How to Become a Flight Attendant

Want to know how to become a flight attendant? Before you dream of a jet-setting career to exotic locations, you should know that the job can be demanding and challenging. Flight attendants are the on-board employees of an airplane who oversee the needs of passengers as well as enforce Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations. There are certain steps that must be followed before you can take to the skies, starting with finding out if you are qualified and going through the proper application procedure.

In order to become a flight attendant, you must meet certain standards, which are followed by most of the major airlines that service the United States:

  • You must be at least 21 years old to apply.
  • Your height cannot exceed 6 feet 3 inches, nor can it be less than 5 feet.
  • You must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Experience in retail services is always a plus but not necessarily a requirement.
  • You must be able to pass a background check that looks into your past 10 years.
  • You must be able to pass a drug screening test.

Application Procedure
Most of the major airlines have online application procedures, so those interested in a career as a flight attendant must fill out and submit the forms through the specified manner for each airline. If the application is worthwhile, a hiring agent will contact you for an interview.

Flight Attendant Myths
There are several misconceptions surrounding a career as a flight attendant. Some are untrue, while others are true. Here are some of the most common:

  • Airlines have a weight restriction for applicants: FALSE. Airlines no longer have a weight requirement for flight attendants. Generally, as long as the applicant can pass a physical examination and has an appropriate height-to-weight ratio, he or she is qualified.
  • Flight attendants must be certified before applying: FALSE. The airline prefers to train its own attendants in the company policies and procedures. As long as applicants meet the basic qualifications, they can be hired. There are no flight attendant schools.
  • Flight attendants get free flights for themselves as well as friends and family: TRUE. As one of the perks of the job, airlines offer free flights for flight attendants.
  • Flight attendants can earn more money if they speak a second language: TRUE. Many international airlines hire multilingual flight attendants, and they can be paid more per hour than other attendants. 
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