Felons are unable to get hired for many jobs, but is a flight attendant one?

Can a felon become a flight attendant, or is this another job to add to the extensive list of jobs felons can’t get?

In most instances, a felon will not be hired as a flight attendant.

Additionally, in many cases, if you have a criminal record, becoming a flight attendant, while possible, will be more challenging too.

Can a Felon Become a Flight Attendant? (Violent vs Non-Violent Felonies)

There’s no doubt that some felonies are more serious than others, namely violent vs. non-violent felonies.

If an aspiring flight attendant was convicted of a violent-felony, there is no chance that they can become a flight attendant.

If convicted of a non-violent felony, there is a possibility of becoming a flight attendant, though it will certainly be challenging.

If you think about it from the airline’s point of view, if there are many applicants, then it’s inevitable that an airline would prefer to choose someone who has a completely clean record and background.

This applies to both male flight attendants and female flight attendants.

Can You Become a Flight Attendant With a Criminal Record?

Whether you can become a flight attendant with a criminal record varies on an airline-to-airline basis and the type of crime committed.

Airlines will be more forgiving of some crimes than others. For example, misdemeanors can be violent or non-violent in nature, which the latter considered to not be as serious.

The amount of time that has lapsed since the offense is usually taken into account by airlines, too. As you might expect, the more time that has lapsed, the better.

Whether you wish to work for a regional or international airline also matters too, as countries have different regulatory policies for entry.

Can You Become a Flight Attendant With a DUI?

Whether you can become a flight attendant with a DUI depends on whether the DUI is charged as a felony or not.

If a DUI is charged as a felony, which can happen when there are aggravating circumstances present or if it isn’t a first-time conviction for driving under the influence, then you cannot become a flight attendant.

If the DUI is charged as a misdemeanor, it’s possible to become a flight attendant, though it will vary by airline.

So it’s possible to become a flight attendant with a DUI, though it will depend on if the DUI was charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, the airline’s policy, and the demand and supply of applicants for flight attendant jobs.

What Background Checks Do Airlines Perform on Flight Attendants?

Aspiring flight attendants have to pass both the airline and FAA’s background checks.

The airline will check your background to see if you have any arrests/convictions, your credit score, drug usage, and will also require you to take a drug test.

Your credit score should have no bearing on an airline hiring you to become a flight attendant, though.

Previous employment, residences, education will all be checked too, though may also not have a large bearing on whether you will be hired or not.

The FAA will perform a background check to ensure you have not committed any felonies or violent crimes.

There are several other crimes that can exclude someone from becoming a flight too.

What Else Disqualifies You From Becoming a Flight Attendant?

It isn’t just a felony that can exclude you from becoming a flight attendant. There are several other factors, some of which you even have no control over.

The following factors can disqualify you from becoming a flight attendant:

  • Age: For most airlines in the US, you must be at least 20 years old.
  • Height: Varies by airline but approximately 5 ft to 6 ft 3″
  • Education: Varies by airline but usually at least a high school diploma
  • Weight: Typically, must be able to sit in a jumpseat and require no seatbelt extension

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Patricia Moss - Senior Flight Attendant

Patricia is a senior flight attendant with over 20 years of experience working for a major U.S. airline, primarily on international long haul flights.