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Ask the Recruiter – Flight Attendant Requirements – Part III


I have been very interested in becoming a Flight Attendant for a long time, but I am not sure I have the minimum flight attendant requirements. Can you please list the minimum qualifications necessary to become a flight attendant?


This week, we continue with our three-part series on qualifications you will need to become a flight attendant. This week, we focus on Language skills, Citizenship, Relocation, Appearance, Company Physical and Background Check.

Language Skills

If you are proficient in a second language in addition to English, you will be very competitive. Today, many of the larger carriers like American, Delta and United are expanding their route structures into Europe, Asia and Central and South America and are seeking candidates who can assume the role of language speaking flight attendants. Just remember, even if you are fluent in a particular language, proficiency in English is still a firm requirement. Some of the languages airlines are seeking are: Chinese, Cantonese, Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian, Mandarin, French, German and Korean. Second language speakers on flights also receive additional pay.


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 serves.

You are also required to have a social security card and, in many instances, a passport. If you do not have a passport, it might be a good idea to get one now by clicking here. They take just a few weeks to obtain.


Every major airline requires that you be willing to relocate to any of the listed flight attendant domiciles.


The airlines are very particular about hiring individuals who have a neat and attractive appearance. After all, flight attendants are the only employees to have direct, continuous contact with the traveling public. No matter what the marketing department propagates over the airwaves or in print, flight attendants must look neat and professional in order for the airline to develop an appealing brand identity.

Typically, airlines do not permit visible tattoos, body piercings (save for your ears), long hair on men, “rebellious” hairstyles, bizarre or offensive-looking makeup or jewelry, poorly manicured hands, etc. All airlines are different. For example, some do not even permit facial hair on men! During training, you will be given specific grooming regulations which must be strictly adhered to.

Company Physical and Background Check

If you have thoroughly read through the minimum hiring requirements (above), you may be thinking it would be easy enough to “cheat” a little bit during the application process – maybe say you are a year older or an inch taller than you actually are, or fail to mention that DWI conviction you had three years ago. You do not want to do this, trust us! Airlines have a couple of ways to determine whether applicants have lied on their application about their age, height, past use of drugs, work history, or any other area that would preclude them from landing the job.

Every airline administers a company physical examination to every new-hire. During this exam, an airline is able to detect whether you lied on your application about your height, whether you have a drug or alcohol problem, or whether your past medical history shows anything adverse that would disqualify you from getting the job. Since you are given a urinalysis during this physical, it is very important that you inform the examiners of any medications you might be taking.

In addition to the medical exam, there is also a thorough background check. During the background check, which can go back as many as 10 years, virtually everything about you is investigated – your age, place of birth, school records, criminal records (if any), etc. If an airline finds that you lied on your application or you have any sort of criminal record, you will be immediately dismissed.

Please email your Ask the Recruiter questions to: [email protected]

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Ask the Recruiter – Flight Attendant Requirements – Part III


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