Airline Hiring Age Max

Hey guys,

Had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine who retired just a few years ago from one of the legacy airlines after 35+ years.

He asked me a question, I hadn’t previously considered. He asked, “what’s the current airline maximum hiring age?”

He told me that when the airlines were hiring during his era, you couldn’t be above 28 years of age. As a 41 year old, looking to start training in January or February, it occurred to me that I had never seen any maximum age cutoff aside from when pilots age out at 65 years old.

So, within the airline industry today, do any airlines or legacy airlines have age maximums where if you begin training at “X” age, they won’t even look at you?

Thanks again in advance, you all are so helpful!



I don’t believe any airline has a posted max age but obviously it has to be worth their while to train a pilot which isn’t cheap. With that said when I was at the Regionals I knew a couple of pilots hired at 61, I’ve flown with a bunch of newhire 50+yo at my Major and a friend at SouthWest had a 60yo in their newhire class.

Long short at 41 you’re far from too old.



There is no published maximum hiring age for any airline. To do so would be blatant age discrimination. That being said, clearly the airlines are not going to hire somebody at 63 who retires in a year. I too have seen pilots hired in their late fifties and early sixties.



At your age, you don’t have time to waste. You’ll want to get started asap. Though on the older end, you can still have a 20 year career. As for the age cut off, that can only be rumored due to training costs vs time at the company. Any written cut off age would be age discrimination.

The regionals would be more apt to want to hire older applicants knowing they would probably stay until 65 which often can be way longer than an FO looking to hop to a major as soon as they’re qualified.


Hi Josh,

I spoke with several Regionals while evaluating ATP. I received written replies from three. They required a new hire to have enough time left to complete a minimum two-year contract after onboarding and training. Hope this helps.