Q: I’m over 30 years old. Do I still have a chance at this job?
A: You will find this question answered in more detail here.
Q: How much does a cabin crew earn in the Middle East?
A: The salaries and benefits are quite similar between the major airlines in the Middle East. You will find a more detailed break-down here.
Q: I’m 158 cm and really want to fly for Emirates. What can I do?
A: Emirates has a minimum height limit of 160 cm however the other airlines (Qatar, Etihad, etc.) don’t have a minimum height requirement provided you can pass the reach test. You will find a more detailed answer to this question here.
Q: Are Qatar, Emirates or Etihad as restrictive as they say?
A: The Middle East lifestyle is different that other parts of the world, with the local religion and culture being more conservative. Cabin crew are expected to respect the local customs because they are the image ambassadors of their airline so they must represent it with grace and maturity. You could find many exaggerated stories about one airline or another, but we encourage you to not judge a book by its covers. Live your own experience and make your own opinion, then decide if an airline is good for you or not.
Q: Would a cabin crew licence increase my chances at getting this job?
A: If you already have a licence, definitely include it in your CV. If you don’t have a licence yet and you are applying for one of the Middle Eastern airlines, don’t waste your time and money. According to their local Civil Aviation Authorities, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar or Fly Dubai must take you through a complete cabin crew licensing training before you can start flying. So a licence obtained in Europe, USA or Asia is not valid in the Middle East and it won’t really matter for the recruiters.
Q: I don’t have any customer service experience. Can I still become a cabin crew?
A: Fortunately, previous customer service experience is not mandatory for all airlines in the Middle East. They recruit candidates as young as 21 so the recruiters understand that most applicants just finished their studies and will not have any experience. Just make sure you learn as much as possible about the hospitality industry, make your CV very appealing and be prepared to exceed the recruiters’ expectation to be successful.
Q: I’m turning 21 in 2 months but there is an OD/AD in my city this month. Can I apply?
A: If you are applying for the airlines based in the Middle East, the minimum age requirements is 21. Some airlines require that you already turned 21 at the time when you submit your application. Emirates will not allow you to attend an OD/AD unless you have already turned 21 years old. Some airlines will allow you to participate before you turn 21 provided your 21st birthday is within a few days or within a 2-3 weeks from the time of application.
Q: I have a scar/tattoo/birthmark. Will I get rejected?
A: Qatar Airways has a strict “no tattoo” policy, so if you want to fly for them, you should have no tattoos and your scars/birthmarks shouldn’t be obvious or visible while in uniform. For Emirates and Etihad, you can have scars/tattoos/birthmarks only if they aren’t visible while wearing the uniform. If you have a scar/birthmark that’s visible in uniform, the recruiters will judge based on the size and appearance of the scar/birthmark; the smaller and less noticeable the better! Tattoos that are in visible areas are completely forbidden.
Q: I failed my interview. Is it true I have to wait 6 months to apply again?
A: Qatar Airways doesn’t have a waiting period so you can apply straight away after failing your interview at any stage. For Etihad, you need to wait for 6 months irrespective at what stage you failed your last interview. For Emirates, the official rule is that you wait for 6 months if you failed at anytime during the Open Day (even if it was at the CV drop off stage) or Assessment Day and for 1 year if you failed at the Final Interview. However Emirates recruiters have allowed (so far) all candidates to attend a new OD or AD after 6 months no matter at what stage they failed their last interview.
Q: I have a gold tooth visible when I smile, will recruiters see a problem in this?
A: Unfortunately yes, gold teeth are not accepted; your teeth need to be of natural colour, clean and healthy looking.
Q: I don’t have a passport, will recruiters allow me to participate in the OD/AD?
A: You can carry an alternate photo ID during the interview day but we encourage you to apply for a passport as soon as possible. You aspire to a job that involves traveling the world so the passport should be a default task in your thorough preparation for this job. If your passport has very little validity or is under renewal, tell the recruiters you are changing your passport and make sure to have it ready long before your Final Interview or Golden Email/Call.
Q: I wear spectacles, can I still become a cabin crew?
A: Many active cabin crew wear lenses or glasses and the general accepted diopter limit for most airlines is +/- 4. For the interview, we would recommend lenses instead of glasses.
Q: I’m a girl and have very short hair. Is that a problem?
A: It depends on how short your hair is. If it can be beautifully styled to give you a feminine appearance, you shouldn’t have any problem. However do mention to the recruiters that you intend to grow it to a more lady-like length, especially if they ask or say anything about your hair length.
Q: I am naturally brunette but now my hair colour is blonde. Is it true I have to go back to my natural colour?
A: The general grooming guidelines of all airlines in the Middle East require their cabin crew to have their hair in the natural colour or maximum 1-2 shades lighter or darker. If recruiters make any remark about your hair colour, make sure you convincingly explain you have no problem bringing your colour back to its natural colour or as close to it as possible.
Q: I am a male, do I have any chance at becoming a cabin crew?
A: Airlines recruit both ladies and gents, however it is a fact that the ratio of male to female candidates accepted for the job is significantly lower. You do have a chance, just prepare thoroughly and go for it!
Q: I’m from Africa, do the airlines in the Middle East recruit African nationals?
A: The airlines in the Middle East recruit candidates of all colour and creeds, making the cabin crew population one of the most diverse community out there.
Q: I wear a hijab (head scarf). Can I still apply for a cabin crew position?
A: At the moment, the only airline that accepts the wearing of hijab while in uniform is the national carrier of Saudi Arabia – Saudi Arabian Airlines. The carrier is also a dry airline, meaning there is no alcohol service on bard any of their aircraft. All other major airlines in the Middle East require that female cabin crew don’t wear their hijab while in uniform and they also expect all cabin crew to serve alcohol to the passengers.
Q: I have scoliosis. Can I be disqualified for this?
A: It depends on how severe it is and how much it would affect your ability to perform your job once hired. Although most airlines don’t specify an official degree for scoliosis, the generally accepted limit is up to 30 degrees.
Q: I wear dental braces, can I apply?
A: Braces are unfortunately not acceptable for either Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad or Fly Dubai. If you are close to the end of your treatment and about to remove your braces soon after a scheduled interview you wish to attend, politely explain to the recruiter that your treatment is almost over and the braces are coming off shortly. They MIGHT allow you to attend and ask you to submit photos of your teeth once the braces have been removed.