You do not have to be above 30.
Since there is now a great influx of flight attendant hopefuls seeking employment, many people are left wondering just what airlines initially seek in an applicant. In an attempt to enlighten the current pool of candidates, here is some information which can be used as an initial guideline.
Most airlines are looking for people between the ages of 18 and 55. A few airlines will accept 18-year-olds into training; a few others will take a candidate at 19 or 20, but most airlines require an applicant to be at least 21 years of age.
The level of maturity is an important consideration with airlines, as the workload and lifestyle require folks who can roll with the punches and deal with life on a grown-up and poised level. But do not fret if you are 18 and you are mature for your age – there are several airlines out there that will be eager to hire you.
All airlines require flight attendants to have an outgoing personality. A person who is shy and reserved may have difficulty relating to the flying public, and may be unable to assertively direct clients in the event of a flight irregularity. The ability to stand in front of large groups of people and speak in a relaxed and easy manner is an important virtue for a flight attendant.
The general height requirement for flight attendants usually lies between 61" and 72", although many airlines are now requiring a minimum reaching span of 72 to 80 inches instead of the usual height prerequisite.
Weight should be in proportion to height. Airlines have relaxed the weighing-in of candidates, but a visual evaluation is used to determine proportions. Weight is not only reflective of the company’s corporate image, but the issue of safety also comes into play here.
It is important for a flight attendant to move easily through the narrow aisles and passageways in the aircraft cabin, and window exits on airplanes are typically narrow and tight openings that flight attendants must be able to pass through without difficulty.
In order to determine the ability to commit to long-term projects, airlines prefer applicants to have at least 2 years of college. Whether you hold a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or a diploma from a technical or vocational school, recruiters will be impressed at your ability to finish things you have started.
School prepares you for tackling difficulties in life and the more you learn about the world around you, the easier your job will be. Related courses of study include communications, psychology, sociology, nursing, anthropology, police or fire science, travel and tourism, and hospitality.
A background in customer service is also an important consideration when applying for a flight attendant job. Airlines want to know you can handle any kind of situations dealing with the public, and if you have experience working with people and handling the difficulties they present, you will be better equipped to manage a job in the skies.
The traveling public is not always polite or kind; on the contrary, people can be rude, abrasive, aloof, condescending or down right nasty at times, and they are not getting any nicer. A seasoned worker with good communication skills can deal appropriately with the games people play and even potentially dangerous situations as they may arise – keep in mind, you are hurtling through space 45,000 feet above the earth, in a thin metal tube.
You will encounter clients who may be anxious about a myriad of problems they have brought onboard with them, and you will be spending possibly several hours with them. You can be a team player who is part of the solution rather than part of the problem, and turn this client into a happy camper just by validating his or her feelings and doing what you can to make their day more pleasant.
To fly for a U.S. air carrier, you must either be an American citizen or be able to move unrestricted in and out of US. Not every airline in the US requires that you be a US citizen. For example, Southwest and AirTran will accept you if you have the right to work in the US according to the Immigrations Act of 1986.
You also must have or be able to obtain a passport, even if your airline does not fly international routes. You never know what surprises a normal flight can bring, so you must be prepared for anything!
Most airlines will ask you to relocate to another city where they have a flight attendant base, if you do not already live there. If you are able to go anywhere, your options will be greater; if you cannot move, your options will be limited.
It goes without saying that you must be well-groomed when you present yourself at the interview. It is amazing how many people have long hair dangling down around their shoulders, have chipped nail polish or worn-looking shoes when they arrive. Perform a visual check as you go out the door, and again when you arrive at the interview. It only takes 4 seconds to make a first impression, so don’t blow it!
Whether you are just starting out in your career or starting over in a second career now that your children are grown, a job as a flight attendant may be the perfect place for you. If you have a love of travel and are eager to pursue something you have always wanted to do, there is no limit to the amount of fun you have in store with a job in the skies!
---By Wendy Stafford, a former flight attendant and president and senior consultant at Airline Inflight Resources, a professional interview coaching company devoted exclusively to airlines. Visit her website at http://www.airlineinflight.com
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 hiring requirements.
Virtually every airline requires that you have a high school degree or Government Equivalency Degree (G.E.D.) If you did not finish high school or have not passed the G.E.D., do not bother to apply for a job as a flight attendant. You absolutely won't get hired without a high school degree (or equivalent).
When you review each airline’s minimum hiring qualifications, you should realize that these are merely minimums. More is always better, especially when it comes to education. Just because you have a high school degree, do not expect to walk into an airline employment office, show your diploma and get hired.
Many airlines look favorably upon applicants who have tried to better themselves by pursuing higher education. A recent study shows that over one-half of all flight attendants hired have at least one year of college under their belt, and over one-third have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. A few even have Master’s degrees or Doctorate’s; these types of advanced degrees are certainly not required for the job, but will be helpful if you plan on pursuing a management or supervisory position someday.
Additionally, if you are lacking customer service experience, many airlines will overlook this "weakness" if you have a college education behind you. Hiring departments believe that college experience makes applicants more mature and better able to handle the many challenges and responsibilities that come with being a flight attendant.
Customer Service Experience
Customer service experience is typically not a firm requirement; meaning, you can usually apply without it. However, a lack of customer service experience makes getting hired that much more difficult. Customer service experience will give you a clear competitive advantage in your quest to become a flight attendant.
Remember that you will be working in front of the public on a regular basis. From greeting, serving and assisting passengers to making announcements, you will always be representing the company in a customer service role. Because it is very important to project a positive image, airlines are very careful about selecting candidates who have experience working with the public.
Most people do not even realize that they have a customer service background. If you have ever worked in an environment in which you had to deal with the public on a regular basis, you have customer service experience. This can include working in a retail clothing store, waiting tables in a restaurant, answering telephones in a corporate environment, etc.
However, if you do not have any customer service experience, you should not despair. You may have a more difficult time than others who do, but it won't preclude you from landing the job, especially if you excel in other qualification areas. For example, the airlines will usually substitute a college education (even without a degree) for a lack of customer service experience.
Fluency in a second language, such as French, Spanish, German, Japanese, or Chinese is a major plus in the eyes of flight attendant hiring departments; however, most airlines are only concerned with your ability to speak English. Fluency in English is a must. If you cannot speak English effectively, you won't get hired by a U.S. airline.
Very few airlines require you to be able to speak a second language. Airlines that have a second language preference do so because of certain international destinations. On these routes, a designated Language of Destination/Origin (also called LOD/O - pronounced "low-doe") flight attendant is assigned to the flight. Such positions are usually awarded to senior flight attendants, making these jobs difficult to obtain even for qualified applicants. Pay is also higher for LOD/O qualified flight attendants - approximately $1.50 to $2.00 higher per hour.
Every major U.S. airline requires you to be a U.S. Citizen or registered alien with legal right to accept employment in the U.S., plus the right to travel to and from the countries the airline s