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Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Requirements – Complete Guide!

Dreaming of becoming a Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant but wondering what the requirements and benefits are, as well as what to expect at the interview? Southwest Airlines is one of the best airlines in America, so landing a job as a Flight Attendant here is extremely competitive! This article discusses what it takes to become a Flight Attendant at Southwest Airlines, as well as the salary, benefits, and lots of tips to help you in your application process and interview!

Firstly, congratulations on deciding to follow your dreams to become a Flight Attendant! I worked as an Air Hostess for almost 4 years and I remember vividly being where you are now, searching for help on the internet about the Assessment process and what to expect in the interview.

As with any Flight Attendant application process, there are several stages that you will need to pass in order to make it through to the final stage. You successfully need to make it through each stage to continue onto the next. Failure to do so will unfortunately mean you cannot progress to the next stage. 

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Requirements

As with all airlines, there are requirements that Flight Attendants need to meet. Here is a list of the requirements for Southwest Airlines:

  • Must be 20 years of age or older
  • High school diploma, GED or equivalent 
  • Ability to legally work in the United States
  • Must be in possession of a valid U.S. or Foreign Passport
  • Flexible schedule 
  • Fluent in English
  • Must have perfect vision or vision correctable to 20/40
  • Must maintain a well-groomed appearance according to appearance standard set by Southwest Airlines
  • Ability to pass a background check, medical test and drug test
  • Able to lift 50 pounds from floor to shoulder level, as well as stand, kneel, lift and reach
  • Meet physical requirements of the job (reach overhead bins, stand for long periods of time etc)
  • Weight should be in proportion to height
  • Have enough physical ability so that the performing job functions are not hindered
  • Walk and fit comfortably down the aircraft aisle whilst facing forward, fit quickly through the overwing window exit, and fit into and fasten their jumpseat harness without modification.
  • Must have no visible tattoos or body piercings (excluding ear lobes).
  • Must be fully vaccinated against covid-19.

Southwest Airlines also prefers candidates who have:

  • Previous aviation industry experience
  • Additional education beyond high school
  • 1 year or more experience working in customer service or guest care

Southwest Airlines Application Process:

  1. Apply online
  2. Online assessment
  3. Telephone interview
  4. In Person Interviews
  5. Physical Performance Standards Proficiency Assessment & Background Checks
  6. Attend Initial Training

 1. Apply for the Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant position online

Apply on the Southwest Airlines page on their official website here on southwestair.com.

You will only be able to apply if there are current vacancies.

Fill out the application form and submit your resume/CV.

When there is an opening, you’ll see all the requirements and how to submit your application. It’s always best to apply as soon as possible when you see a vacant position because so many applicants apply. Sometimes airlines can close the job vacancy earlier than anticipated as they have had so many applicants, so you don’t want to miss out.

Documents to submit to Southwest Airlines include:

  • passport photo
  • photocopy of your valid and unexpired passport
  • hard copy and digital copy of resume/CV
  • photocopy of your highest level of education.

Within a week or two of submitting your application you should receive an email from the HR Department.

2. Online Assessment

If you make it though to the next stage, you will be asked to complete an online assessment of several questions.

3. Telephone Interview

If you pass the online assessment you will be invited to do a telephone interview, undertaken by a recruiter and a Flight Attendant.

4. In Person Interviews

If the recruiters are happy with your phone screen, you will be asked to attend several in person interviews in Dallas Texas at Southwest Airlines Headquarters.

5. Physical Performance Standards Proficiency Assessment

After passing all the in-person interviews, you will be asked to complete the physical performance standards proficiency assessment, as well as the drug test, medical examination and background check.

6. Attend Initial Flight Attendant Training

After passing all interviews and exams and submitting all the relevant paperwork you will be invited to join the Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant team on a conditional job offer. This means you will only get the job if you complete the 4 week Flight Attendant Training course in Dallas Texas.

The Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant training course intensive course to prepare you for the many different types of scenarios you can encounter as Cabin Crew. Similar to many airlines – whilst the training is unpaid, living expenses are covered during your training (food and accommodation at the select hotel). Even if you live in Dallas, you will need to stay in the hotel throughout the course of your training. For food, you will be given a pre-loaded Visa card with the value of $425.

You must complete the Flight Attendant training and all the associated background checks, as well as demonstrate your proficiency in order to get your flying licence. Some people have been known to get fired even during their training, so nothing is guaranteed until you have successfully completed the training. After successful completion of the Flight Attendant Training Course (obtaining 90% or above in your exams) you will get your wings, be assigned a base and become one of the Southwest Airlines Cabin Crew team! Probation for Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants is 6 months.

You’ll also find lots of useful information on the Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant page here.

How Long Will The Whole Application Process With Southwest Airlines Take?

Getting a job as a Flight Attendant is not a quick process. It’s also important to bear in mind that the application process length can really vary amongst applicants. For some it may take just a few months, for others it may even take years.

It often depends on how many Cabin Crew they need to hire at that particular time, and if you have a specific requirement that they are really looking for at that time. Remember that this is a very competitive field, and hundreds of thousands of people apply for only a few spots.

Whilst it can be really frustrating whilst you are waiting to hear back in between each stage, do understand it may sometimes take a while for the recruiters to get back to you so try and be patient. As I like to say, no news is good news. You will always be sent an email if your application has been unsuccessful!

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Training Program

Southwest provides the initial Flight Attendant training at their headquarters in Dallas, Texas.

The training program for Southwest Airlines is 4 weeks long. Whilst, similar to many airlines, Southwest doesn’t pay Flight Attendants during the training program, Southwest Airlines will cover your hotel costs whilst you are there. Plus they also provide a food stipend to help cover expenses.

Like all Flight Attendant Training Programs, Southwest Airlines focuses their training on aircraft specific training, passenger safety (medical emergencies, fire, security, emergency landing etc), customer services, culture at Southwest, and more.

Upon graduation of the Flight Attendant training program at Southwest, new flight attendants are paid a $1200 bonus.

Check out the Cabin Crew Shop HERE or CLICK ON ANY OF THE BELOW IMAGES to shop the product directly!

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What Questions To Expect At The Southwest Airlines Interview?

Whilst you will never know which exact questions they will ask you in the interview, you can ALWAYS prepare yourself.

Airlines will always ask you questions along the lines of:

  • tell me a bit about yourself
  • why do you want to be Cabin Crew
  • why you want to work specifically for Southwest Airlines? What can you tell me about Southwest Airlines?
  • why should the airline pick you? What sets you apart from other candidates?
  • how do you feel about having to relocate/commute?
  • what qualities from your previous job will be beneficial to being a Southwest Flight Attendant?
  • tell me about a time you went above and beyond for a customer
  • tell me about a difficult experience you had with a customer and how it was resolved 
  • tell me about a time you created a memorable experience for a customer
  • Name a difficult time with a co-worker
  • what would you say the difference is between hospitality and customer service?
  • Tell me about a time you experienced an emergency or medical emergency at work
  • What are the most important qualities to be a Flight Attendant?

Therefore prepare these answers before! Write bullet points down and then memorise them and expand on them so your answers don’t seem scripted. But equally, you need to get your point across that you possess all the qualities they are looking for. It’s a great idea to practice in front of your computer or in front of a friend. Practicing will help you tremendously, trust me.

Always look at how your past experiences will help you in your current job. For example if you have a background in healthcare make sure you mention this as the assessors will really like this! Or if you were a Flight Attendant with a previous airline, or have worked extensively in retail and hospitality. All these experiences will really help you so make sure you mention it and sell yourself! Don’t assume because you have included something on your CV that the assessors will read it – you need to mention everything important in the Interview!

You will also be asked a few scenario questions to see how you work under pressure. Think of scenarios they could ask you and how you can answer them. You need to give SPECIFIC EXAMPLES! For example they might ask you to tell them about a difficult person you had to deal with. Give an ACTUAL EXAMPLE of when you have dealt with someone difficult! Don’t just say how you would deal with that person. Perhaps you were working in a shop and had an angry customer? You can totally use this example. There are several scenario question above in bulletpoints, so I really advise you to prepare an answer to all of them. If you don’t have an example from the work place, you can use an example from your personal life. Just always answer the question!

Also know some of the destinations Southwest Airlines flies to and if they are opening up any new routes. All of this can be found on their website.

The final interview will only last about 20 minutes, so use this time to shine! The recruiters will probably be writing things down – don’t let this put you off. 

It’s always a good idea to have a couple of questions ready to ask the assessors at the end. We all know at the end of interviews they love to ask us if we have any questions. Think of one or two questions you may want to ask. Don’t make them salary related, or don’t make them really obvious as it will look like you haven’t researched Southwest Airlines already!

Why Do You Want To Work For Southwest Airlines?

This question will probably come up at some stage during your interview, so it’s wise to have an answer prepared already. Do some research about the company and see what is appealing to you. Here is a bit of background information about Southwest Airlines that you might like to base your answers on:

  • Southwest Airlines is one of America’s biggest airlines
  • Southwest Airlines began operations in 1967
  • Southwest Airlines headquarters is located in Dallas, Texas
  • Southwest Airlines has over 60,000 employees, with over 15,000 of them being Flight Attendants
  • Southwest has a fleet of several hundred aircraft (over 700 currently)
  • Southwest flies to 101 destinations in the USA, as well as 10 additional countries
  • Southwest operates several hundred flights per day
  • Current annual revenues exceed $21 billion

It’s always worth looking at a Company’s Purpose, Vision and Company Values – you can find the Southwest ones here.

Another reason people are attracted to Southwest Airlines is because it really offers one-of-a-kind hospitality. Most likely you’ll have seen funny videos of the Flight Attendants at Southwest doing their PAs and just like the laid-back and friendly vibe of the company.

Southwest Airlines really focuses on recruiting and retaining motivated employees, which as an employee is something that should be important to you. There are good advancement opportunities at Southwest, as well as of course great pay and benefits.

Current Flight Attendant employees of Southwest also really rate Southwest as a great place to work, and it consistently received higher employee satisfaction rates than the other big US carriers such as America, Delta and United. Southwest is really known as a great place to work.

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Salary

The Flight Attendant salary at Southwest Airlines is similar to other large airlines in the US.

New flight attendants at Southwest receive an average of $30 per hour. Like most jobs, as you gain more experience you can expect to make more money. Flight Attendants at Southwest Airlines with more than 5 years of experience receive an average of $38 per hour, whereas Flight Attendants with more than 10 years of experience can expect to make $60 per hour at Southwest Airlines.

Flight Attendants at Southwest Airlines also get annual bonuses.

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Schedule

The flights you get assigned, as well as the number of flights you are assigned is based on seniority. When you first start flying, it is expected you you will do the least desirable flights until you gain more seniority.

A new flight attendant at Southwest Airlines can expect to spend over 100 nights per year outstation on layovers (hotels are paid by the company), and they typically will get around 75 hours flying time per month. Usually newer Flight Attendants will fly more on weekends, holidays and night flights when compared to more senior Flight Attendants at Southwest. Senior Flight Attendants at Southwest usually have a more desirable schedule and selection of flights, in addition to getting paid more. So staying with the company long-term can be very beneficial to you.

At Southwest Airlines, Flight Attendants also have the possibility to pick up other vacant shifts if they wish.

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Uniform

Flight Attendants at Southwest Airlines have a choice of what uniform they wish to wear. 

Female Flight Attendants can choose from a choice of different coloured blouses, as well as two different types of dresses and two types of skirt: a black skirt with a red and blue swoosh on, or a charcoal grey skirt with a red stripe on.

Male Flight Attendants can choose between loose fitting trousers or grey shorts, polo necks or buttoned down shirts.

$25 will be deducted from your salary twice a month to cover the costs of your uniform ($500). In addition, each year you will be given $220 to spend on additional uniform pieces.

Southwest Airlines Hubs & Home Bases

Southwest Airlines operating bases in the following cities:

As a flight attendant working for Southwest Airlines, you will be based out of one of these operating bases.

If it won’t be possible to have one of these locations as your base, you should seriously question whether you should apply to Southwest Airlines or if another airline based elsewhere will be more suitable for you.

Being based at one of these destinations doesn’t specifically mean you have to live at one of these locations though. There are some Cabin Crew who will fly to work at their base from their home city as a passenger, so this can be an option, although bear in mind it’s not always ideal, especially if you will be on reserve. It is an option though and some crew do do it, they just need to be very organised to make it work.

What do you include in your Southwest Airlines Cabin Crew Resume CV?

Your Cabin Crew CV needs to stand out from the crowd! There is a LOT of competition for Flight Attendant jobs and your CV is a really important part of your application. This is the first stage the recruiters use to screen and select candidates, so you need to get it right to ensure you make it through the first stage of the process!

Many people don’t even make it past this stage so it is important to focus on it and get it right!

Important things to bear in mind when creating your Flight Attendant CV:

  • Your CV should contain details of your previous education, jobs and experiences that you have that are relevant and beneficial to the job you are applying for.
  • Always tailor your resume to the qualities the airline looks for. Make sure to read the American Airlines website to see what they expect from their applicants.

Recruiters will NOT read your whole CV – they spend on average 20 seconds skimming it and making a quick yes or no decision. Therefore presentation is key!

  • Your CV needs to look professional. If it doesn’t look professional, the recruiters won’t want to read it. Canva has many great free CV templates you can use, which will help give you CV a good structure. They are all eye-catching and look really professional.

 

  • Your CV must fit on one page only! Even if there is lots you want to write, you need to show that you can be concise. Any longer than one page and it will lower your chances of getting selected.

 

  • Use an easy to read for such as Arial or Times New Roman.

 

  • Use clear and formal language. Write short summaries or bullet points as opposed to lengthy explanations.

 

  • Make sure you spell check and proof read, and get someone else to do it too! You want to ensure you have no grammar or spelling mistakes!

 

  • Print your CV on white paper. DO NOT fold the paper. Keep it in a folder so it stays unmarked and crease-free.

Cabin Crew CV Layout:

  1. Personal Details
    At the top of the CV include your name, personal email address, phone number, Nationality and date of birth, as well as a professional head shot of you on the CV.
  2. Work experience/professional experience
    Put your current job first so the recruiters can immediately see your current work status. Then work backwards and sit your previous jobs in reverse chronological order. Include the start and end date, as well as the company name, your job role held there and where you were based.
    Write a brief description of your position held and the job responsibilities you had (in bullet points). Aim for around 4 short sentences for each job role. It is really important that you include the transferrable skills that you gained that can be applied as a Flight Attendant.
  3. Education
    Only include your highest qualification. Include the dates you attended, what qualification you received, and the name and location of your school/University/College.
  4. Transferable Skills
    Think of 3 or 4 of your best qualities that are relevant for Flight Attendants to have. There are no right or wrong answers, but qualities such as communication, teamwork, customer services, adaptable, responsible, problem solving are examples of good transferrable skills. Write the skill in bold and then a sentence demonstrating how you possess this quality – it is important to give an example of how you have demonstrated this quality in your past roles!

Regarding the transferable skills, it’s always worth looking online on the Airline’s website to see what skills they are particularly looking for, so you can sure to highlight those not only in your CV, but in your interview as well. 

Applying Online For A Flight Attendant Job With Southwest Airlines

A CV/resume is mandatory to be uploaded on your Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant application. There is also the option to add a Cover Letter and any other supporting documents such as references, certificates and work experience.

I would definitely include a cover letter to highlight your experiences and expertise. Keep it concise and impactful.

It’s also wise to include references – as they will require them at some point throughout the application process anyway, so why not get it out of the way and look organised and productive straight away. Plus, any certificates and work experience that you believe to be beneficial should also be included – for example any medical background or any Flight Attendant School certificates.

There are also sections in the application form for you to upload your Educational Certificates, as well as previous work history, any foreign languages spoken, what base you would be willing to locate to, as well as general questions such as your background, COVID vaccination status and willingness to work.

How to stand out on the Southwest Airlines Interview?

Competition for flight attendant jobs is pretty tough. Out of all the applicants, how are you going to create a lasting impression?

Be confident, but not arrogant. Be sure in your ability, but don’t feel like to are superior to anyone else there. You need to convince the assessors you are right for this job, so try to already act like a Flight Attendant would. Posture is important so carry yourself well.

Be yourself and SMILE always – until your cheeks hurt from smiling so much! You’re going to be nervous, of course. Remember they interview so many people, so try to prepare answers beforehand that will make you stick out.

What are you required to bring to the Interview?

It’s advisable to bring a copy of your CV.

You’ll also be required to bring your passport and a photocopy of your passport, as well as a copy of your highest education certificate (Degree or college/high school certificate).

Most people kept their papers in a smart plastic wallet to keep them clean and prevent them from getting damaged at the Assessment Day. Girls should bring a black handbag large enough to fit your CV in without it getting crumpled. Also bring some makeup (especially lipstick) with you to replenish throughout the day, plus a hairbrush and spare clips/hairbands if necessary. Don’t forget to bring a bottle of water too!

What outfit should I wear for the Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Interview?

At the interview you are required to dress in business attire. For males this means wearing a smart suit. For females it is recommended to dress in a black blazer, white shirt, a knee length black skirt (or smart trousers) and black heels. If you wear a skirt then wear skin colour tights – don’t have bare legs!

Also make sure your blouse is buttoned up quite high, regardless if you like how it looks or not. It does not give a good impression and can be quite distracting if your cleavage is exposed.

How should I do my make-up for the Southwest Airlines Interview?

Style & Image is a very important aspect of being a Flight Attendant. You need to look neat and presentable.

Wear a full face of make-up: foundation, concealer, blusher, eyeshadow, mascara and lipstick. Even if you don’t wear make-up every day, you need to make an effort for your Interview. I would advise against doing extravagant eye makeup and wearing eyelash extensions, but if you must wear them make sure they are very discrete.

Remember for the Interview you have to already look the part of a Flight Attendant! If you show the recruiters you already fit the image of a Flight Attendant you are much likely to progress further!

How should I do my hair for the Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Interview?

At your Flight Attendant Interview you want your hairstyle to look like a Cabin Crew hairstyle as much as possible. So see how Flight Attendants style their hair and try to do the same Flight Attendant hairstyles on your hair.

Buns and French twists are common hair styles for female Flight Attendants with long hair, but there is an art in learning how to do a French Twist neatly, so unless you can do a French twist just stick with a bun.

Always make sure you have enough hair spray on to tame any flyaway hairs and keep all your hair in place. If you need to use some Kirby hair grips try to keep them to a minimum and use Kirby grips that are similar colour to your hair.

How early should I get to the Southwest Airlines Interview?

On time performance is very important as cabin crew. Often Flight Attendant Assessment Days are early on in the morning so you can demonstrate that you can be on time. If you arrive late to the assessment day it is a very bad impression and I very much doubt you would make it through the whole assessment day.

Personally I got there about 20 minutes early as I don’t like to get to these kind of things too early as it makes me more nervous. I was one of the last to arrive, and so I would advise getting there absolutely no later than 15 minutes early. You’ll often hear the phrase in aviation “if you’re on time, you’re late” so definitely don’t think a 9am start means you should aim to get there at 9am. Some people got there over an hour early due to transportation/personal preference though. It’s up to you. 

Whilst you are waiting to be called in, chat to the other candidates! It will calm your nerves, you’ll make some friends, and you might even fly with them one day (I did!). I think they called us into the big conference room about 5 minutes before the assessment day was due to start, hence why it is important to get there early. Also just double check your appearance before they call you in – it’s handy to carry a small mirror in your bag, or just nip to the bathroom before you head in.

Southwest Airlines Benefits

Benefits for Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants include:

  • free flights for employee and their family
  • partner benefits
  • paid holidays
  • wellness rewards & discounts for hotels, car rental and amusement parks
  • life insurance
  • health insurance (including mental health care, dental and vision)
  • occupational accident insurance
  • 401K plan
  • retirement plan and health and medical for retirees
  • spending account and savings account
  • performance bonuses
  • maternity and paternity leave
  • employee stock purchase plan and stock options
  • pet insurance
  • disability insurance
  • equity incentive plan
  • sick leave/bereavement leave/family medical emergency leave
  • home and auto insurance
  • fertility assistance 
  • legal assistance

Looking at all those benefits, it’s clear to me that Southwest really cares about their employees, and wants to keep them for the long term.

Pros & Cons Of Being A Flight Attendant

Being a Flight Attendant is definitely one of the best jobs in the world, there’s no doubt about it! That isn’t to say that there aren’t some negatives to the job. Of course there are – it’s a job at the end of the day. It’s always important to be aware of the downsides of the job, so you are prepared and know how to handle it. Let’s take a look below at the pros and cons of being a Flight Attendant!

Pros:

  • get paid to travel
  • reduced price/free airline tickets
  • incredible experiences – get to visit lots of new places
  • no two days at work are the same!
  • meet new people
  • the best office views!

Cons:

  • jetlag and loss of sleep
  • working long and often unsociable hours
  • flying can take a toll on your health
  • away from your family and friends and home a lot
  • no routine
  • salary isn’t great to begin with
  • being on reserve
  • have to deal with some very challenging situations

Yes, there are a lot of cons as well as pros to being a flight attendant and it is not always as glamorous as it looks. At the end of the day it is still a job and no job is perfect. But if a Flight Attendant loves their job, it won’t seem like work and all the pros will outweigh the cons and make it totally worth it! I am so thankful I got the opportunity to be a flight attendant. I learnt so much about the world and about myself, and I will always look back with happy memories! Whilst of course at times it can be quite a demanding and stressful job, on the whole being a flight attendant is a really fun job and can be very rewarding!

Looking for some amazing Flight Attendant memorabilia to buy?

CLICK ON THE BELOW IMAGES TO SHOP THE CABIN CREW GIFTS

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Looking for more Flight Attendant articles? Check out these related articles:

American Airlines Flight Attendant Requirements

Attending A Flight Attendant Assessment Day

Pros and Cons of being a Flight Attendant

Etihad Open Day

How Is Life As A Gay Flight Attendant?

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Requirements:

There are several requirements to become a Flight Attendant, as well as several questions that surround them. The requirements to become a Flight Attendant have changed over the years and vary from airline to airline so it can easily cause confusion amongst aspiring Cabin Crew.

It’s important to know current requirements for Flight Attendants for the specific airline you want to apply for, as some people have actually applied to an airline and made it all the way to the interview before they found out that they didn’t meet the requirements and that they actually just wasted their time. On the other hand, some people don’t apply for Flight Attendant jobs as they think they don’t meet one of the requirements, so don’t bother to apply. Therefore always double check, as requirements do vary between airlines.

Working as a Flight Attendant can be very challenging, not just on your body, but on your personal life. You’ll have to make sacrifices to be away from your family, to operate night flights. It can also test your patience a lot. Make sure you can meet the following expectations and conditions before you apply:

Physical Demands, Expectations and Working Conditions:

  • Position requires some physical exertion, such as pulling, pushing, reaching, bending, walking and lifting
  • Long periods of standing and speaking
  • Extensive travel, must be able to spend consecutive nights away from home and endure all climates
  • Varying work schedules that include evenings and weekends
  • Skilled in handling difficult situations, problem solving, complaint resolution and conflict de-escalation.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; provide friendly reception to all customers
  • Must be able to professionally represent the Airline brand while in the Flight Attendant uniform

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Height Requirements:

Unlike the majority of airlines, Southwest doesn’t have a height requirement or reach test requirement or height requirement to become a Flight Attendant. They only require that Flight Attendants are able to perform the normal job functions in accordance with safety standards.

Southwest Airlines Age Requirements:

Flight Attendants who work at Southwest Airlines need to be at least 20 years old.

In contrast to people asking about the minimum age requirements to be an Air Hostess, you will also see more mature people asking if there is a maximum age limit for Flight Attendants. They may ask themselves am I too old to be a Flight Attendant, especially because they see many Flight Attendants are young.

The short answer is no they are not too old. Many people choose to become a Flight Attendant later in life. I have known people in their 40’s and 50’s who transitioned into a career as a Flight Attendant with no prior experience. Providing you meet the other requirements, your age should not prevent you from becoming a Flight Attendant.

In the USA there is no upper age limit to become a Flight Attendant as age discrimination in employment is actually against the law and they have legislation and Equality Acts to ensure it doesn’t occur. You can’t not hire someone just because of their age and because you want to employ someone younger instead.

Everyone should be given an equal opportunity, and non-discrimination is a priority for companies across all sectors in these countries, not just for airlines. Hence if you’ve ever flown with British or American carriers, you’ll notice the crew aren’t all young model looking females. In fact, the average age of Flight Attendants working in America is in the mid 40s! As long as a Flight Attendant is able to carry out their duties safely, they can carry on working to retirement. 

American Airlines is actually the airline that has the world’s oldest Flight Attendant Bette Nash at 84 years old!

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Weight Requirements

There aren’t specific weight requirements for Flight Attendants at Southwest Airlines. Like most airlines, they want prospective Cabin Crew to be a healthy weight and that they will be able to fit in the Cabin Crew Uniform. The Southwest Airlines Cabin Crew uniform is available from sizes 0 to 18 for females, and in waist sizes from 28 to 42 inches. Flight Attendants must be able to fit in these standard sizes, as no tailor-made uniforms are permitted.

Flight Attendants need to have a relative level of fitness to be able to open the heavy cabin doors and assist in emergency situations, to sit in the jumpseat and be able to fasten their harness, and to be able to spend a long time on their feet.

Being a Flight Attendant is quite a physical job – it involves a lot of lifting and the Cabin Crew Roster requires a lot of energy, so generally people who apply to become Cabin Crew are relatively healthy.

If you are a little overweight definitely do not let this put you off applying at all. They don’t test your physical fitness at the Assessment Day. As long as your are able to perform the duties required of you safely and efficiently, airlines in the USA will not fire you because of your weight.

Flight Attendant Appearance Requirements

Flight Attendant appearance is important as Flight Attendants are seen as the face of the airline and who the passengers will have most contact with. Flight Attendants can often leave a lasting impression on people, and they need to represent the airline well, so it is important that they have a professional appearance. This isn’t to say all Flight Attendants need to look like supermodels. This definitely isn’t the case at all. However, there are certain style and image look standards and requirements that Flight Attendants should adhere to in terms of their appearance.

Some of the most important appearance requirements you will find for Flight Attendants includes having a clean and professional look. Flight Attendant hairstyles should be neat and well-kept, and females should wear neat makeup. At the Flight Attendant Assessment Day make sure you try and make yourself as smart as possible and have your hair (and makeup) as you would if you were a proper Flight Attendant. Pay attention not only to your physical appearance, but also your posture and how you sit, behave and speak.

Can You Be A Flight Attendant With Tattoos?

Another popular question many prospective Cabin Crew ask is can Flight Attendants have tattoos? Southwest Airlines doesn’t allow for Flight Attendants to have any tattoos visible whilst they are wearing the Cabin Crew uniform. They can however have tattoos that won’t be visible whilst they are wearing their Flight Attendant uniform – for example on their torso, back, upper thigh etc.

Flight Attendants are permitted to use scarfs or cosmetics to cover up tattoos that would otherwise be visible whilst wearing the Cabin Crew uniform, and can wear long sleeves and trousers to cover up any tattoos on their arms or legs.

The question can Flight Attendants have piercings is another question that also gets asked a lot. 

Here is what Southwest Airlines states on their website:

“No more than two pairs of earrings are permitted, and if worn, must be placed in the earlobe and may not exceed 1” in diameter (size of a quarter). Hoops and drops are permitted, provided they do not extend more than 1” below the bottom of the ear lobe.

Male employees may wear only one small, stud earring per ear lobe (allowing single earrings up to 1 pair). If worn as a pair, they must be matching.”

Other Flight Attendant Requirements

Some other requirements for Flight Attendants include:

  • English Fluency: If you want to be a Flight Attendant in the USA you will need to be fluent in English. 
  • Citizenship/Ability to legally work in that country: You will need to be a US Citizen or a legal resident alien (Permanent Resident) or have work rights to work as a Flight Attendant in the USA.
  • Passport: As obvious as it sounds, you will need a valid passport to become a Flight Attendant.
  • Criminal background test: At some point in the Flight Attendant hiring process you will be required to provide a criminal Background Check.
  • Drug Test: Airlines expect you to pass a pre-employment drug screen as well as be subject to random drug and alcohol testing in the future prior to your operational duties. Bear in mind certain drugs such as marijuana can stay in your system for a lot longer than alcohol can. Flight Attendants are encouraged not to smoke, and if they are smokers they shouldn’t be seen smoking in their uniform before or after a flight when at the airport.
  • Ability to swim: You need to be comfortable swimming as you never know if you will have to swim in the sea for survival. Your ability to swim without a lifejacket will be tested during your training, so at least you have time to practice and gain confidence if you don’t have it already.
  • Eyesight: Eyesight doesn’t need to be 100% and Cabin Crew are permitted to wear contact lenses or glasses. They must carry a spare pair of glasses with them onboard, so make sure you have them if you require glasses or contact lenses

Flight Attendant Background Check

The Flight Attendant background checks often go back 10 years. It is best to disclose anything in the past 10 years that may cause you a problem. It’s always better to disclose anything you are worried about, as opposed to saying nothing and then it coming back when the background check is done, as a failure to mention something or to lie about it could cause you to actually lose the job.

It is much better to be honest, cooperate and to give as much information as possible if asked about any incident.

Pre-Employment Drug Test

A drug test will be undertaken prior to commencing the Flight Attendant training. In addition, throughout the course of their flying career Flight Attendants will be subject to random drug and alcohol tests. Positive results often lead to instant termination.

Working as a Flight Attendant involves having the responsibility of looking after the safety of many people. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol – even just having a tiny amount in your body, can seriously impair your decision making skills and your ability to perform the safety procedures required.

The Aviation Authorities are responsible for the regulation of aviation safety, so they take this very seriously and there isn’t leeway.

Note that some drugs take significantly longer to leave the body than alcohol. Marijuana for example can stay on your hair for up to 3 months after you have smoked it, so please be mindful that this is something you won’t be able to do once you start flying.

Should I Attend A Flight Attendant School Beforehand?

it is not mandatory to attend a Flight Attendant School prior to applying to become a Cabin Crew. Flight Attendant School can be very useful to some people, however you will often find most of the things that you need to know to prepare for your Assessment Day online on Flight Attendant Blogs or YouTube for example. Therefore if you don’t have the money or time to attend a Flight Attendant School, don’t worry – it definitely won’t look bad on you as it is not a requirement.

Make sure you write a really good CV and do your preparation for your interview and you’ll stand a good chance. Remember it’s not so much how you are on paper, but how you perform on the day and how your personality comes through as to whether you will make it through to the Final Interview to become a Cabin Crew.

After How Long Can You Reapply To Become A Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant If You Got Rejected?

If you didn’t make it through to the final stages, don’t beat yourself up. This is a highly competitive field and only a small number of applicants get hired! If you really want this dream, don’t give up and try again. I know some absolutely fantastic Cabin Crew who are incredible at their job and it took them 3 or 4 times to get the job! Don’t let setbacks hold you back. 

If you weren’t selected but still want to reapply, you will be eligible to reapply in twelve months time.

There’s nothing to stop you applying through a different email sooner than this though, so I have heard.

Summary of Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Requirements:

Hopefully this article gave you plenty of useful information for your Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant application. Try not to get frustrated by the long process. Know that the wait is definitely worth it!

Plenty Flight Attendants had to apply multiple times before they landed the job, so keep trying if you really want it! As long as you do your research and prepare for the interview beforehand, you’ll stand yourself in a good position to get accepted. Honestly the best advice I can give you is to prepare: find out as much information as you can and prepare answers for possible questions they could ask you at the Final Interview.

I really wish you all the best of luck! 

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