If you want to become a flight attendant, you might be wondering if there are any height restrictions.
While the height requirements for flight attendants can vary slightly by airline, a flight attendant must typically be in the range of 5 feet 2 inches (159 cm) to 6 feet 3 inches (192 cm) without shoes.
Some airlines also require aspiring flight attendants to perform an arm reach test.
This is when applicants, without wearing any shoes, are asked to raise their hand to see if they can reach a mark on a wall, which is at around 6 feet 9 inches high.
Minimum Height to Be a Flight Attendant
While it can vary by airline, fight attendants have to be at least 5 feet 2 inches.
Some airlines, however, permit their flight attendants to be as short as 4 feet 11 inches, though the person will still need to be able to reach the overhead bins.
This is why passing the arm reach test, if offered, is important.
Maximum Height to Be a Flight Attendant
Again, it can vary by airline, but in some cases you can be too tall to be a flight attendant.
Depending on the airline, if you are 6 feet 3 inches or taller, you may be too tall.
Typically, regional airlines are more likely to have maximum height restrictions than international carriers.
What Can You Do If You’re Too Short to Be a Flight Attendant?
If your height is below the minimum height an airline requires applicants to be to become a flight attendant, not all is lost.
What airlines really care about is their flight attendants being able to reach the overhead bins.
So even if you are a bit shorter than the required minimum height, as long as you can pass the arm reach test, you might still be okay.
The good news is that your arm reach can be improved with some helpful exercises, such as the ones below.
How Tall Do You Have to Be to Become a Flight Attendant? – By Airline
- Alaska Airlines: 80 inch arm reach
- American Airlines: N/A
- Delta Airlines: N/A
- Frontier Airlines: Able to reach overhead bins with a height of 6′ 7″ and depth of 28″
- JetBlue: Able to reach 6’3 without shoes
- SkyWest: 5.0″ to 6.0″
- Southwest: N/A
- United: N/A
- British Airways: 158 cm to 186 cm (5′ 2 to 6′ 1)
- Finnair: 160 cm (5′ 3)
- Iberia: 164 cm (5′ 4)
- Lufthansa: 158 cm (5′ 2)
- Norwegian Airlines: 160 cm (5′ 3)
- KLM: 158 cm to 190 cm (5′ 2 to 6′ 5)
- Ryanair: 157 cm to 188 cm (5′ 2 to 6′ 2)
- Swiss: 158 cm (5′ 2)
- Tap: 160 cm to 190 cm (5′ 3 to 6′ 5)
- TUI Fly: 187 cm arm reach
- Virgin Atlantic: 210 cm (83 inch) arm reach
Middle East Airlines
- Air Arabia: 160 cm (5′ 3)
- Emirates: 160 cm (5′ 3). 212 cm (83 inches) arm reach while standing on tiptoes
- Etihad: 212 cm (83 inches) arm reach without shoes
- Qatar: 212 cm (83 inches) with shoes on but not on tiptoes
Australia and New Zealand
- Jetstar: Be able to reach 210 cm (83 inches) without shoes
- New Zealand Airlines: 160 cm to 185 cm (5′ 3 to 6′ 1)
- Qantas: 163 cm to 183 cm (5′ 4 to 6′)
Why Are There Height Restrictions to Become a Flight Attendant?
There are height restrictions to become a flight attendant because a person who is either too short or too tall will not be able to effectively perform the duties of what the job entails.
Why Flight Attendants Can’t Be Too Short
Someone who is too short will not be able to reach the overhead bins, which are between 72 and 82 inches high.
Contrary to popular belief, flight attendants do not need to reach the overhead bins to help passengers with their luggage.
If you think about it, do you remember the last time a flight attendant helped you put your luggage in the overhead compartment?
It’s probably hard to recall.
Flight attendants need to reach the overhead lockers to access the safety survival equipment, which is stored there – thins like oxygen bottles, emergency medical kits, smoke hoods etc.
Why Flight Attendants Can’t Be Too Tall
Someone who is too tall may not be able to move around or perform their duties throughout the cabin as effectively as someone who is shorter.
This is because some smaller aircraft do not have enough headroom, which is why regional carriers are more likely to have maximum height restrictions than international airlines.
Therefore, flight attendants must meet height requirements for the following reasons:
- To reach the safety and survival equipment stored in the overhead bins
- To access all areas on the plane
- To reduce the risk of back and spinal injuries
- To (very occasionally) help passengers with their luggage
How Strict Are Airlines At Enforcing Height Restrictions?
Considering that a flight attendant’s job is to first and foremost ensure the safety of passengers, airlines are very strict about enforcing height restrictions.
However, there may be some slight leeway if an airline states both a height and arm reach requirement, and an applicant passes the arm reach test.
In order not to waste anyone’s time, if an applicant fails the height and/or arm reach test, they will be sent home immediately – i.e. at the very first stage.
What is the Arm Reach Test?
The arm reach test involves applicants attempting to reach a mark on the wall that is placed at a certain height.
While the height that potential flight attendants need to reach can vary by airline, it’s usually at around 80 inches.
The test involves:
- Shoes must be removed
- Arm is stretched (or sometimes both arms depending on the airline)
- Feet must be flat (or sometimes on tiptoes depending on the airline)
- Palm should be flat
- Tips of fingers should reach over the mark on the wall
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