Do I Really Need to Know How to Swim to become a Cabin Crew?

Now you see yourself looking at a job ad for cabin crews and you suddenly noticed that almost all job postings you have seen require the potential candidate to be able to swim without the aid of flotation device. If you are already confident in water, then you have a higher chance of getting hired. Meanwhile, if you’re not really a swimmer, then it might be a problem for you.

A lot of people dream of becoming a flight attendant. Let’s admit: who wouldn’t? Being a cabin crew has a lot of advantages such as travel perks, huge salary, with health and retirement benefits.  But take note that being a flight attendant is NOT only about serving tea and coffee, the MAIN job is passenger SAFETY. So swimming is definitely an important determining factor.

But what if you don’t know how to swim? Should I lie during the interview? You might ask yourself this and here we try to help you understand why it’s really a must and what you can do if you don’t know how to swim and yet you’re applying for the job.

swimming cabin crew
You don’t need to be a professional swimmer. So long as you can confidently swim and save others from drowning.

Swimming Skills as a Requirement in Most Airlines

Now, as for your question, do you really need to know how to swim to become a cabin crew? The answer is a big YES. Most domestic and international airlines have this specific requirement as one of the qualifications. Say for example, EasyJet needs a flight attendant who can swim twenty five meters without any assistance and tread water for at least a minute.

Even though it seems unusual that airlines prefer cabin crews who can swim, it is necessary for the operations of the airline in case a fortuitous event will happen like when the plane suddenly goes down.

Swimming is one of the skills that you should learn. This is standard part of the requirements and this will be asked from you normally during the interview or screening process.

Fly_Level's_Cabin_Crew_Students
Photo: Fly Level Cabin Crew Students under CC

Does this mean that you don’t have a chance of getting hired as a cabin crew anymore if you don’t know how to swim?

No. You shouldn’t be discouraged at all as you won’t be asked to show your skills during the hiring process. However, sooner or later, you will need to prove that you can still be of service to the passengers while you’re in water. A note that you should remember is that most recruiters include this in their set of questions whenever you’re being interviewed. If you can’t swim as of the moment, you will need to tell the hiring manager otherwise.

Once you tell them that you’re not confident in water, you will lose points and will probably have lower chances of getting your dream job. On the other hand, this is not to encourage you to lie and ditch your application.

Enroll in a Swimming Course to Learn

It’s just that, with all the resources we have nowadays, you can find a class to learn now. If you really want to be a cabin crew but you don’t know how to swim, you can still enroll yourself in swimming lessons before your safety and service training where you will need to be in the water.

No need to worry, because you don’t need to be a professional swimming athlete. As long as you can prove that you can bring the passengers to the shore or save a drowning passenger, you’re good to go!

Video of Emirates Crew during their Intensive Training

Check out the video of EK crew and their training college. Swimming is part of their training. 🙂

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