The Cabin Crew Reach Test

The reach test can cause a lot of confusion and worry for potential cabin crew! This is usually part of the airline’s assessment day, and will often be done fairly early on.

If a candidate doesn’t manage to reach the required height, they will be sent home!

Not all airlines do the reach test as part of their application process, although each airline does have height requirements. Check our airline requirement articles for the current requirements for the most popular airlines!

These will be detailed in the job description and in the cabin crew recruitment sections of their website.

If there are any specific reach requirements these will be stated here too, and you will know to expect a reach test during the process.

Generally the stricter reach tests are part of the application process for the bigger international airlines, which operate large, long haul aircraft.

They’re there for a good reason – safety. On an aircraft the safety and survival equipment is usually stored either in the overhead locker compartments or in deep storage compartments in the lower levels. So you’ll need to be able to reach this in an emergency!

Yoga pose

The Test

The required height will be marked on a wall with a line, and applicants will be asked to come up to the wall (either individually or in small groups) to show that they can reach the line.

This will be done under the observation of the recruitment team.

The tests test will differ slightly across the airlines, but here’s what you can expect:

  • A required reach of between 208 and 214 cm, dependent on airline.
  • Applicants will in most cases be allowed to stand on tiptoes.
  • Your palm should be flat against the wall, and the tips of your fingers should reach over the line.
  • You’ll normally only be asked to reach with one hand, although some of the Middle Eastern airlines may ask you to also do a reach with both hands.

As a rule of thumb women will be asked to do the reach test without shoes, whilst men will be allowed to keep their shoes on.

The recruiters are there to help and answer any questions, and they will also demonstrate exactly what it is that they want you to do.

Functional Reach Test

For the functional reach test you will be required to have your feet flat on the floor, and have a reach of 201 cm to touch a handle.

At the moment as far as we are aware only British Airways are including this slightly different version of the test into their application process.

Again please check the candidate requirements for any post you are applying for carefully!

How can I improve my chances of passing?

Any exercise you can do to improve your stretch and balance will help!

Yoga or Pilates are excellent for stretching out and strengthening your body, and the movements will help with balance and coordination too.

Yoga pose

Core exercises and stretches that help make your back and shoulders more flexible will also help.

You can also practice at home. Mark the specified height on the wall with a piece of tape and get a friend to watch you and help make sure you can hit the target!

This will also help you to be confident at reaching and balancing on your tiptoes.

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Andy Waite

Andy has worked in a number of travel and tourism organisations including holiday parks and travel agencies, as well as airlines including Flybe. He finished flying in 2007 and began training as a Cabin Crew instructor in 2010 at Exeter College.

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