So a lot of people ask me on how I manage to travel so much. It’s pretty easy to guess though. I am a flight attendant! Which essentially means I get paid to travel.
I was about 4 years old when I boarded a plane for the first time. It was a Delhi-Guwahati flight. At that time the ladies in Air India used to hand out candies and as taught by my parents I could only pick one candy even though I wanted to pick them all! How unfair was that!
That’s when I wanted to be a flight attendant for the first time because who wouldn’t want all the candy! Of course, the reasons changed as I grew up but ever since I remember I wanted to fly.
I genuinely love what I do. A lot of people think that flight attendants paste silly smiles even though they are not happy doing the job. Though that might be true for some, it’s not true in my case. My job genuinely gives me happiness and I wouldn’t give it up for anything else in the world!
Now that’s out of the way, I thought I would discuss a few basic things required to be a flight attendant and how you can prepare yourself for it. Now, I’m only here to guide with my personal experiences and do not represent any Airline in any fashion.
Age Requirement- Most Domestic Airlines age requirement is 18 to 27 and International Airlines requirement is 21 to 32.
Height – Most of the Indian Airlines ask for flight attendants who are at least 5”3” and a lot of International Airlines do a reach test. They make a mark of the wall and you should be able to reach that mark barefoot (you can tip-toe thought).
Weight – An important but often looked over responsibility of a crew is to be able to evacuate in case of an emergency. Hence, flight attendants are required to have a balanced. I was rejected on my first interview as I was under weight! Long gone are those days! Check on BMI calculator.
Skin – Now, this is very tricky. Airlines do check your neck, arms and face for any marks, cuts and tattoos. Visible tattoos in these areas are a complete No No! However, little marks that can be hidden with the help of makeup are okay. Tip: Use a concealer by Krylon or Dermablend. They can help you hide the little marks.
Eye sight – Most domestic Airlines require you to have perfect eyesight or they require you to use contact lenses during the flight. However, International Airlines allow you to wear glasses during the flight.
Piercings- As flight attendants must look neat and professional at all times. You are only allowed to have one piercing in each ear for ladies. That’s it! So if you have been a Goth lover and have more piercing in your ear lobes, tongue, eye brows etc. Remove it when you go for your interview.
Body Hair– Despite what the feminist in me says, airlines require the women to be as hairless as young babies and men to be clean shaved. Eye brows and upper lips are scrutinised too (I know, I know!). Wax it or bleach it, whatever suits you best. Sikhs are however given an exception in Domestic Airlines.
Hair Styles/ Hair Colour – If you have travelled in an Airplane you have probably wondered at some point that how do the flight attendants look like each other. It is their hair! Your hair should be neatly tied in a bun or a French bun leaving absolutely no strand of hair out when you go for your interview or fly as a crew. If you have short hair it must not touch the nape of your neck. Any highlights, funky colours are a big no. Do not use a lot of hair pins they end up looking untidy as well. Men are allowed clean crew cuts or the side partings, and natural baldness is accepted as well.
Makeup – You do need to wear full makeup for the interview ladies. Eye liner, Shadow, blush, foundation, mascara and lipstick. I recommend go for a neutral eye shadow and wear a bright lipstick. Avoid doing long winged liners for the interview.
Attire – One needs to wear formal clothes for the interview. You must ensure that your clothes are properly ironed and clean for the day. If you are wearing a skirt it should not be longer or shorter than your knee. Pick a skirt which is well fitted. A well fitted shirt is a must, and don’t forget to wear a bra in your skin colour. The visible bra colour doesn’t look professional. I recommend sheer stockings to wear with the formals. Anything from a skin colour stocking to plain black stocking work well. Tip: Carry an extra pair with you in case you end up laddering your stocking.
Jewellery – There is not much you can wear with uniform so keeping that in mind wear minimal jewellery. Pearl stud earring and a sober wrist watch works just fine. Don’t wear too many rings. One in each hand.
Manicure- Yes, they notice this. Airlines are very particular about how keeping hands clean and polished. While you serve the customers they can see your hands. Give extra attention to your nail polish that it is not chipped. Tip: Wear a light coloured nail polish even if it is chipped it’s hard to notice.
Teeth – In a lot of International Airlines they do an X- ray of your teeth. Make sure your teeth are clean and flossed for the day. After all you are going to show a lot of them when you fly!
Shoes – Interviews are long and tiring. Pick shoes which are comfortable to keep you going for the day. I get very irritated when I am tired. If you get too, your interview might not go too well! Closed shoes, polished, non- smelly shoes are what you need for the day.
Smell Clean- It is possible that you can have your interview on a very hot day. So ensure you use an anti- prospering deodorant. Also, spray some perfume. Tip: Carry your perfume and deodorant with you in case you need it!
I did not go to a flight attendant school. You don’t need to either. Airlines do not prefer students from Frankinn or other institutes over you as long as you meet the criteria. Treat this like a crash course on grooming. I shall fill you in with another blog where I can discuss more about the interview. Let me know if you all have any questions in the comments section.