down to it, airlines expect their flight attendants to be confident in the water.

  • Marital status
    Marital status

    This obviously depends on the airline but some airlines require an unmarried status for 'inexperienced' crew. However if you are part of the 'experienced' cabin crew you are allowed to be married.

  • Age

    Of course it is controversial to set age requirements on employees. However, the minimum age requirement for international airlines tends to be 18-21 years old for flight attendants. What's more, the majority of international airlines welcome applications for flight attendants up to around 56 years of age.

  • Height and arm reach
    Height and arm reach

    Most airlines require flight attendants to be between 5'2 and 6'2 in height, (without any shoes that might help add to the height). What's more, arm reach is also measured. Some airlines require cabin crew to be able to reach 210cm without shoes and others with an arm reach of 212cm while standing on tiptoes. Some airlines even require their flight attendants to be able to carry a weight of 10kg to a height of 170cm without shoes on. These specific measurements listed above may shock you but they are used for many airlines.

  • Mental health and jungle training
    Mental health and jungle training

    With regards to education most airlines require a minimum of high school level education while some airlines require further training and aptitude training. Most airlines also require psychological testing and medical trainings to ensure their flight attendants are 'fit to fly.' Finally, some airlines ask their flight attendants to complete a "jungle survival training" to ensure they know how to survive in a jungle in case the aeroplane goes down.

  • Physical strength and health
    Physical strength and health

    Some airlines require their flight attendants to pass a functional assessment where they have to lift a certain weight from the floor to their waist and also another weight overhead. While physical strength is important, so is health. Good health is essential for flight attendants and many airlines often ask that their flight attendants to be nicotine free for at least six months prior to submitting an application. Some airlines even ask flight attendants to have a specific BMI, for example for Czech Airlines state that a "BMI = 19?24.9 is considered satisfactory."

  • Hair and makeup
    Hair and makeup

    Have you ever noticed flight attendants always manage to look fresh and well put together all of the time? Well there's a reason for that, flight attendants are required to have a certain look. With regards to men, some airlines ask for men not to wear makeup and not to have any 'unacceptable' hairstyles such as top-knots, dreadlocks, cornrows and Mohawks. With regards to women, lipstick or lip-gloss are required to complement the facial features while lip liner should be used in moderation. How do they look so fresh? Well airlines ask that makeup should be freshened whenever necessary but never in front of a customer.

  • Uniform

    This obviously depends on each airline but many airlines are known to have very specific requirements. For example, United Airlines states the "length [of skirt] may not exceed 1 inch above or 1 inch below the crease of the back of the knee." What's more, Hawaiian Airlines states, "hoop earrings are permitted and may be no larger than 1½ inches in diameter and/or ½ inch wide on the surface." If you think that's specific then you will be shocked to hear that United Airlines is reported to permit "a total of four rings may be worn, with no more than two on each hand."

  • Nostril hairs, teeth and other features
    Nostril hairs, teeth and other features

    Several airlines are reported to have the craziest requirements with regards to the appearance of their cabin crew. For example, American Airlines states "noticeable hair in nostrils and in/on ears or underarms must be cut or otherwise removed." What's more, good oral hygiene is required. For example, American Airlines states, "teeth should present a clean, natural appearance. Employees must have a full frontal complement of teeth. Dental retainers must be gum toned or clear. Braces should be clear or silver." If that's not enough, hands and nails are also important as Hawaiian Airlines is reported to advise that "hands and nails should be kept well-groomed at all times, with nail length not exceeding an eighth of an inch beyond the fingertip." With regards to facial hair United Airlines states that "moustaches may not extend more than ¼ inch below the sides of the mouth." Facial 'imperfections' are also taken into account as Jet Airways is reported to require "a clear complexion (scars, pimples and blemishes not acceptable)."


Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a flight attendant? Read on to find out more about the crazy requirements flight attendants have to follow and you will be gobsmacked by the specific requirements that flight attendants have to adhere to.