Etihad Airlines Cabin Crew Requirements Explained and Analyzed

etihad cabin crew in plane
Photo credits: petra.antalik

Working as a Flight Attendant for Etihad Airlines is one of the most gratifying and exciting life experiences that anyone interested in working as a flight attendant can possibly have.

Believe me, I know this because I’ve been working as a cabin crew member in Etihad for 4 years.

If you are someone who is in constant need of change, enjoys speaking to people and likes to travel, then this job is the right fit for you.

But exactly what is the Abu Dhabi based airline looking for?

Below I’ll guide you through the requirements needed to become a cabin crew for the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, ETIHAD Airways.

Etihad Cabin Crew Requirements

etihad cabin crew official requirements
Etihad cabin crew official requirements – Source: Etihad Careers official site

So let’s go over these, one by one.

Minimum of 21 years of age at time of application

This rule is in place because Etihad wants people who have had previous experience in some shape or form, either in hospitality or customer service.

It’s also a legal requirement in some countries that you have to be over a certain age in order to work on an aircraft.

Ability to inspire guests through innovative hospitality

Touching on the minimum age requirements, candidates with previous experience in hospitality are greatly appreciated.

Etihad prides itself on having the best cabin crew who can offer excellent service, and this is why it’s so important to have the experience first in a similar environment!

Etihad Airlines was awarded “World’s Leading Airline – Customer Experience” in 2019 and 2020.

They aim to give each customer the best Premium care, and for that, they need to hire employees with a passion for delivering excellent service to the customers.

Passion for travel and adventure

The perfect candidate is an adventurous person with a passion for traveling and meeting new people.

If you don’t love traveling, why would you want to become an international flight attendant?

It’s half the fun!

That being said, you need to love more than just travel to succeed in this job.

In fact, you need to be a real people-person who loves meeting and talking to new people.

If you don’t, you won’t last long in this job.

Can adapt to new people, new places and new situations

abu dhabi
Abu Dhabi

As an Etihad cabin crew, your base will be in Abu Dhabi, so you’ll have to move there and cope with being away from home, living in a new city, having new friends and colleagues, etc.

While working you will need to be able to adapt to customers from difficult cultures and a great variety of personalities.

This can lead to having to deal with unusual requests and sometimes situations that may seem irrational.

So in order to deal with all of that, you need to be exceptionally versatile and patient.

Comfortable to work irregular hours on a rotating roster

Being a flight attendant is glamorous when you get the opportunity to have lunch in Paris, shop in New York, or eat pizza in Rome, but all glamour aside, being a flight attendant can be mentally and physically exhausting.

International flight attendants are required to work all kinds of irregular hours, whether it’s a 3am wake up call for a 6am departure, or a 10pm all nighter, flight attendants need to be comfortable and ready to work at and throughout all hours of the day!

Quite frankly, the schedules of cabin crew can be a mess: long duties, tight rest periods, different working shifts every day, plus overbooked flights, etc.

This is not easy to deal with, it is definitely something that you should be aware of if you want to be a cabin crew.

You’ll have a flexible schedule that can change at any time, you’ll work at any time in the day, you won’t have weekends or bank holidays off and many other such things besides.

These are things you should consider before applying – being cabin crew is not always a glamorous job!

Thrive in a fast-paced and changing environment

The cabin crew career features a fast-paced work environment.

You’ll be part of a team that’s expected to be agile and multicultural, so it’s important to be adaptable and ready to face unexpected challenges.

These will not only include working in a constantly changing environment with various situations cropping up, but also the technical issues of last-minute schedule changes, delays, and the like.

So when applying or interviewing, you should show that you are able to multitask, be an effective member of a team working under stressful conditions and that you are extremely flexible.

Positive, confident, flexible and friendly

etihad crew
Photo credits: petra.antalik

The Cabin Crew job can be tough and working long hours at unsocial times can sometimes take a toll on your mood.

But you still need to remain friendly and positive.

Your customers will expect the highest level of customer service whether it’s 4 pm in the afternoon or 4 am in the morning.

It’s an essential requirement that you have a positive and friendly personality and are confident in your work and your ability.

Arm reach 212 cm without shoes

As a standard, candidates in most Middle East airlines must undergo an arm-reach test.

Your height won’t be measured, but on the Assessment Day, you will be required to do an arm-reach test.

This is done to make sure that you can reach the emergency equipment inside the plane.

To do the arm-reach test, the required height will be marked on a wall with a sticker, and applicants will be asked to demonstrate that they can reach 212 cm. 

This test is applied to both genders and the ladies will have to remove their high heels.

Sorry, but failure to reach the mark on the wall will result in immediate elimination.

High school Certificate

The completion of High school or its equivalent is a hiring criteria.

You won’t qualify if you can’t prove that you have a High school Diploma.

Higher education attainments are also welcome.

English Proficiency

English knowledge is a MUST, as it is aviation’s universal language.

You don’t have to speak it like a native but you do need to be able to maintain a conversation, write, and understand it.

There is a test conducted during the Assessment day where reading, comprehension, and speaking are all observed.

This test is constantly changing but there will be exercises such as  these:

  • Fill in the gaps: you will be given a dialogue with missing words to complete
  • A reading comprehension text with questions
  • Multiple-choice questions
  • a 2 column list that you’ll have to connect to make a grammatically and contextually correct sentence.

Don’t worry, it’s easy, just a basic level.

Recommended article: English for cabin crew: How to improve it and pass your interview

Tattoos and body piercings (whilst in uniform)

You can have a tattoo or piercing as long as it is not visible while wearing Etihad’s crew uniform.

If it’s in a visible area while in uniform: face, legs (for ladies), hands, etc. it’s simply not allowed. Not even if you use makeup or bandages to cover it.

They will ask you about your tattoos in your interview, so be honest. If you’re not, they’ll probably find out later and you could be expelled and sent back to your home country.

Excellent personal presentation, style, and image

etihad cabin crew
Photo credit: petra.antalik

Etihad’s cabin crew are known for their immaculate uniform and grooming.

Expectations run very high so your personal presentation, style, and image must be professional, appropriate, and perfect.

You will be the company’s image so pay attention, not only to your attire but also with the way you speak, sit, and behave.

Ensure onboard safety and follow all procedures

Don’t forget that safety is the main role of the cabin crew.

People outside the industry tend to think that we are there to serve meals only, but our first priority is the safety of the passengers.

Etihad cabin crew have very detailed procedures and rules on how to maintain the safety of everyone onboard the plane.

You will be trained to deal with all types of situations and you’ll be responsible for looking after the safety of everyone, taking care not to put others at risk, and making sure that you implement the safety procedures correctly and efficiently.

Other, Not Mentioned Requirements

Maximum age at which you can be hired

The minimum age for applying is 21 years of age at the moment of hiring.

But what about the maximum age limit? Is there a maximum age to apply?

Well, Etihad doesn’t advertise any maximum age limit, while so there is not really an official age limit.

But still, the preference is always for candidates in their twenties, at least this is the age of the majority of the new hires.

But this doesn’t mean ETIHAD doesn’t hire older candidates. You still have a chance if you are over thirty.

There are people who have been hired who are in their mid-thirties. It’s just less common – you’ll see maybe one or two candidates over the age of 30 pass their final interview.

Ability to swim

Swimming is part of the specifications to be considered if you are interested in becoming a flight attendant.

You never know if you will have to swim in an open sea for survival, so you need to be confident in the water without the need of a life jacket.

This will be put to test during the wet drill section of your training.

This is where you will practice survival techniques for post-evacuation after landing on water.

Criminal record

You will be asked at some point in the hiring process to provide a police clearance certificate.

This is required to make sure that potential employees are free from previous legal actions against them.

If candidates are applying from within a Gulf country, they can ask any police department for a Good Conduct Certificate.

Willingness to serve alcohol (including during the holy month of Ramadan)

This is addressed mainly to Muslims.

Abu Dhabi acts as a hub for international travelers and the airline serves alcohol even during the fasting month which is known as Ramadan.

Potential candidates must be willing to serve liquors, wines & spirits during the Holy Month (following special guidelines) as passengers hail from all parts of the world and are not bound by this religious observation.

Able to comply with UAE & GCAA requirements: medical and health screening, visa

ETIHAD is the national airline of the United Arab Emirates and it is their best interest to have the staff complying with all local authorities.

New joiners are asked to undergo a specific health screening conducted by the government. This check consists of clearance from HIV or any other sexually transmitted diseases.

About visas: all nationalities are welcomed to apply. There are some countries that can be more problematic with regard to their nationals obtaining work clearance. You need to be aware that your ability to obtain a Residence Visa will be decided by the UAE Government authorities.


It’s always an advantage if you have previous knowledge in communication-related or customer service jobs.

Hospitality, public relations, sales, and similar jobs that have helped to develop your skills and personality are always a plus to have when you are applying or being interviewed.

The majority of people who work at ETIHAD have flown before or have worked in the Gulf region previously, making it easier for them to make the transition.

But if you don’t have previous work experience, don’t worry. There are cases when this is someone’s first job.

However, people who have worked before are seen as stronger candidates.


Vision doesn’t need to be 100%.

Cabin crew are allowed to wear glasses or contact lenses and must carry a spare of either of those while at work.

Permitted styles are discussed in the company’s Style & Image Guideline.


Smoking is allowed but it cannot be done while in public.

Meaning you are not encouraged to smoke while at airports, hotels, or any other public space when in uniform.

Housing is divided into smoking or non-smoking apartments and it is your choice to declare yourself as a smoker or not.

Cabin crew can smoke before or after a flight in the designated areas at the Crew Briefing Center in Abu Dhabi.

Braces and scars

Braces such as Invisalign are permitted as long as they are not visible.

If someone is interested in correcting their smile, they must obtain an exemption letter from the Style & Image Ambassadors.

Facial scars are not a problem if they can be easily covered with makeup and not overly visible.


Weight can be a sensitive topic, but it is in the company’s interest to have a decent looking cabin crew as the airline’s ambassadors.

Employees are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle and weight and in order to achieve that the company provides them with 24hr gyms across their different accommodations at no extra cost.

Also, the cabin crew meals are designed so that employees can get healthy options like salads, proteins, yogurt, fresh sandwiches while at work.

In our job, it’s always a good idea to strive for a balance between food intake and exercise. It will not only improve the way you look but will also boost your immune system and mood.

Final Thoughts

So there we are,  we’ve discussed the requirements of cabin crew in detail so that now you have an idea of what ETIHAD Airways is looking for.

Take a moment to think about whether or not you qualify for the job and do make sure that you’re being realistic.

Good luck!

Similar Posts:

About The Author


    1. Hey Francois, you could try but unless you already have previous cabin crew experience, I think it’s gonna be complicated.
      They are notoriously famous for picking flight attendants in their twenties or early thirties.

    2. Does being 36 years old female be a reason not to be hired while having both experience of Cabin crew in other airlines and Operation manager in a hotel?

      1. Hi Wina, well for sure you stand a much better chance. Give it a go and see how your application is received by the recruiting team!

    1. Yes, you can. But first you should send your CV on their Career website. Then if they pick you, they would invite you to an assessment day. They conduct assessments in numerous countries worldwide so you won’t probably have to go to Abu Dhabi.

  1. Can I apply if I have a wide range of experience in five stars hotels, 36 yrs of age and fluent English, BUT, no high school diploma or any!!

    1. Hi Bill, I say you could try. Just send your resume over. Your experience might be valuable to the airline. But I have to say that, usually, they follow the rules quite strictly.
      Best of luck!

  2. Sorry Another question also I have done the video screen interview and now I have assessment day is it the same basic assessment day stages or it will be different
    Thanks 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top