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‘No Tattoos’ And Other Airline Flight Attendant Rules

Story from: 2oceansvibe.com

Gwyneth Paltrow’s View from the Top gave us a little insight into just what it takes to not only become a flight attendant, but how to remain one, too.

Before the first female “stewardess” was hired by America’s United Airlines in 1930 and propelled female flight attendants, or “air hostesses”, into the mainstream, the first flight attendants were all male, reports The Telegraph.

Six year later, in 1936, an article in the New York Times described the ideal air hostess as:

“Petite; weight 100 to 118 pounds; height 5 feet to 5 feet 4 inches; age 20 to 26 years. Add to that the rigid physical examination each must undergo four times every year, and you are assured of the bloom that goes with perfect health.”

Then, three decades later, in 1966, a New York Times classified ad for stewardesses at Eastern Airlines listed these requirements:

“A high school graduate, single (widows and divorcees with no children considered), 20 years of age (girls 19 1/2 may apply for future consideration). 5’2″ but no more than 5’9″, weight 105 to 135 in proportion to height and have at least 20/40 vision without glasses.”

While most of those restrictions concerning height, weight and age remain today, varying slightly according to the airline, there are a few more attributes that have joined the industry’s evolving list of cabin crew requisites:

Height and arm reach

Most airlines require flight attendants to be between 5’2 and 6’2 in height (without shoes), and sometimes slightly taller for male flight attendants. Some require a specific “arm reach” height, such as with Etihad which says cabin crew must be “able to reach 210cm without shoes”, while Emirates flight attendants must have an “arm reach of 212cm while standing on tiptoes”.

How else will they stuff your oversized luggage into the overhead compartment?

Weight and body mass index (BMI)

Generally, flight attendants’ weight should be “in proportion to your height”:

“BMI is used to calculate weight – one’s body weight in kilograms is divided by the square of one’s body height in metres. BMI = body weight (kg) divided by square of height (m). A BMI = 19-24.9 is considered satisfactory”, the airline states.

Nostril hairs, teeth and other physical features

A general guideline for the physical appearance of cabin crew varies from airline to airline. American Airlines advises that:

Noticeable hair in nostrils and in/on ears or underarms must be cut or otherwise removed. 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.

Whereas Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air keeps it a little more simple:

Good oral hygiene should be practiced to ensure that the teeth present a clean, natural appearance. Breath sprays and mints are encouraged.

United Airlines also takes a strong stance on facial hair on men, saying “ trendy facial hair styles are not permitted (e.g., small patch of hair growing below lower lip)” for men and “moustaches may not extend more than ¼ inch below the sides of the mouth”.

Tattoos and piercings

As with most stipulations in the professional service industry, visible tattoos and piercings are a no-no. BA, Emirates and Etihad do not allow “any visible tattoos to be covered with cosmetics, plasters or even jewellery”, as cabin crew are expected to have “excellent personal presentation, style and image”.

Swimming skills, mental health tests and jungle training

Yup. It’s not just appearances that matter, but physical and mental attributes as well.

Some airlines require attendants to be able to swim at least 25m without any assistance, and tread water for at least a minute.

A minimum of high school level education or the equivalent is also required, and some airlines require additional training and aptitude testing, like Czech Airlines, which states:

“At first, your identity and education are verified… then there is a written and oral assessment of your language skills.

“If you pass through these stages successfully, you undergo a psychological testing at the Institute of Aviation Medicine assessing the aptitude of the applicant for the position of cabin attendant.”

And Alaska Airlines is reported to require their cabin crew to have “at least two years of customer or community service experience”.

Honestly, I would rather be served than serve, and if you feel the same, take a look at Flight Centre’s September birthday specials – you have only two days left to take advantage of up to 50% off some seriously cool destinations.

Check all you need know here, and happy flying!

[source:telegraph]

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