Do I Need To Swim To Become Cabin Crew?

Aug 23, 2018 | Cabin Crew

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(Last updated on: 13/12/2021)

When you decide to pursue a career as a member of Cabin Crew, there are a lot of different skills and things that you need to know to be successful. One of these skills is the ability to swim.

Do you need to be able to swim to become Cabin Crew?

So, do you need to be an expert swimmer in order to become Cabin Crew? Not necessarily. You definitely do need to be able to navigate the water, especially in emergency situations, but you can still fulfill your dream of becoming Cabin Crew with only basic swimming skills.

Along with other tests and evaluations, you will need to show that you can in fact swim before joining an airline’s crew. Each airline has its own set of standards and expectations. However, the majority of airlines will test the following:

  • you can swim a short distance
  • tread water
  • climb into a life raft
  • inflate a life jacket in the water
Do I Need To Swim To Become Cabin Crew?

What do airlines expect?

Since each airline will be different in its expectations, it is important for you to do your research. Checking out the airline’s website will give you a better idea of what to expect when you go for your testing.

For some airlines, they use ditching* mock-ups that are used to test the prospective cabin crew’s abilities in the water. These ditching modules consist of a slide that ends up in the water where you will be required to demonstrate putting on a life jacket, swimming across a pool, getting into a lifeboat and possibly even rescuing a drowning passenger.

*Ditching is the term for a controlled emergency landing.

According to the British Airways Cabin Crew website, a member of their Cabin Crew must be able to swim 50 m or 55 yards. Similarly, to become a part of EasyJet Cabin Crew, you must be able to swim 25 m without any assistance and tread water for at least a minute.

If you are thinking about applying to an airline to become cabin crew, but aren’t very confident in the water, here are three tips to help get you prepared.

1. Get in the water.

Go to your local leisure centre as often as you can and get in the water. Float around, swim from one end to the other and get comfortable being in the water. The more comfortable you feel, the better you will be at the swimming test. Make it fun for yourself!

2. Find out the requirements for the airline and practice them.

Investigate what the exact requirements are for the airlines you are applying to and make sure you practice the different aspects that you need to know. If you need to be able to swim a specific distance, get in the pool and swim that distance. Make sure you can do it within the allotted time if the test is indeed timed.

3. Practice with the appropriate equipment.

For many airlines, you will need to be able to swim with either a life jacket or be able to at least put one on. Grab the proper equipment that will be used during the swim test and practice swimming with the items. The more prepared you feel, the more confident you will be during the test.

I would love to hear how you got yourself ready for a swimming test. Leave your story in the comments!

Are you looking for a job as Cabin Crew? Don’t let the chance slip through your fingers. Make sure you have the right resources to maximise your chances of getting the job – check out my new Online Diploma Becoming Cabin Crew now!


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Dr Hayley Stainton

Hi, am Dr Hayley Stainton

I’ve been travelling, studying and teaching travel and tourism since I was 16. Through Tourism Teacher I share my knowledge on the principles and practice of travel and tourism management from both an academic and practical perspective.

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