Traveling around the world on a modern aircraft, meeting lots of new people, and having a sizeable salary. That sounds like a very desirable job, doesn’t it? Well, it takes much more than just desire to become a stewardess. These young women who keep our flights safe and comfortable have to meet many criteria to get their job.
WeGoRo has gathered the most unusual requirements that airlines set for their flight attendants.
In many airlines, such as Ryanair, stewardesses have to be able to swim at least 65 ft (20 m). British Airways stewardesses have to be able to swim at least 164 ft (50 m). It’s a necessary skill to have in case there is an emergency landing on water.
Airlines want to see their stewardesses with their hair neatly styled so that it does not interrupt their work. British Airways demands that their employees do not have their hair longer than shoulder-length.
Most airlines demand that flight attendants have no noticeable tattoos that are impossible to cover and no piercings.
In case a plane has to land in the wild, Brazilian company TAM Airlines conducts special jungle survival and orientation courses for their workers.
Stewardesses often have to help passengers place their bags in special compartments under the ceiling. That is why they have to be strong enough, as the luggage can be quite heavy sometimes. Air New Zealand demands their flight attendants be able to lift 22 pounds (10 kg) of weight to a height of 5′ 7″ with both legs on the floor and without lifting themselves up.
This may be a condition to obtain the position of a stewardess in some airlines.
For stewardesses in many airlines, it is prohibited to have long fingernails. Hawaiian Airlines, for example, has set the maximum nail length from the tip of the finger at 0.1 inch (3 mm).
Jet Airways only hires single stewardesses. However, this only applies to "inexperienced" workers, while those with experience are allowed to be married.
Every airline has its own requirements, but on average, to become a stewardess, a woman has to be from 5′ 2″ (158 cm) to 6′ 2“ (188 cm). The height a stewardess can reach is also quite important. For instance, Emirates needs its flight attendants to be able to reach a height of 6′ 11” (212 cm).
Most airlines don’t require their stewardesses to have a perfect body shape. They usually just need to have their weight proportional to their height according to the body mass index. That will be enough to fit the requirements of Czech Airlines.
The French company Aigle Azur went even further. It determined the "perfect" hips size for their flight attendants to be not more than 39 inches (100 cm).
Most airlines don’t have strict age limitations for hiring stewardesses. However, the American company Delta Air Lines is quite categorical in this aspect: they only hire people under 25.
American Airlines requires their stewardesses to come to work with all their visible armpit, nose, and ear hair removed.
People don’t always behave well onboard a plane, and it takes a lot of effort to calm some of them down. What is more, there is always a chance of a criminal infiltrating the plane. That’s why Hong Kong Airlines considers it useful to conduct kung fu classes for their stewardesses.
The job of a stewardess is one of the most competitive in China. That is why the requirements are getting stricter year after year. Stewardess training looks more like military training: young women are tough martial artists who can stand patiently with a bottle on their head and a sheet of paper between their knees for good posture. And one of the strangest requirements in China Southern Airlines: their legs have to be straight — no X or O-shaped legs!