Do Flight Attendants Get Drug Tested? The Answer Might Surprise You!

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Due to the nature of their job, which necessitates a strong priority on safety in accordance with DOT regulations and FAA supervision, flight attendants do indeed undergo drug testing.

People often wonder if flight attendants are drug tested before they become employed by an airline or if they are randomly drug tested while working, but the answer might surprise you! If you’re considering a career as a flight attendant or already are one, it’s important to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding this sensitive subject and how you can protect yourself at work.

Let’s find out if flight attendants get drug tested, as well as how you can help maintain safety in the skies!

What Kind Of Drug Testing Do Flight Attendants Make?

A lot of people assume that flight attendants must take a drug test before they can start working. After all, they are responsible for the safety of hundreds of passengers! However, the reality is that not all airlines require their employees to take a drug test.

Do Flight Attendants Get Drug Tested?

There are some smaller regional carriers that don’t provide this service at all. Even if an airline does administer drug tests, there’s no guarantee that it will happen regularly or even at all. Some companies may only do so after an accident or in response to another incident. 

In other words, you might have to wait until the day you get hired before you know whether you’ll be subjected to this requirement. But if you’re offered a job with one of these carriers and want to work with them, make sure that they test employees on a regular basis and offer the chance for random screenings as well.

And just because your employer doesn’t give mandatory drug tests doesn’t mean you should think about using drugs as a way to cope with your new job stressors. If anything goes wrong, you could find yourself without employment very quickly.

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When And How Often Do Flight Attendants Get Drug Tested?

Just like other safety-sensitive industries, such as trucking and oil & gas, flight attendants are subject to pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, and post-accident drug testing.

In most cases, flight attendants are tested for drugs and alcohol before they’re hired. Tests usually take place at the applicant’s home or office, where a technician administers the test in person.

Random drug tests may be administered without notice on any date selected by the employer and may be unannounced.

Reasonable suspicion is determined by an analysis of the individual’s behavior that leads an employer to suspect that the employee has been using or might be under the influence of illegal substances.

For example, if a flight attendant shows up late for work more than once after calling in sick, their employer may reasonably conclude that the flight attendant is abusing alcohol. Post-accident testing takes place when accidents occur that involve death or serious injury to employees from occupational hazards while performing job duties.

If a pilot tests positive for drugs or alcohol, they can lose their license and privileges to fly an aircraft.

If a flight attendant tests positive for drugs or alcohol, it will be investigated with respect to the specific circumstances, and punishments may vary depending on the type of substance detected and circumstances surrounding the offense. 

The FAA does not require employers (including airlines) to administer routine pre-employment drug testing because federal law mandates that pilots must submit themselves to regular pre-flight checks.

Is It Possible To Cheat A Drug Test?

While there are ways to cheat a drug test, it is generally not recommended. This is because if you are caught cheating, you could be subject to disciplinary action from your employer.

Additionally, cheating on a drug test can also lead to false positives, which can impact your ability to get a job or keep a job.

However, in the event that you do choose to tamper with the urine sample, the consequences for doing so can be severe and include fines and/or imprisonment for up to five years.

In addition, those who wish to avoid a drug test may try diluting their urine or substituting someone else’s urine for their own. These methods can fail due to adulteration or by containing drugs that have metabolism at different rates than your own.

The most effective way to circumvent a drug screening is not drinking anything before providing the sample.

What Substances Are To Be Tested?

There are a variety of substances that flight attendants may be tested for, including alcohol, drugs, and prescription medications. The type of substance that is being tested for will determine the method of testing that is used.

Breathalyzers or blood tests can be used to test for alcohol levels in an individual’s system. Drugs like marijuana or cocaine can be detected by urinalysis (urine test). Prescription medications like Vicodin and Oxycodone can also be detected by urinalysis.

It should also be noted that these tests will not always detect if someone has taken their medication at the prescribed time because they have been taking it more frequently than they should have been.

Do Flight Attendants Get Drug Tested?

That said, there are other methods of detecting whether or not someone has been using too much of their prescription drug(s), such as a patient history with the prescribing doctor.

If there is suspicion that this might be happening, the flight attendant could have to submit to random drug testing on days when he/she doesn’t work as well as during work hours when he/she reports for duty.

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FAQs

1. Do Airlines drug test for pre-employment drug tests?

It’s a common question asked by those interested in working in the airline industry: do airlines drug test for pre-employment drug tests? The answer is not as clear-cut as you might think.

While some airlines have strict policies in place, others take a more relaxed approach. Ultimately, it depends on the airline you’re applying to.

2. Does the FAA drug test its employees?

It’s a common misconception that the FAA drug tests its employees. In reality, the agency does not have a drug testing program in place for its workers.

However, this doesn’t mean that flight attendants are immune to being tested for drugs. If an airline company has a suspicion that an employee is using drugs, they may require them to take a test.

3. What do they test for when hiring a flight attendant?

Being a flight attendant is a highly sought-after job. After all, who wouldn’t want to travel the world for free? But what many people don’t realize is that the job comes with a lot of responsibility.

One of the things that airlines look for when hiring flight attendants is whether or not they are drug tested.

4. Do flight attendants get paid hourly?

Though they are not paid hourly, flight attendants do receive a salary. This is because their job requires them to be on call at all hours of the day and night.

In addition to their salary, flight attendants also receive benefits, such as health insurance and retirement savings plans.

They must work for an airline for three years before they can apply for these benefits, though airline companies are highly competitive, so it’s important that employees put in the time necessary to become eligible for these perks. 

If you want to become a flight attendant but aren’t sure if it’s the right career choice for you, check out this quiz from Airline Pilot Central. It will help you determine if this is your dream job or just another passing fancy!

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