Can You Work for an Airline With a Misdemeanor?

The answer is that it depends. Getting an airport job with a criminal is harder than if you had a clean record, but it isn’t impossible. In some ways it’s pretty similar to getting a regular job that requires a background check. If you have a criminal record, it’s going to make things more difficult.

Will I Get Hired With A Misdemeanor?

Can You Work for an Airline With a Misdemeanor?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was established after the events of September 11, 2001. TSA agents work in all transportation industries, including the airlines. Because their mission is security, there are permanent and interim TSA background check disqualifications. Permanent disqualifications include crimes related to espionage, terrorism, sedition or transportation security. You can never get a job with the TSA if youve been convicted, pled guilty or been found not guilty by reason of insanity for these crimes.

A misdemeanor in one state might not even be a crime in another state. For example, as of April 2021, marijuana is fully illegal in Idaho, Montana, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. However, its legalized in some states, permitted for medical use in others and decriminalized in a few. See the interactive map at DISA Global Solutions to get the most current information about your state. As long as you can pass a drug test, a misdemeanor for marijuana possession, particularly in a state where marijuana is legal or decriminalized, may not be significant to an employer.

Most states have a process allowing individuals to clear part or all of their criminal record, although the process can vary depending on where you live and where the crime was committed. In New York, for example, you have to wait 10 years after youve completed any sentence and paid applicable fines to apply to have your record cleared. As explained by Rosenblum Law, there is no single offense that can be cleared in all states. An interactive map on Rosenblums website lets you explore your states laws more thoroughly. For the most current legal advice, talk with a local attorney who specializes in employment law.

Having a misdemeanor on your record does not necessarily bar you from employment, even with an airline. Depending on the nature of the offense and when it was committed, it could be viewed by prospective employers as unrelated to the job for which youre applying. Since a background check is part of the application process, its best to be upfront about your past so you have the opportunity to explain it and move forward.

As explained on the employment website Job Applications, the airline industry is expected to continue to grow as both the population and economy expand. As COVID-19 restrictions are removed, millions of people will return to airline travel, necessitating the employment of workers at all levels of employment, including pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers, security personnel, reservations and ticket agents and customer service representatives. There are regional, national and international carriers, full- and part-time positions and opportunities for experienced as well as entry-level employees. Each employer has its own requirements and procedures for the hiring process, including how these pertain to specific positions. All airlines must comply with federal, state and local laws that protect both employers and workers.

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