11 Worries Stopping You from Reaching Your Cabin Crew Dream

This is a list of 11 worries I compiled from all the questions and emails I get on a daily basis from my readers.

Some of these questions and worries may be things that are in the mind of the vast majority of people, while some others may be something you are considering for the first time as you are reading this article. As with every worry, it all comes down to confidence and how we each perceive ourselves.


The age requirement published by the airlines only covers the minimum age. You must be at least 21 years old for the application to be considered valid. This is considered the age of majority in the Middle East.
What about the upper age limit?
In some countries where recruitment agencies handle the pre-screening, an upper age limit is published. In many countries this is an illegal requirement. I have readers who worry they are too old at 25, 32 or 38. They all ask “what age is too old?” This has nothing to do with their actual date of birth, but more with how they perceive this matter and more importantly how they perceive themselves. If you think that being older means you have more experience and maturity, this question doesn’t even pop in your mind. If however you think of this job strictly from the “looks” prospective, you might start worrying.
So let me ask you this:

Where are you in your life? Are you trying to reinvent yourself? Are you planning to completely change your career path? Would this be a reasonable plan if you were aiming at a different industry?

What if you worked all you life in IT and now you want to become an interior designer? Or you are a florist who wants to be a civil engineer? What are the odds? Extend the same thinking process to the cabin crew career.

For the airlines in the Middle East, you do have a chance to be hired as a cabin crew in your late 20s, early 30s, late 30s and even early 40s. During the interview, you have to demonstrate the ability to deliver extraordinary customer service, willingness to learn and wisdom to know when to apply your skills and talents. But the most pressing issues for the airlines when considering older candidates are:

How will you be able to cope with the reality that your in-flight manager is probably younger than you? Would you resist or contribute?

Are you physically able to cope with the long hours, irregular schedule and demanding conditions? Would you continue to be in good health or become a medical insurance liability?

How would it feel for you to have a flatmate with the energy, hobbies and passions of a 21 year old. Would you have conflicts, ask to be moved and constantly complain or get along together?

These are valid issues and any employer wants to take all precautions to minimize probabilities of complications for their staff later on.

2. Weight and height

You must be at least 160cm to apply and the vertical arm reach must be 212cm without shoes.
Etihad Airways
The minimum requirement is only a vertical arm reach of 210cm which needs to be achieved without shoes. No height requirement is published.
Qatar Airways
When applying online with Qatar Airways, the question of your height being at least 157.5cm comes up, however it is not published as a minimum height rule. The vertical arm reach must be 212cm on tip toes.

All three airlines use BMI to calculate a normal proportion between weight and height. As long as your BMI falls between the normal ranges, you will be fine.
Click here to calculate your BMI.

3. Beauty

This topic comes up a lot and it is masked by very specific questions related to the body parts which make the person feel less secure: teeth, hair, skin, etc.

The question everybody wants to ask is: “Do I have to look like a supermodel to get this job?” But actually, the underlying question is “Am I good enough?”

Read here the 8 tips to become confident for the Cabin Crew Interview

To answer specific questions:
Teeth – Your teeth must be clean, cavity free and your smile pleasant. Dental perfection is not a requirement. Crowns and implants are allowed as long as the visible ones look natural. Braces are not allowed. Visible gold teeth and dental tattoos are not permitted. You smile must be pleasant and this is the only requirement.
Hair – Any length of hair is acceptable if you can style it neatly and business-like for the interview.
Braids and weaves are allowed but they must be neatly styled and properly kept.
The grooming regulations are different for each airline and you will learn about them once you are there, but for the interview, these are the expectations.
For men, a completely bold head is not acceptable as a choice of hairstyle. If you have a medical condition that causes you to lose hair, that is fine, otherwise it must be neatly cut and styled. Facial hair is not accepted.
Skin – For any medical issues related to your skin such as excessive dryness, acne, redness, you must first seek a specialist’s opinion. Makeup can do wonders at covering up what needs to be covered up, but porcelain skin is once again, not one of the minimum requirements.

4. Location

Wherever you are in the world, if your passport allows you to travel freely to all the airline destinations (with or without visas), you have a chance to be hired.

Interviews however are not organized in all countries. The decision for the airline to recruit in a certain country is dictated by the following factors:
Current number of cabin crew from the country
All airlines pride themselves for the diversity of their crew. If there are large numbers of cabin crew from your country already employed with the airline, it will be less likely for them to look to add even more crew from that location.
Each airline aims to have at least one native language speaker for each destination they fly to. If a new destination is launched to let’s say Finland, they will be looking to hire cabin crew able to speak Finnish.
General level of English
Some countries have large numbers of people studying and speaking English fluently. This makes the location more likely to be visited for interviews.

So if your country is not visited often, or at all, here are your options:
Emirates – You can apply online for an invitation only assessment day, and with the same invitation you can participate in any recruitment event around the world or travel to an Open Day event in another country. All the expenses should be supported by you.
Etihad – You can apply online. You will be asked your preferred interview location. If you are willing to travel, you can apply for an invitation for any of the locations where the airline is conducting recruitment events.
Qatar Airways – The airline organizes mostly CV drop off events and Open days where it is not compulsory you pre-register online or obtain an invitation. You must be willing and able to travel to these locations at your own cost.

5. Medical Issues

There is a long list of medical conditions which might prevent candidates from successfully passing the medical test. Once again, each airline is different, but the common sense rule is:
-you must be free of any transmittable disease and
-whatever condition you have, it must not interfere with your daily life.
I know this is a broad description, but it pretty much covers the basics.
For example, if you have chronic back pain, it interferes with you daily life and it will affect your job performance. Severe motion sickness is once again an example of a condition not accepted by the airlines.
This part of the article should not be used as an example or medical advice. You must discuss your health concerns with a qualified aviation doctor.

6. Tattoos and Piercings

Tattoos have become very common, however, body art is not appreciated in this industry. If you want to be a flight attendant, you must be ink free in the following areas of your body: arms, legs, neck, face. If you are considering laser treatment to remove your tattoos, you should not be hoping the recruiters will see what a great potential you have and then start pursuing the removal once you are hired.

You should not participate in an interview before your tattoo is fully removed.

The only visible piercings allowed are ear piercings (one in each ear) and earrings for ladies. No piercings and jewelry wearing for men are permitted.
If you have piercings in your nose, lip or eyebrows and there is no visible hole when you remove the jewelry, then it is all fine. You must be willing to remove the jewelry from your facial piercings.
If your ears are not pierced, you should not pierce them to get the job. It is not required.

7. Scars and Birth marks

Scars can be from chicken-pox marks, stitches, cuts or burns.
If you have any marks on your face, neck, arms or legs, you need to see if they can be concealed with make-up, masked by hair or hid under pantyhose.
If you can do that, the scars should not be a problem.
If you are a man, then you only have to worry about your face and neck, as the uniform consists of long sleeved shirt and long pants. Man are not allowed to put on make-up while wearing the uniform, so the standards are more rigid here.
Scars can fade in time with laser treatments or by using ointments such as BioOil.
Small birth marks are fine. Larger or darker ones must not be visible while wearing the uniform.

8. Languages

The only language requirement is fluency in English. If you are able to converse in any other language, it is a great advantage. This is the case especially if the airlines operates flights to destinations where the language is used.
You are not required to speak Arabic, however if you do, it is considered an advantage.

9. Marital status and kids

This is another hot topic. There are many rumors and preconceptions regarding this and it mostly has to do with the contract that is being offered. It is called a single status contract because the benefits offered by the airline, such as free accommodation and transport, medical insurance, life insurance, annual leave ticket and many more are being offered only to you, the employee. Your spouse or children are not part of this contract, hence they can’t live in the company provided accommodation or have life insurance paid by the airline.
This however doesn’t mean you will not be hired if you have a spouse or children. It only means that if you want your spouse and children to relocate as well, you will be responsible of all the arrangements that need to be done. Applying for housing allowance and sponsoring their residence visa might not be possible in the first 6 months of probation.

Being married shouldn’t interfere with how you perform at your work, regardless which work that is.

10. Previous Experience

You do not need to have any previous experience in an airline or any previous work experience at all.
Customer service experience is considered an advantage because during the interview you will be able to provide answers and demonstrate that you already practiced some of the skills required for the job.
You can be hired straight out of school, in which case the interview questions will be focused on your experience with colleagues at school, exam pressure, professors or conflict management.

11. Flight Attendant Certificate

To become a qualified flight attendant for any of the airlines in the Middle East, you must be trained in their own aviation academies and pass all the required the exams to obtain a Flight Attendant License from the local Civil Aviation Authority.

A flight attendant license obtained in your country is not required and it can’t be considered a valid document to operate flights in another country.

Don’t waste your resources on private cabin crew courses. Unless the course will teach you how to be successful at the interview with the specific airline you want to work for, it will not be relevant information.

This is a top 11 worries that I compiled from all the questions and emails I get on a daily basis from my readers. If you have anything to add that was not covered, you can add a comment below and you will receive an answer within 3 days.

Get the step by step application process for each airline in ‘How to Become a Flight Attendant for airlines in the Middle East’ Get the book NOW


  • Sarswati

    Reply Reply April 9, 2017

    Hi I have cut mark on my arm is there any possibility of my selection.i want to be a cabin crew

    • Kara

      Reply Reply April 12, 2017

      It really depends on how big and visible it is.

  • sakshi

    Reply Reply April 6, 2017

    Hey.. I just got my eyesight corrected through lasik treatment a month back. Now I have a 6/6 vision.am I eligible to apply for cabin crew?

    • Kara

      Reply Reply April 9, 2017


  • Kath Buencamino

    Reply Reply March 6, 2017

    What if i didn’t declare my scar on my right leg? it is below my knee. should i need to declare it or just conceal it?

    • Kara

      Reply Reply March 10, 2017

      You should always be truthful Kath. But of the scar is soo small it can almost not be noticed, you don’t have to declare it. But if it’s visible, then you should always tell the truth.

  • Mattia

    Reply Reply February 15, 2017

    Hi Kara!
    And how about epatitis b? Unfortunately I realised to nave it after sending my applicati in… Now I fell gold, I’m under control, taking medicine that stops the disease. Bit can I still dreaming ti fly?

    • Kara

      Reply Reply February 16, 2017

      Mattia, unfortunately you will not qualify for a residence visa if you test positive for Hepatitis B. I’m sorry.

  • Atessa

    Reply Reply February 11, 2017

    Thank you!

  • Maria

    Reply Reply December 17, 2016

    Hi kara!,

    I just want to know if its possible to be a cabin crew with a mole on the face..i was thinking that it might be the problem why i dont even have the chance to be part of any airlines. Im having a mole on my cheek and its totally black.

    • Kara

      Reply Reply December 18, 2016

      Hi Maria,

      It actually depends on how it looks and how noticeable it is. Most airlines wouldn’t mind, however there are some for which grooming is an extremely strict part of their brand.
      All you need to do is apply and see what the outcome is.
      Good luck!

  • Annita

    Reply Reply December 6, 2016

    Hi Kara,i must say am very impressed with ur unselfish love you show us by providing us with such information.May God bless u dear.Me am Athmatic but I know how to take care of myself rather my situation.So do I stand a chance to to be given the job after providing my medical reports n they notice my problem

    • Kara

      Reply Reply December 12, 2016

      Do you mean you suffer from asthma Annita?

    • Annita

      Reply Reply December 16, 2016

      Yes Kara but it’s not sivere,not the dangerous attacks,where by if am to get an attack I will first feel it then when I take my medicine I get well with a simple rest.And in most cases if I don’t tell am Asthmatic u will never know,because it always comes just like flu and cough…so my dear do I have a chance to have the job or I just quit.Thanks alot Kara may God bless u

      • Kara

        Reply Reply December 17, 2016

        Before I say anything else, I want to remind you that I am not an aviation doctor and so my opinion is not in any way an official response.
        As far as I am aware, you can be hired as a cabin crew if you have asthma as long as it is well controlled by medication approved by an aviation doctor.
        Good luck 🙂

  • Veronica

    Reply Reply December 2, 2016

    Hi Kara !

    I want to apply for Etihad cabin crew job. They will ask me about 2 service letters. But if I’ve worked in one place more 2 years i can provide only one? Because my previous company was broke and i can’t ask them for letter.

    So, one letter would be ok?

    Thank’s Kara !

    • Kara

      Reply Reply December 3, 2016

      Yes Veronica, the Etihad recruitment team will tell you what documents to submit if your particular case doesn’t match the standard. Don’t worry about it.

    • Annita

      Reply Reply December 22, 2016

      Thanks alot Kara dear,I was on the virtual of giving it all away,but atleast now I have all the hopes.May God bless u And thanks again

      • Kara

        Reply Reply December 22, 2016

        Anytime Annita!

  • Frankie Baliwag Garde Jr.

    Reply Reply November 22, 2016

    Can I still be a flight attendant even if I have a mild color blindness? Hoping for your response ASAP

    • Kara

      Reply Reply November 23, 2016

      Hi Frankie. Would you be able to pass an Ishihara test?

  • Anna

    Reply Reply October 31, 2016

    Hi Kara!

    I have some question. Since i was small i have problems with the thyroid gland (the nodal formation).I checked it every year so far so good . I feel also good.
    Kara how you think it can stop me to become a cabin crew?

    Thank you!

    • Kara

      Reply Reply November 7, 2016

      It is acceptable if it’s well controlled, Anna. This, however, can only be established by an aviation doctor. I hope this helps you.

  • Eve

    Reply Reply October 26, 2016

    I have nothing to say apart from singing for you be blessed be be blessed be blessed just be blessed and be blessed dear Kara

    • Kara

      Reply Reply October 28, 2016

      Thank you Eve.

  • leticia

    Reply Reply October 25, 2016

    Hi Kara

    I have low blood pressure will it affect my application for cabin crew ?

    • Kara

      Reply Reply October 26, 2016

      Do you need to take any medicine for this condition and does it affect your daily life Leticia?

  • Amealizah

    Reply Reply September 18, 2016

    Hello Kara,
    Thanks for this article, really helpful.
    I have a question regarding birth marks. I have this mole on my right cheek, its not that big and not too small, do I still have a chance?

    • Kara

      Reply Reply September 20, 2016

      Yes Amealizah, you should be fine.

      • Amealizah

        Reply Reply October 6, 2016

        Hi Kara, thankyou for replying 😊😊

  • Anna

    Reply Reply September 10, 2016

    Hello Kara, i need some clarify, scoliosis is acceptable for working for aeroline?

    • Kara

      Reply Reply September 14, 2016

      It depends on the Cobbs angle. How much is yours?

      • Anna

        Reply Reply September 14, 2016

        I think about plus or minus 20 degrees

        • Kara

          Reply Reply September 14, 2016

          The information I have is that an acceptable level of scoliosis is anything less than 30 degrees.
          This, however, is not coming from an official source. Flight Attendant Central is not an airline and we are not medical professionals. You can only know this for sure once you discuss your situation directly with an airline medical representative.

  • Veronica

    Reply Reply September 5, 2016

    Kara , how do you think if i’m 29 years old i have less chance of being hired to work than others who are younger or same chances?
    My second question is , b2 english level enough for successful completion AD?

    • Kara

      Reply Reply September 6, 2016

      That’s not true Veronica. I have readers in their late 30s who were hired.
      As far as English proficiency, you need to be fluent.

  • Gracious

    Reply Reply July 25, 2016

    hi Mam Kara,l do meet all the minimum requirements to be a cabin crew member,but my only worry is that l have freckles on my face.Is there a problem with that?thanks Mam,ur response will be much of help and appreciated.

    • Kara

      Reply Reply July 26, 2016

      Gracious, freckles are fine as long as you can conceal them with makeup.

  • Emma

    Reply Reply July 22, 2016

    I really love this info .
    Im only 18 yrs old turning 19 … my dream is to be part of cabin crew… i really want to be a flight stewardess .. i have pleasant smile but my teeth .. they are not complete .. but my front teeth when i smile is okay .. what advice can you give me .. ? Im preparing for this . By the way im 3rd year college studying business administration.. thankyou 🙂

    • Kara

      Reply Reply July 26, 2016

      As I said in the article Emma, dental perfection is not a minimum requirement. Your teeth must be clean and cavity free and your smile pleasant. Go and see a dentist and see if there is anything that can be done. I suspect it might affect your confidence level.

  • Hajar

    Reply Reply June 28, 2016

    Hi Kara !
    My dream since childhood is to become a cabin crew , my only worry is that i’m not 160cm but I my arms can reach 212cm easly , is that will be a problem ?
    Thank u

    • Kara

      Reply Reply June 30, 2016

      It’s not a problem for Qatar and Etihad, but if you want to apply for Emirates you must be minimum 160cm.

  • jusen

    Reply Reply May 30, 2016

    am too much worried abot dat am too skinny,and my bmi is just okei,nd my legs hve some scars also,is this is any problem and my arms reach only 211.5 cm,

    • Kara

      Reply Reply June 2, 2016

      If your BMI is within normal limits, you are fine.
      As for your legs, the scars shouldn’t be visible while wearing skin colored pantyhose.
      Your arm reach must be 212cm if you want to apply for Qatar or Emirates, 210cm if you want to apply for Etihad.

  • Joyce

    Reply Reply April 16, 2016

    Hi Kara,
    Thanks for your answer and for renewing my hope of what was a childhood dream. Am feeling so positive ever since I landed on this blog. Your advice is very succinct and just what I so much needed. Am going for it now no matter the obstacles. Thanks again and remain blessed.

    • Kara

      Reply Reply April 21, 2016

      Positive vibes your way Joyce. All the best!

  • Mirshal Azeez

    Reply Reply April 11, 2016

    Can boys apply to be a flight attendant or to be in the cabin crew ?
    If yes, what are the requirements ?

    • Kara

      Reply Reply April 12, 2016

      Absolutely Mirshal. The requirements are exactly the same. You can find them on the official careers page of the airline you are interested to join.

  • Joyce

    Reply Reply April 6, 2016

    Hi Kara,
    Thanks for the answers you give so very beautifully. Kindly let me know if a missing toe nail or nails but completely healed would be considered as medical unfitness. Would one need to declare such to the recruitment team if their application were successful? Thanks in advance.

    • Kara

      Reply Reply April 8, 2016

      What do you mean by missing toe nail but completely healed Joyce? Do you still have the nail?
      For the feet it shouldn’t be a problem, but for the hands you shouldn’t have any major visible defects.


    Reply Reply March 14, 2016

    Hi Kara!

    Thanks for the article it helps me to boost my confident in applying in an F.A position. Actually I’ve already submitted my cv in one of the airlines here in Middle East.I already passed their online assessment and now I’m proceeding in the next stage which is their online interview.
    I’m just quite worried of my teeth. Just want to ask if does teeth really matters in applying with this position? what if my lower teeth is not complete.. is denture allowed?

    thanking you in advance.
    More Power

    • Kara

      Reply Reply March 22, 2016


      Dental perfection is not one of the minimum requirements to become a flight attendant. If you have a pleasant smile and your teeth are clean and cavity free you should be fine. Good luck!

  • Esther

    Reply Reply March 5, 2016

    Hi Kara,
    Thanks for the article. I have always wanted to be a cabin crew ever since i was young but life got in the way of my dreams. This has renewed my hope to start working on myself again and build my cv so i can apply hopefully by next year. Wish me luck

    • Kara

      Reply Reply March 8, 2016

      Fingers crossed for you Esther 🙂

  • asia bano

    Reply Reply February 18, 2016

    I’m asia shabbir …I want to apply as cabin crew ….my age is 28 can I?

    • Kara

      Reply Reply February 24, 2016

      Of course Asia. Re-read the article above.

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