The battle to stay thin is tough one. More and more people are struggling with their weight. This is an issue that affects many Americans as well as many people across the globe.
When we picture flight attendants, we typically think of thin women with perfect hair and make-up. Many people wonder, can someone who is overweight be a flight attendant?
In order to be a flight attendant your weight must be proportional to your height and you must be able to effectively perform all job duties.
Let’s Get More Specific
If the above sounds vague to you, it’s because it is.Most airlines (in the United States) don’t have a specific weight you have to be under. Instead, they want you to fit into broad term of being proportional.
The best way to think about this is to ask yourself if you are in the range of what is considered normal or ideal according to the Body Mass Index scale. This is a formula used to take your height and weight and give you a rough estimate of if you are underweight, normal, overweight, or obese.
Here is a link to a site that allows you to calculator that you can use to calculate your BMI: BMI Calculator
Although everyone’s body is shaped differently, here are a few examples of ranges that the BMI scale lists as being in a “normal” range:
- 5’2″ – 101 lbs to 136 lbs
- 5’4″ – 108 lbs to 145 lbs
- 5’7″ – 119 lbs to 159 lbs
- 5’9″ – 125 lbs to 168 lbs
As you can see, there is quite a range you can fall in. That being said, it can still be restrictive to some interested in becoming a flight attendant.
Reason for Restrictions
It might seem as though the airlines are being purposely mean or cruel by having these weight restrictions for flight attendants, but these rules actually exist for good reasons.
First off, the role of a flight attendant requires being able to move quickly through tight spaces. This includes the airlines cabin, aisles, flight deck, and other places. It could present a difficult situation if a flight attendant struggled to fit in the narrow aisle of a small plane. This would not allow the attendant to be as helpful to passengers effectively.
Another very important role of a flight attendant is managing many of the safety procedures on the aircraft. This means being agile enough to fit and move around easily in tight spaces. In the event of having to help passengers during an emergency, it could be a safety issue if a flight attendant could not fit where he or she needs to go.
Flight attendants also must be able to use a jumper seat on an airplane and use it’s seat belt. These are very small seats that could be difficult to use safely if you were over a certain size.
It’s a Tough Job
Lastly, flight attendants are on their feet more than most jobs. They find themselves standing, walking, lifting, and doing other physical labor on a very regular basis. Sometimes for many hours in a single shift. The physical requirements of the job can be very demanding for people in great shape.
If you are obese, this could make the job significantly more difficult.
While here in the United States the weight requirement is tied more to being able to do the job than to a specific number, flight attendants in other countries have to abide by the policies of the airlines they work for. Some of these airlines are located in places where laws around labor discrimination are very different than here in the U.S.
It isn’t uncommon or some international airlines to have specific weight requirements and be willing to remove flight attendants that go over this weight limit by so much as a pound. There’s even a court case where a flight attendant sued after being grounded for coming in 1 pound over the weight limit. You can read about it here.
There are certain weight restrictions in place for flight attendants. These rules are in place mostly to ensure that flight attendants can safely perform the job duties they are responsible for. The range that most airlines allow is not entirely restrictive and should not be too difficult for anyone who is in decent shape and up for the challenge of becoming a flight attendant.
If you are interested in becoming a flight attendant but aren’t sure if your weight will be a problem, take moment to calculate your BMI and go from there. If you fall into the “normal” range then you should have nothing to worry about.
If you do fall into what that scale considers “overweight” you might just be a few weeks/months of being in the “normal” range by making some lifestyle changes and living a more healthy life.
Best of luck on your journey!
- Requirements to be a flight attendant
- Benefits of being a flight attendant
- How to become a flight attendant