What is the Cabin Crew Age Limit? Flight Attendant Age Requirements

Age is still a deciding factor when hiring flight attendants, even in this day and age. Airlines are still secretly looking at age of cabin crew applicants and considering the pros and cons. Depending on the airline, the minimum age requirement to become a flight attendant is between 18 to 21 years old.

The maximum age is not easily identified by most airlines due to varying factors such as appearance, fitness level, BMI, etc. Though we can all agree based on our flying experience that flight attendants are usually young.

Based on United States strict discrimination and labor laws, there is no maximum age to become a flight attendant. In general, it’s worth noting that the retirement age there is around 65 years old. For the rest of the airlines around the world, especially Asia, Africa and Middle East, the question of age limit is a grey area.

Also Read: Understanding Cabin Crew Roster and Flight Attendant Schedule

So if you’re wondering what the cabin crew age limit is, it really depends on the airline you’re applying to. Make sure to do your research and find an airline that has an age limit that you meet. Here we share more details about why it is an integral factor in the application process.

emirates ek flight attendant uniforms
Image: Emirates

Average Age of Flight Attendants

The average age of flight attendants is 32, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with most falling in the 25- to 34-year-old age bracket. The minimum age requirement for flight attendants is 21.

There are some airlines that are more lenient when it comes to age requirements, but they are typically regional or smaller carriers. For the major airlines, the average age limit for flight attendants is between 27 and 32 years old.

Why is Age so important for the flight attendant job?

The main reason behind having an age limit for flight attendants is because of the demanding job requirements. It’s a physically and emotionally demanding job, and it can be tough on your body if you’re not in good shape.

There are physical demands that come with the job of being a flight attendant such as the need to be able to lift heavy luggage, maneuver through tight spaces, and stand for long periods of time. These physical demands can be tough on your body, and airlines want to make sure that their employees can handle them.

Being younger usually means that you’re more likely to be able to handle the demands of the job.

While the cabin crew age limit may seem unfair, there are some exceptions that can be made. If you have experience working in customer service or flying, you may be able to get a job as a flight attendant even if you’re over the age limit. And if you’re a student, some airlines offer programs that allow you to start working as a flight attendant while you finish your degree.

singapore airlines flight attendants male and female

At what age can I become a flight attendant?

The minimum start age to apply for flight attendants varies depending on the airline. Some airlines allow persons with a starting age of 18 years old to work as a cabin crew, while some require that the applicant be 21 years old.

What is the Maximum age limit for flight attendants?

Meeting or waiting to meet the minimum age to apply is easy. But what about for those of us who are already at least 25 years old? Or for those who are over 30? Is it too late to become a flight attendant? It is typical for some of us to wonder if we are already too old to apply for a flight attendant job.

Based on US strict discrimination and labor laws, there is no maximum age to become a flight attendant. In general, it’s worth noting that the retirement age there is around 65 years old. For the rest of the world, especially Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, the question of age limit is a grey area. Be advised that some airlines have an age cap of 50 years old.

air canada male and female flight attendants
Image: Air Canada

Age of Women Flight Attendants and Pregnancy

A lot of women who apply as cabin crew will eventually want to build a family and have children. The typical age to get married and have children varies depending on many factors including nationality and culture however it is usually at least 25 years old.

A flight attendant placed on Maternity Leave is therefore not able to perform her duties all throughout her pregnancy (and a few months afterward) as opposed to a male flight attendant, or someone who let’s say has an office job where she can still be a productive employee on a business standpoint even if she’s into her 9th month of pregnancy. That is why typically, there are younger female cabin crews getting hired.

MEA airlines Air Liban female flight attendants
Image: Middle East Airlines

Cabin Crew Maternity Leave vs Airline Business Need

There are also strict aviation laws that require minimum flight attendants per flight depending on the type and size of the aircraft. An airline is not allowed to fly an aircraft with less than the minimum number of crews required should there be safety and emergency situations. So if there are female flight attendants who go on maternity leave, it will affect the airline operations.

Heavy fines are imposed on airlines violating such laws and not to mention the damage to the reputation this can affect. Any other business such as a restaurant or an office can still open and operate with bare minimum of employees present, even with pregnant women.

Again, this is an unwritten observation only and it’s not something written in the rule books.

Dome may call it discrimination but to others, it’s a business need. An airline needs to ensure that they are not flying with an understaffed crew as this could affect safety and customer service.

If the airline does not have a maximum age indicated in the job posting, can I still apply as a cabin crew?

Technically, YES. You can still apply for the said position because there is nothing mentioned. So don’t be discouraged if you are in the older age bracket.

hawaiian airlines male and female flight attendants
Image: Hawaiian Airlines

Why do Airlines Prefer Younger Cabin Crew?

This is because the airlines will invest in you and they would want applicants who would stay longer with the company.

Another thing to take into consideration is that a flight attendant job is unlike any other ordinary 9-5 office job. A flight attendant’s work hours are irregular, unpredictable, and ever-changing. They are also on their feet for long periods of time and often have to deal with jet lag. All these factors can be more challenging as we age.

So, while the cabin crew age limit is not an official rule set in stone by any airline, it is something that is taken into consideration by most airlines when hiring new flight attendants.

If you are over the age of 30 and are interested in becoming a flight attendant, you may have to work a little harder to convince the airline that you are physically and mentally up for the challenge. But it is not impossible, and there are many successful older cabin crew members out there. So don’t let your age hold you back from applying for your dream job!

Video: Flight Attendant Age and Why it Matters

Here’s a video about the age of cabin crew for overseas airlines. This gives an explanation of the rules on the age limit for this position. She discusses about age requirements for Singapore Airlines.

Video: Qatar Airways Age Requirements

Here’s another video that discusses the age requirement if you wish to apply as a cabin crew for Qatar Airways. Let this be a guide for your reference:

Summary

While there is no set maximum age limit to become a flight attendant, most airlines take an applicant’s age into consideration when hiring. There are many factors that go into being a successful flight attendant, and having children or being pregnant can be one of them.

If you have dreams to work as a flight attendant, it’s really important that you can start early at a younger age and while you’re still single. As this a great opportunity for you to experience the world and also earn a good salary. The job does have its challenges, such as long hours, night shifts, and odd working patterns, but it is still a very rewarding job.

If you are interested in becoming a flight attendant and are over the age of 30, don’t let that stop you! There are many things to consider when applying for this job, and your age is just one factor.