The Cabin Crew medical is the final hurdle in getting a Cabin Crew job, it is crucial to pass it. Of course, many people don’t know what to expect and are worried that they may fail. It is a similar assessment to that, the pilots take as we have to be considered ‘fit to fly’ and working at altitude has a lot of negative effects on the body that we have to be able to cope with.
In the UK, the first part of the medical consists of a basic self-assessment form that relies on honesty and asks you about any pre-existing conditions, medication, recent illness and how much sick leave you have taken. You will also answer some questions about your general health, family history and if you smoke or drink. A short medical will take place at the airlines headquarters that involves:
- Height and weight check
- Urine test for diabetes and drugs/alcohol testing
- Hearing test
- Eyesight test – must be 6/9 which can be corrected by glasses/lenses
- Check for scars (identification purposes)
- Blood pressure, lung function and heart rate tests
- Dexterity – you may be asked to reach, bend and lift an item
The minimum vaccinations required will include tetanus, polio and tuberculosis. The yellow fever vaccination may also be considered if travelling world-wide.
Within the EU, you will also be required to take an ECG to check your heart rate and any abnormalities. This usually involves attending a private clinic or AME (Air Medical Examiner) at your own expense.
In the Middle East, it is much stricter due to the large influx of workers from abroad and the residency and work permit requirements. You will take one medical in your home country at your own expense and then a second medical when reaching the destination, which if you fail will result in your contract being suspended. This includes:
- Chest X-ray
- Dental X ray and examination
- Blood test for HIV, hepatitis C, haemoglobin blood count
- ECG, blood pressure, lung function
- Hearing and Vision
- Urine test for drugs, alcohol, medications
- Height and weight
- Check for scars and tattoos (for identification and large scars/tattoos not permitted)
Required vaccinations include: polio, tetanus, tuberculosis, hepatitis A, hepatitis C, meningitis and yellow fever.
Drug or alcohol abuse is unacceptable in the aviation industry and you can be tested legally at any time on duty. In the Middle East, use of many medications is prohibited including some painkillers and cold remedies and any evidence of anti-depressants taken previously can be an issue. Some pre-existing conditions may be accepted if they are well controlled. If any medications are being taken it is best to declare them as they can show up on a blood test as a false positive for illegal drugs.
If you are physically fit and have no current ailments, the medical for Cabin Crew is nothing to be concerned about and just part of the application process. Airlines want to assess our ability to cope with the daily physical and emotional demands of the job as well as fatigue and the ability to cope under pressure, so taking a medical is a necessary part of the job.