Flight Attendant Physical Requirements

Minimum physical requirements for becoming a flight attendant varies. Here are some guidelines with respect to the current airline requirements.

Weight and Health

Airlines used to have stringent height-to-weight guidelines for flight attendants; however, due to a number of recent discrimination lawsuits, most airlines are simply looking for your height and weight to be proportional.

Today, it is more important to be in good shape than to look like a super model. Airlines need people with the necessary strength to open emergency doors, the agility to attend to passengers in sometimes cramped working conditions, and the stamina to survive 16-hour days. An overweight or out-of-shape person may not have the necessary strength, agility or stamina to perform. We recommend getting yourself into good physical shape before initial training.

The airlines also want healthy people. You will be in contact with thousands of passengers each week, both in the airport and in small airplane cabins (most with recycled air). You will need a strong immune system to ward off illness and a healthy body to bounce back from sometimes grueling 4-day trips. A history of personal illness, drug or alcohol abuse, or a bad family medical history could dissuade certain airlines from hiring you.

All airlines are required by law to administer comprehensive physicals to new-hires. Before applying, make sure you are in good health and drug-free. If you do not pass the physical, you will probably be dismissed by the airline.


Most flight attendants are between 5'2" and 5'9" tall. Outside of this normal range, certain airlines have minimum and maximum height requirements.

A very short person may have difficulty reaching the overhead compartments in an airplane, which are typically between 6' and 6'10" inches high. Some airlines have no minimum height requirement, but do require you to pass a reach test. The reach test is nothing more than a demonstration of your ability to reach all the necessary components inside an airplane's cabin.

You can perform a reach test on your own. Simply grab a tape measure, measure out a distance of 6'10" from the floor, and mark it on the wall. If you can reach the mark in bare feet, chances are you will pass any airline's reach test.

If you find you do not meet the minimum height requirement for any of the major airlines, do not let this discourage you. You can always apply to be a flight attendant for a commuter airline; commuter aircraft are much smaller, making height less critical.

Conversely, if you are a little on the tall side, most major airlines' maximum height requirement is right around 6’2". If you are taller than 6'2", keep in mind that you will be working in small galleys and may find it difficult to work 8-hour days in such a cramped environment.

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