In 2019, British Airways received 31,000 Cabin Crew applications from which only 2,000 candidates were chosen. After a two-year pause because of the pandemic, the airline is currently embarking on a massive hiring spree with positions available at Heathrow, Gatwick and London City Airport’s.
Although there are lots of positions available, expect some fierce competition and candidates will have to get through a multi-layered recruitment process before they’re offered the job. Whether you apply to join the new Heathrow cabin crew team or wish to work with BA at Gatwick or London City,the recruitment process is the same (and just as tough).
The following step by step guide will help you through the process and give you an indication of what to expect.
Step 1. Submit Online Application
You can apply to become British Airways Cabin Crew by joining one of three fleets:
- Heathrow Cabin Crew Team.
- Gatwick Airport Cabin Crew.
- BA CitiFlyer Cabin Crew based at London City Airport.
The destinations and working conditions differ based on which fleet you choose, so you should carefully consider which one would suit you best.
Applications have to be submitted on the official British Airways careers website. BA conducts recruitment ’rounds’ so if they don’t have any open Cabin Crew positions when you look, it’s a good idea to create an account and register to receive email alerts.
What You Need
To submit an online application you only need your updated resume/CV. You should have this saved in either Microsoft Word or PDF format.
You won’t need photographs, a cover letter or references.
A good CV is vitally important at this stage of the recruitment process. When you click submit, your CV will be scanned by a computer that decides if you match the requirements of the role. Follow this guide to write a winning CV: The Step by Step Guide to Creating Your Perfect Cabin Crew CV
Heathrow Cabin Crew
The new Heathrow cabin crew replaces the Mixed Fleet program with some improved working conditions for new joiners. Before applying, consider reading the following articles to see if Mixed Fleet is a good match for you:
Step 2 – Online Assessments
Your application and CV will be screened and if successful you’ll receive an email asking you to complete an online assessment. This is a very quick process and you’ll normally be notified the same as you submitted your application.
The assessment must be completed within seven days. Choose a time that is convenient for you, when you are well-rested and have at least 30-60 minutes spare. Make sure you have a quiet place to work without any distractions or other commitments.
The online assessment comprises of three elements:
- Behavioural Personality Test
- Numeracy Test
- Reading and Comprehension Exercise
You’ll receive full instructions about how the exercise works and get an opportunity to complete practice questions. It’s a good idea to have a pen, paper and calculator to hand for this stage.
Step 3 – Assessment Day
Recently we’ve seen candidates receiving the results of their online assessment within several days of completion. If successful you’ll be invited to an Assessment Day.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Assessment Day is currently being conducted online. You’ll be able to choose a date that’s convenient for you and BA normally conduct morning and afternoon sessions.
Assessment Day’s are a popular recruitment method, used to screen a large number of candidates at once. The day will be made up of a number of elements used to test your suitability for the role of Cabin Crew. There may be points where candidates are further shortlisted before moving to the next element of the day.
To find out more about Assessment Days I would invite you to read this in-depth article. We’ve included lots of details about what to expect, the different elements involved and what the recruiters are looking for: How to Ace the Cabin Crew Assessment Day.
Step 4 – Final Interview
Unfortunately, the majority of candidates who attend an Assessment Day won’t be invited to Final Interview. We estimate that only 15%-20% of candidates are typically shortlisted. The competition is extremely tough so making it to this stage is a really big achievement.
The interview will normally last between 25-40 minutes and takes place on the same date as the Assessment Day.
The interview will be made up of competency and behavioural based questions. You’ll need to have examples from your previous work experience that prove you possess the skills, qualities and competencies that the British Airways recruiters are looking for.
It can take some time to gather the evidence and become comfortable with your answers. You should, therefore, prepare for the Final Interview at the earliest opportunity. Our best interview technique is the SOAR method – We’ve included lots of details here to help you best prepare: SOAR to Success at Your Cabin Crew Final Interview
Step 5 – Security Vetting
After the Final Interview, your entire file will be reviewed by the recruitment team. You’ll be informed of the result within one week. If successful, you’ll be expected to confirm that you are still interested in pursuing the role within 24 hours.
British Airways uses a private security vetting firm to carry out a comprehensive background check on you. This will include your work history, references, financial history and any extended gaps (such as if you’ve been travelling).
The security company will get in contact with you by email. You must complete an online form within 3 days of receiving the email – or risk having your application terminated.
This stage can take some time depending on your personal circumstances.
Stage 6 – Medicals and Final Approval
Submit Medical Report
In accordance with British and European law, new Cabin Crew have to undergo an initial medical examination. You’ll have to see a registered doctor or Occupational Health professional to obtain the correct medical report.
The test is controlled by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). They state that the test must “verify that they are free from any physical or mental illness which might lead to incapacitation or an inability to perform their assigned safety duties and responsibilities.”
Although this sounds complicated, it’s just the same standard used to test fitness to drive. However, if you suffer from seizures, colour blindness, chronic illnesses, lung disease or serious disability you should contact your recruiter for further guidance.
Start Onboarding Process
If your medical results are satisfactory you’ll receive final confirmation from the British Airways recruitment team. You’ll be given details about completing a week-long safety course that is carried out by a private company. Once you have successfully passed this course you’ll be given a start date for your initial training with British Airways.
If you don’t have any previous experience as cabin crew then you’ll join the airline as an apprentice. This won’t have an effect on your pay and benefits and you’ll still go through the normal initial training programme. However, apprentices do have to complete more work during their first 12-months on the job. Once you complete the programme, you’ll gain additional qualifications in English, Maths and Digital skills.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.