There are indeed a lot of people who dream to be flight attendants and flight stewards. During the last Philippine Air Asia cabin crew recruitment event, around 1,200 applied but only around 50 were taken in. That's is less than 5% of the total number of applicants. In other airlines, the ratio is even down to 5:100 meaning, only 5 are taken in by the airline to be cabin crew out of 100. Why is it so hard to become a flight attendant?
Others are asking why airline standards are so high when choosing flight attendants wherein their job is just about serving chicken or beef, which is basically easy.
Well first and foremost, the primary duty of flight attendants is to ensure the safety and security of passengers on board an aircraft flying at 40,000ft up in the sky, so that alone already is a premium. Airlines have to adhere to the highest standards of safety, hence, only the best of the best are chosen to take on this very important vital role. Flight attendants have to be physically fit to take on this role. Example, height and reach requirements are there because flight attendants have to be able to reach for the safety equipment on the overhead bins.
Flight attendants also represent the airlines's branding. They have to adhere to the airline's core values and image. Ever wondered why they spend millions when it comes to designing their flight attendant uniforms? Notice also that airlines barely use celebrities for their marketing, instead, they use their own flight attendants?
Flight attendants, being in the service industy, are required to have excellent interpersonal skills, regardless of what airline they enter. Travelling by air is scary and a flight attendant's smile is what give passengers that assurance that everything is okay. A smile is very important when an airline chooses their flight attendants. Flight attendants must be able to communicate well to the passengers. Regardless if it be a full service airline or a budget carrier, air fare is not cheap and passenger expectations on an airline are really high, hence, they have to deliver these expectations and flight attendants are on the forefront
So are airline standards really high when choosing flight atteoundants? Yes they are, but not impossible to reach. This is the reason why they say that being a cabin crew is only meant for the greatest chosen few. Will the airlines adjust their standard to accomodate more? Absolutely not!
If you are a cabin crew aspirant and you feel that airline standards are too high, you have too choices:
If you really want to be a flight attendant but can't seem to pass the screening process, then maybe it's time first to ponder on why you failed and what improvements you should do. Again, it is you who is applying for the job, and not the airline trying to attract you to be their flight attendant. Try to also ask others like present flight attendants or those who made the screening process what happened and what to change, then try again.
Try to also discern if being a flight attendant is really for you. Are you within their physical requirements and expectations? Do you have the personality that the airline is looking for? Are you fit to take on the role as safety professional? Are you mentally and emotionally fit to take on this rigorous task of dealing with a hundred different personalities everyday? Again, if you believe you are, then by all means, work hard to adjust and make changes. If you realize that it is not for you, then don't blame the airline for the "high standards", instead, look for a different career path that will make you happy and where you know you will grow in.
Focus on being the 5% who makes it in. Focus on the goal. Always remember that the 3 permanent things in these world are change, death, and taxes.
The last thing you would want to do is to blame the airline for its high standards in choosing their flight attendants.