Aspiring Flight Attendants Need to Demonstrate Some Serious Dexterity

A book on their heads, and paper between their knees


While being a flight attendant can be demanding pretty much anywhere, the etiquette training Chinese flight attendants are subjected to at flight attendant college (yes, this is a thing) is certainly unique. As the photographs illustrate, prospective flight attendants practice tasks such as balancing bottles on their heads while holding a sheet of paper between their knees for three minutes at a time. Photos also show them practicing kneeling and smiling.

Physical appearance is tremendously important, and flight attendants with certain Chinese airlines must comply with weight regulations as low as 50 kilograms (or 110 lbs) for vague reasons of “flight safety”.

Strict etiquette training for flight attendants has been around for a while in China. Here’s an image that went viral last year:

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These women at the Beijing Vocational Training Institute in 2011 are seen balancing books on their heads while holding a sheet of paper between their knees.:

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These flight attendants represented the PLA air force for the 2011 National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference:

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To those passengers who insist that their flight attendants attend college and learn how to properly kneel in a pleasing fashion, Chinese airlines are still keen on welcoming your business.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor