Want to be a United Airlines flight attendant? Find out what the hiring process for 2023 is, in a nutshell.
United Airlines is the best US airline to work for because they have so many bases and the most international destinations of any airline in the United States.
United airlines will be hiring the most flight attendants out of all the US airlines over the next few years.
United Airlines Is My Top Airline For Flight Attendants
I became a flight attendant 17 years ago because of a United flight attendant named Yoshi. I was working at Sprint Hawaii and one day a charismatic furloughed (because of 9/11) United flight attendant came to work and it was my job to train him.
He was so at ease and taught me a thing or two when I was supposed to be training him, and I must say, we hit it off immediately.
I told him I always dreamt of being a flight attendant, but I didn’t have the qualifications.
He said “What!? You’re perfect for the job! You can do it.” and the rest is history. I would not have my dream job or even this website if it weren’t for him. So really, he’s helped us ALL.
That’s him in his United Airlines flight attendant uniform, and we are still friends today. Thanks, Yoshi!
United Airlines Flight Attendant Jobs
United Airlines flight attendant jobs are some of the most coveted in the industry. Once the pandemic hit, a lot of flight attendants were furloughed and many took a buyout to retire early. Then, things bounced back and the airlines are busier than ever before and United Airlines were super short on flight attendants!
This year United has had flight attendant classes graduating training every single week, and the hiring does not seem to be slowing down any time soon.
United Airlines has over 500 new aircraft on order, and this is the airline to work for if you want to have the best international destinations and beautiful new airplanes that will be creating 25,000 more unionized jobs.
United has said that in 2023 alone they may be adding one new 737 aircraft every three days. Check out Future Flight Attendant’s Job Board to see if United is currently hiring flight attendants and get on the mailing list so that you can be the first to be notified!
If you want to learn how to master the flight attendant interview process so you can get hired by your dream airline, check out Future Flight Attendant’s Online Course & Coaching Program so you can stop getting TBNTs and start getting CJO/CTOs.
United Airlines Flight Attendant Salary
United Airlines flight attendant pay is very competitive. Flight attendant pay starts at $28.88 and topping out at $67.11 per hour after 12 years. However, if you are on reserve (and all brand new flight attendants will be) there is a $2 per hour reserve over-ride bringing that hourly pay rate to $30.88.
United Flight Attendant Reserve
United has a straight reserve system, but at the rate, they are hiring, the time spent on reserve will be shorter than ever before. This is the biggest hiring spree I’ve ever seen in my 16-year flight attendant career.
United Airlines Flight Attendant Qualifications
Qualifications and Requirements include:
- 20 years of age or older at the time of application.
- High school diploma or equivalent; 2 or more years of college preferred.
- Experience in the service industry (such as customer, retail, hospitality, food, aviation, safety, social service, healthcare/medical position, or military).
- Effective communication is crucial in the event of high-stress situations such as aircraft evacuation, security threats, delays, medical emergencies, severe weather conditions, and turbulence.
- Professional appearance, excellent grooming standards, and willingness to follow uniform, hair, tattoo, and piercing guidelines.
- Ability to proficiently operate electronic devices (phones, tablets, laptops, etc). for the completion of required tasks.
- Possession of a valid U.S. passport or foreign passport with applicable visas and eligibility to travel globally without restrictions.
- English language proficiency; second languages such as Hebrew, Hindi, Dutch, and German are an asset.
- The ability to stand, walk, kneel, bend, stoop, stretch, reach, lift heavy objects (such as luggage to overhead bin or window exit) and push and pull beverage cart (up to 250 lbs.).
- Ability to sit in an assigned jump seat with seatbelt and shoulder harness fastened.
- Serve and/or sell food and beverages in a diligent and professional manner.
United Airlines Flight Attendant Age Requirements
United had the starting age as 21 for years, but now it’s down to 20 years of age. I believe this is due to the large demand for flight attendants and right now they want to cast the widest net possible for top talent.
There is no age limit for United Airlines flight attendants. Flight attendants of all ages are hired for the job. However, you do need to be in good physical health and be able to perform your job duties at any age.
United Airlines Flight Attendant Hiring Process
United Airlines is now requiring 180 from the time of your application to reapply if you have not been selected to advance throughout the interview process. (It was previously 90 days.)
Other airlines have you wait six months to one year to reapply if you have received a TBNT or “thanks but no thanks” email. That’s an email a candidate receives when the airline lets them know that they will not be moving forward in the interview process.
How long is the United Airlines flight attendant hiring process? It depends, it’s different for everyone, 3 months, 6 months, a year? It could be any of those or more.
United is always changing up the interview process (even if it changes a bit it’s still nearly the same), but at the time of this writing it is:
- Apply, and upload your resume and cover letter
- VI – Video Introduction – a video interview and introduction
- Live VI – A live 1:1 video interview (This is new for Fall 2022)
- F2F – United will fly you out to Houston, TX to do a face-to-face interview.
- CTO – Contingent training offer, if you pass the initial training program, you will become a United Airlines Flight Attendant.
Need a professional resume that will get you to the next step in the interview process? Future Flight Attendant’s Flight Attendant Resume Service has got you covered.
United Airlines Flight Attendant Interview
The United Airlines flight attendant video interview is a pre-recorded interview with HireVu. They had been skipping the VI or video interview and going right to the F2F or face-to-face interview, but the VI is back.
After the live VI you will receive an email with either an invitation to a face-to-face interview in Houston, TX or a TBNT. TBNT means thanks but no thanks. Thank you for applying but you have not been selected to advance, and you are welcome to reapply after 180 days.
If you have been selected to advance, you will be flown out to Houston, TX for a live interview. United Airlines does provide you with the flight, but you are on your own to get to the interview once you get there. You can either rent a car, take an Uber, or ride the bus.
If it’s summer you may want to skip the bus ride to the interview and only take it back to the airport because Houston is ridiculously hot.
The United flight attendant interview is like most other airlines face to face interviews. There are group activities, interviews, and informational sessions. There are rotations of different groups, and the entire process is an interview.
Some candidates will get offered a CTO (Contingent Training Offer) on the spot, some will be notified later. If you are released too quickly, you most likely were not selected for the job. *UPDATE – Starting in fall 2022, United has stopped giving anyone CTO’s on the spot. United is constantly changing the way they do things and the timelines.
Need help prepping for the Interview? The Flight Attendant Interview Study Guide will help you go into the interview process prepped and ready.
United Airlines Flight Attendant Training
United Airlines flight attendant training is six weeks long. Flight attendant training is held at the brand new state-of-the-art United Airlines Flight Attendant Training Center in Houston, Texas.
You can expect to have a roommate during training, but United does cover your accommodations, breakfast, and lunch.
Flight attendant training is not paid, but you do receive $140 untaxed per week in per diem.
Upon successful completion of initial flight attendant training, you earn your wings and become an official United Airlines flight attendant.
United Airlines Flight Attendant Graduation
After successful completion of flight attendant training it’s time for flight attendant graduation. You may have your family come to watch you graduate, and if you have a friend or family member that is already a United Airlines flight attendant, they may even pin your wings during the graduation ceremony.
After flight attendant graduation, you have about a week to get to your flight attendant base and base orientation before you start working as an official United Airlines flight attendant.
United Airlines Flight Attendant Bases
United Airlines has flight attendant bases located in the following cities:
- BOS (Boston, MA)
- CLE (Cleveland, OH)
- AUS (Austin, TX) Satellite Base
- DEN (Denver, C
- EWR (Newark, NJ)
- FLL (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Satellite Base
- GUM (Guam)
- HNL (Honolulu, HI)
- IAD (Washington, DC)
- IAH (Houston, TX)
- LAS (Las Vegas, Nevada) Satellite Base
- LAX (Los Angeles, CA)
- LHR (London, Heathrow)
- MCO (Orlando, FL) Satellite Base
- ORD (Chicago, IL)
- PHX (Phoenix, AZ) Satellite Base
- SAN (San Diego, CA) Satellite Base
- SFO (San Francisco, CA)
- TPA (Tampa, FL) Satellite Base
Don’t expect to be based at any of the satellite bases (with the exception of MCO, it’s a new pilot base and expanding!) because they are very senior.
United changes what bases they are hiring for often, but that doesn’t mean after six months you cannot transfer to a different base if operational needs and seniority allow.
The bases that are in bold are the bases that a new hire flight attendant can most likely expect to be based. With the exception of Cleveland, the other bases could take YEARS to be able to get into. Things change, they always change in the aviation industry so you never know, but historically that’s the way it goes.
United Airlines Flight Attendant Hiring Events
United Airlines has flight attendant hiring events at different bases throughout the year, even when they are not open for applications, you can get an interview from a hiring event invite.
There usually isn’t much notice before the event, but if you are on glassdoor and there is one in your city, you will get a notification. These events are intended for flight attendant applicants who reside in or near these cities. The reason for the hiring event is because they need flight attendants at the base in that city.
United does not give CTOs (Contingent Training Offers) on the spot at the hiring events, but it is a great way to come out and meet people and get your foot in the door.
Once a flight attendant applicant attends a United Airlines hiring event and they are chosen to proceed, they will get a video interview invite for a VI with United. After the VI, if they are chosen to proceed they will be invited to a Face to Face interview in the city where the hiring event was held, and not in Houston, TX making it much easier for applicants to get to the interview!
United Airlines Flight Attendant Uniforms
United Airlines flight attendant uniforms will be changing, but no one is sure exactly when. Before the pandemic, they tested new uniforms with completely different colors and styles, but then tragedy struck, and they are still using the blue and black uniforms.
Upon completion of training, the flight attendants will have new uniforms and luggage. United Airlines requires new flight attendants to pay for their uniforms and luggage and it will be payroll deducted, however, in the future they will have a uniform allowance so they don’t have to pay for any more uniforms.
United Airlines allows for inclusive expression, and they are already proving it. United Airlines is working toward nonbinary uniform selections, and male flight attendants are allowed to wear make-up and colored nail polish. They want everyone to feel comfortable in their uniforms.
The blue and black uniforms look sharp, and everyone looks great in them wearing the uniform for any shape, size, and gender. United Airlines has the most inclusive and progressive appearance standards in the industry.
United Airlines Flight Attendant Tattoo Policy
United Airlines updated its flight attendant tattoo policy in 2021 to allow visible tattoos.
Tattoos are permitted on the arms, legs, wrist, and feet and must be no larger than a credit card.
There are no tattoos permitted on the face, hands, or neck for United Airlines flight attendants.
You can have one adjacent area of tattoos, no larger than a credit card (or your United badge which is the same size), visible on each arm/wrist and leg/foot.
Tattoos that are offensive to other employees or customers are not permitted. This includes violent, obscene, sexual, racist, or objectionable content and any imagery that includes weapons. United’s tattoo policy clearly states that “if you have any of this imagery please keep them covered by your uniform garments”.
So there you have it, the United Airlines flight attendant hiring process, in a nutshell.