Real Answers from Real Pilots

Am i too young

I am a 44 yr young flight attendant and I’m interested in school in the Atlanta area… am i too old?

Yolanda,

This is a pretty frequent question on this message board. The answer is no, you are not too old, but you need to act quickly and you need to have realistic expectations.

If you started flight training today, and went to an accelerated flight school like ATP, you would be airline eligible at the age of 46. Expect to spend between two and five years as a first officer at a regional before upgrading to Captain, so age 51. Then about two years of flying as a Captain before you can realistically apply to the majors. At that point you would need to decide if you wanted to make the jump to the majors or not. If you do not yet have a four year college degree you will need one to apply to the major airlines.

As you know, everything in the airlines is based off of seniority. So the pilot flying the 747 to Asia as a captain probably got hired at the airlines thirty years ago. You will not have the time to gain that seniority, but you could have a good career flying domestically and maybe even a few years of international flying.

Whether it is worth it or not is up to you, but if you decide to go for it I would wait much longer. Time is of the essence.

Chris