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Ideal Flight Attendant Candidate

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!

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To be able to attend flight attendant job interview one has to fulfill the eligibility criteria laid down by the airlines.  Once you have been in this job, most would find it difficult to remove themselves from the grip of this glamorous and highly rewarding career.  One also needs to know what happens in a flight attendant training, the various emergency, safety, customer care and grooming training sessions conducted by the airlines.


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