What is the weight capacity limit of a flight attendant jumpseat, and are there any other considerations that limit a person from being able to be a flight attendant based on their size?
The answer to this may vary, depending on the country and all applicable laws, regulations, and restrictions. Nothing written here should encourage or discourage any person from applying for a flight attendant job. The purpose is only to share information known to exist in a variety of countries. Employers say yes or no. Specific weight restrictions come from jumpseat manufacturers.
To get an idea of what weight jumpseats can handle, here’s my personal experience and observation. When I was a flight attendant in the 1990’s, there was a relatively common policy found at airlines in the USA and abroad. The general policy/requirement was that a flight attendant must be able to fit into the flight attendant/cabin crew jumpseat without the use of a seatbelt extension. Why no seatbelt extension on a jumpseat? Flight Attendant jumpseats are located at emergency exits. Exit areas must be free and clear from tripping hazards in order to have a fast evacuation and without passengers falling down because of objects. A seatbelt extension would become a tripping hazard very close to an emergency exit. Airlines have a primary responsibility to design procedures with the highest standard of safety as the main focus. Introducing a tripping hazard into the emergency exit area is contrary to safety. Additionally, full-scale evacuations with passengers were never done with a seatbelt extensions attached to a jumpseat, likely because of the hazard it presents. Additionally, when the jumpseat certification was performed, it likely did not use a seatbelt extension, and that could also be the basis for not permitting its use. Ultimately, policies and procedures all have to do with safety.
Can you give an example of how much weight can it handle?
The policy regarding no seatbelt extensions used at a flight attendant jumpseat is implemented by each airline. It is not an FAA regulation, and I have no idea what other Civil Aviation Authorities say about seatbelt extensions attached to jumpseat harnesses. In the 1990’s I worked with a flight attendant that was of a considerable size, and as an educated guess, he must have weighed at least 260 pounds, if not more. Sitting next to him on a double jumpseat, together with my weight, we must have been a collective 460 pounds and the jumpseat seat base remained horizontal without any indication of weight stress. I don’t recall any seat flexing or breakage occurring, despite the heavy combined weight.
I can’t provide a specific weight limit, however, I do know from personal experience that jumpseats are designed to support a significant amount of weight. The planes I flew on were older 747-100s and 747-200s. Today’s flight attendant jumpseats appear even more sturdy, so I imagine they can easily handle a lot of weight.