A lot of children dream of being flight attendants when they grow up. The thought of traveling for work sounds too good to pass up! But the reality of being a flight attendant is different from what we pictured as children. As it turns out, the work is a lot harder and there are a lot more rules that you have to follow if you want to succeed.
When they’re on the plane, in-flight staff have to follow a crazy amount of rules. Most of these apply to when they’re actually working a shift, but even after the shift finishes, some of the rules are still enforced. Check them out below!
10 They Can’t Drink Any Alcohol, Even After Their Shift Ends
It should come as no surprise that in-flight staff members aren’t allowed to drink while they’re on the job. Flying wouldn’t be very enjoyable (or very safe!) for the passengers if that weren’t the case! But interestingly, in-flight staff also aren’t allowed to drink once their shifts come to an end.
In most other jobs, you’re allowed to do what you want once you clock out. But while they’re still in their uniform on the plane, most flight attendants aren’t allowed to drink, whether their shift has finished or not.
9 They Have To Cover Their Acne
It looks like the airlines might give Hollywood a run for its money when it comes to judging applicants based on their looks. Most airlines are very strict about how their staff members appear to passengers, and so they don’t want anyone working for them who doesn’t fit their idea of what the perfect appearance is.
Jet Airways, for example, needs all in-flight staff to make sure they cover their acne while they’re on the job. Scars, pimples, and blemishes are “not accepted” by this airline, which requires all staff to have a clear complexion.
8 They Have To Hide Their Tattoos
While in-flight staff members are on the job, they often have to hide their tattoos from the passengers. This means either covering visible tattoos with makeup or clothing. In some cases, airline staff won’t get hired in the first place if they have any tattoos in areas that are visible to passengers. One place where many airlines particularly don’t like tattoos is the feet.
British Airways, in particular, doesn’t allow in-flight staff to cover leg tattoos with thick stockings, so it’s better if they just don’t have any leg tattoos to begin with.
7 They Can’t Ask For Help With Lifting Heavy Objects
Being a flight attendant has to be rough on the body sometimes! Though ideally, passengers are responsible for lifting their own bags into the overhead compartments, it’s inevitable that this job will sometimes fall on the in-flight staff when passengers can't do it themselves. Plus, there are many other things during the course of the flight that they might have to lift. But it’s against policy for them to ask for help with this.
According to WestJet, flight attendants must be able to lift 50 pounds from the ground to their waist, and 22 pounds overhead or they don’t get the job.
6 They’re Not Allowed To Stand With Their Hands In Their Pockets
During long-haul flights, in-flight staff members don’t usually work the entire time. They work in shifts and have time off during the flight, where they normally retreat to their own part of the cabin. But while they’re in uniform and visible to the passengers on the plane, they still have to act the part. That means no standing with their hands in their pockets, according to Regional Express Pty Limited airlines.
In-flight staff members are also not to be seen slouching, crossing or folding their arms while in uniform, whether they’re on the plane or walking through the airport lounges.
5 They Aren’t Always Allowed To Use The On-Board Medical Kit
Planes are fitted with on-board medical kits in case of emergencies. In-flight staff members have special training so they know what to do in the case of emergencies, but at the same time, they’re not qualified doctors. This means that there are some items within the on-board medical kit that they’re not authorized to use.
For example, they’re not normally permitted to use syringes and IV tubes unless they’ve been officially trained to. But don’t worry if you happen to suffer a medical episode during a flight. In that case, the in-flight staff will just wait for a doctor on board or another member of staff who is qualified.
4 They Can’t Always Accept Tips From Passengers
In countries where there is a strong tipping culture, such as the United States or Canada, you might think that it’s customary to also tip the in-flight staff. But according to Reader’s Digest, flight attendants aren’t always allowed to accept tips. Even if they’ve delivered exceptional service and earned them.
The policy varies from company to company as to whether the staff members are actually allowed to accept tips. Sometimes, they can accept them if the passenger insists. Others can only accept tokens such as gift cards but not cash itself.
3 They’re Not Allowed To Tie Their Sweaters Around Their Waists
On most airlines, being an in-flight staff member is like being in a private school. There are strict rules that you have to adhere to when it comes to wearing your uniform. Because flight attendants represent their airline whenever they’re in their uniform, it’s understandable that they have to look presentable at all times on the plane, even after their shift has finished.
That means that, when working for JetBlue at least, in-flight staff are not allowed to tie their sweaters around their waists. They are only to be worn around their shoulders.
2 They Have To Freshen Their Makeup—But Not While The Passengers Can See
You might not need to be a qualified makeup artist to become a flight attendant, but you do need to know how to do your own makeup. That’s because on some airlines you’ll be required to do your makeup during the flight in between serving meals and other duties. We bet turbulence can make eyeliner hard to put on!
While female flight attendants are required to freshen up their makeup during the flight, they are not allowed to do this in view of the passengers.
1 They Have To Have Perfect Hair
All in all, in-flight staff have to look the part. Airlines know that it’s their reputation that suffers if flight attendants happen to look scruffy, so there are strict rules in place to make sure in-flight staff always look like perfection. Many airlines have specific rules about hair.
Some rules state that hair has to be neutral colors only and can’t be worn with any accessories that clash with the uniform. Others don’t want flight attendants to have hair with too much volume or styles that are too modern. And if flight attendants do wear an up-style, like those on Singapore Airlines, don’t expect to find a hair out of place!