Braybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 6226 posts, RR: 30 Posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7381 times:
A recent flight with a major US airline got me thinking: among the cabin crew, one female stood-out on account of her appearance. Airlines always use either models (or maybe their most attractive crew) in their advertising and safety videos, yet we all know we are hardly likely find these specimens of human perfection on our flights. But we do expect a certain image: professional and smart. This female FA was anything but: her image was the closest thing to "diesel dyke" I've ever seen on any airline: overweight, trousers, cropped hair, no make-up, and her only nod to glamour was a discreet pair of stud earrings. I know we're in the age of equality -- and discrimination lawsuits -- but has it really come to the stage where cabin crew can call the shots as regards image?
If women feel the need to wear trousers to be equal, why can't men wear skirts? I'm sure there are plenty of cross-dressing male FAs out there who'd jump at the opportunity. Are airlines in the West so afraid of equality lawsuits that they have little or no say in the image of their staff? I'm thinking of Singapore Airlines, whose female crew are all slim, young and wear the famous patterned dress. They look beautiful, feminine and sexy.
What do you think, am I living on another planet or what?
ThegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2326 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7361 times:
Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter): Airlines always use either models (or maybe their most attractive crew) in their advertising and safety videos, yet we all know we are hardly likely find these specimens of human perfection on our flights. But we do expect a certain image: professional and smart. This female FA was anything but: her image was the closest thing to "diesel dyke" I've ever seen on any airline: overweight, trousers, cropped hair, no make-up, and her only nod to glamour was a discreet pair of stud earrings. I know we're in the age of equality -- and discrimination lawsuits -- but has it really come to the stage where cabin crew can call the shots as regards image?
The airlines very well want to keep the younger, cheaper, and more attractive 20 somethings...but if they have to downsize the old hags stay...because of the unions and what not
In some parts in Asia and Africa for example an FA is a young female's job....call me whatever you want but I like it that way.....
PRAirbus From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2005, 1171 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7305 times:
US Airlines DO NOT enforce grooming standards like foreign carriers. With the exception of DL (non-union FAs); all other majors like AA, UA, CO, US, etc. do not seem to care how their crews look. I say DL because DL hired a major designer to enhance its staff image. I think DL really cares about the brand...the other carriers are more about penny pinching and cutting costs (like AA!) I believe most US carriers are "afraid" to enforce grooming/appearance rules to avoid possible discrimination lawsuits from its employees. I think major US carriers FA's image has gone down the drain. It is obvious most crews look shabby, tired and lack pride on their image; at least that is an assumption one could make by noticing how they look when parading around the terminals. A hodge-podge of components, the ever present "clog shoes", backpacks, hair all the way down, no make up. Most FAs I know use the excuse that they are too "tired and fatigued" to pay attention to their appearance. All it takes is a trip to the airport to people watch and notice how professional and stunning Foreign crews look. It is a shame!
SkyguyB727 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7259 times:
Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 4): I say DL because DL hired a major designer to enhance its staff image. I think DL really cares about the brand...the other carriers are more about penny pinching and cutting costs (like AA!)
DL may have hired a major designer, but why are all of the uniform pieces, right down to the neck ties and white shirts, made in China with the appalling lack of quality that often goes with "Made in China" products? Something is seriously wrong when people have uniform pieces literally fall apart after one day of normal wear.
I applaud DL for trying to bring back a polished image that seems to have been lost at other American carriers. It's unfortunate that they chose a vendor that outsourced all production to China and is consequently supplying DL with a very poor quality product. As the saying goes, "Looks can be deceiving."
The airline I'm talking about is Delta. I remember seeing her in the airbridge on boarding and assumed she was one of the ground crew.All she was short of was a bunch spanners and screwdrivers sticking out of her back pocket. I wondered if she doubled as a mechanic and was employed for changing engines at remote locations,which she looked as though she could do single-handedly.
FutureUALpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2615 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7141 times:
I would say in large part is has to do with the degredation of a once proud industry and career that began decades ago. Way back when, pilots made what they deserve, FA's were young, eager to please and paid well with good schedules. Carriers used to care about their service and flying was a fun endeavour. People used to get dressed up and paid top dollar to fly.The industry used to have people like Juan Pierre, Howard Hughes, Herb Kelleher and Bob Crandall running things.
Now, crews are worked ragged for a fraction of what they used to make with little or no retirement to look forward to, and carriers are run by no name bean counters who care more about making money than they do about the quality of the product. People search for the absolute lowest possible price and look like slobs when the arrive at the gate. Everybody is so afraid to be sued, we have to offer every job, to every body,even when they may not be best suited for that position.
Just my opinion, but I think it has a lot to do with all of that.
Now, off to walk up hill to school both ways in the driving snow without my shoes. Darn whippersnappers...
Flyby519 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7134 times:
Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter): Are airlines in the West so afraid of equality lawsuits that they have little or no say in the image of their staff?
In the US they have equal opportunity employment laws, and it would be big time lawsuits if someone was fired for not being a young cute female(or not hired because they didnt fit the physical description that foreign carriers put in their job listings). Believe me, I wish this weren't the case and they could reprimand people for looking sloppy and unkempt,
These postings or comments are not a company-sponsored source of communication.
Braybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 6226 posts, RR: 30
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7013 times:
Quoting TG992 (Reply 13): The OP fails to mention whether the FA's customer service was good or bad. I consider this far more important than what she looked like.
Well, she barked at me to put my bag either under the seat in front of me or in the overhead locker. I reckoned she'd be good at kickiing-out a door in an emergency, but wondered whether she'd fit through it.
Zippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5607 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6976 times:
Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter): This female FA was anything but: her image was the closest thing to "diesel dyke" I've ever seen on any airline: overweight, trousers, cropped hair, no make-up, and her only nod to glamour was a discreet pair of stud earrings.
Hey, I remember you on my airplane. If I ever have you again on any of MY Airplanes I'll haul your ass into the honeybucket and give you a swirley. I take pride in my stache and was offered a role in The Prisoner of Cell Block H back in the day.
RoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 10489 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6959 times:
I personally think that the opinions of what flight attendants "should" look like is a case of historical social bias towards appearance. In some fields such as being a cocktail waitress appearance is very strict. However in most professions that women comprise the majority of, appearance has become more relaxed. A nurse is viewed on her capabilities and not performance. Waitresses at most restaurants are tipped based on service and not appearance. However there are attitudes that are partially based on historical trends and also on sexism that is fostered by some images presented that are quite judgemental.
What I care about is quality service. Appearance does not mean that much to me as long as it is professional. I can enjoy service by a senior US crew as much as by a more attractive Asian crew as long as it is high quality. Many US airlines suffer from the difficulties that have plagued the industry. However with all things said, I will always prefer to have a US crew in the event of an emergency. As incidents like SQ 6 compared to US 1549 show, the experience and knowledge of crews in the United States is better than anywhere else. I feel much safer with a veteran AA crew than a service oriented young SQ crew.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
Braybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 6226 posts, RR: 30
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6929 times:
Quoting Zippyjet (Reply 15): Hey, I remember you on my airplane. If I ever have you again on any of MY Airplanes I'll haul your ass into the honeybucket and give you a swirley. I take pride in my stache and was offered a role in The Prisoner of Cell Block H back in the day.
Mayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 11495 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6852 times:
Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 7): The airline I'm talking about is Delta. I remember seeing her in the airbridge on boarding and assumed she was one of the ground crew.All she was short of was a bunch spanners and screwdrivers sticking out of her back pocket. I wondered if she doubled as a mechanic and was employed for changing engines at remote locations,which she looked as though she could do single-handedly.
Well, they cared up thru 2005, when I left. I know some of the grooming standards have changed since then.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
Zippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5607 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6834 times:
Quoting BOACCunard (Reply 20): So your problem is that she was overweight and not feminine enough for your idea of what a woman should be like?
Thanks sweetie for having my broad hairy back. Bet ya didn't know, I can chew glass, stare down a hippo, I can carry my Subaru minivan on my shoulders and have every Melissa Etheridge and Indo Girls's song memorized so, if that passenger is complaining about me I challange him to tossing toilets. And I bet I can out toss him. Booya!
DocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 22160 posts, RR: 63
Reply 22, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 6795 times:
I agree with you to some degree. I disagree that there should be a requirement that the crew be pretty women. There are women and gay men who fly and we'd like our eye candy, too. EK intentionally hires attractive, young crew (men and women), though.
The issue is grooming. On a recent NW flight, one of the F/A's had frizzy, ratty hair that actually offended me, it looked so bad. Full of white flecks which I presume were dandruff, but could have been louse eggs. And I'm not usually one to care about these things. But my God, woman! Shampoo! Brush! Is that too much to ask?
A good private company can specify dress codes and make them reasonable and comparable, yet different for men and women. There should be a women's uniform and a man's uniform. The sweater-jacket should never be an approved part of a uniform. Men (and women! )should be clean-shaven, and have clean, neat hair. Minimal make-up and jewelry should be enforced. That's how I show up to work. That's how anyone who works in customer service should show up to work.
Mats From Israel, joined Jul 2003, 654 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6685 times:
I've flown on 46 airlines, an I do think that appearances matter... to a degree.
It's a relief to be greeted by a well-groomed, smiling, reassuring crew. And when they're dressed the part, they tend to be more service-oriented and safety conscious.
But it is only an image. The film "Whisky Romeo Zulu" deals with very attractive flight attendants as the gloss on an otherwise dangerous operation.
It is unnerving to see employees of US airlines at overseas airports. My skin crawled when I saw a Continental Airlines crew in Rio de Janeiro. Their body mass index was probably an average of 30, their hair was in "sensibly short" style, their makeup a mess, and their uniforms wrinkled. Everything about them said, "We're tired, underpaid, and we're just here so we can get home."
A US Airways crew in Tel Aviv a few months ago was in a shouting match with the hotel clerk. They showed little class, and looked equally disheveled.
The only exception seems to be Virgin America, where the crews always look amazing. It's refreshing.
I try to be sympathetic: flight attendants aren't paid well and they have a tough job. I'd lose my mind if I had 300 people shoving empty cups in my face. The job market is terrible, so many are working in jobs they don't like. BUT, I say "rise to the occasion" (literally and figuratively). If you take the time to dress and groom with a bit more style and class, it will help everyone... including how you are treated.
As far as looking stereotypically lesbian. I don't think that matters at all. One can certainly still dress with a stereotypically lesbian hair cut, or have a demeanor that suggests "I like women," but that wouldn't preclude hospital service and attention to safety. I distinctly remember a pleasant flight from LA to Honolulu with a flight attendant who was--well--a stereotype. She was terrific: still well-groomed, witty, friendly, and attentive. I'd happily fly with her again.
Here in the US, there are protections over how totalitarian an employer can be about appearances. Okay. My advice to airlines and their crews is to lead by example. If you can't make it a rule, at least you can have crews who serve as a role models, and it might be contagious.
Zkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 5056 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (5 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6646 times:
Airlines in Australia and New Zealand have grooming standards. They don't care about age etc which is fair enough. But what does matter is that their staff make an effort to appear professional.
Examples are: limits on badges on uniforms, conservative/businesslike hair style (hair off the shoulders etc), makeup compulsary for women but banned for men, 1 earring per ear and small stud type only (for women, none for men), clean shaven, aftershave/perfume compulsary. Uniforms have to be kept clean and tidy as do shoes. No jewelery except wedding/engagement and/or 1 other ring. Plain nails (ie no designs etc) with professional appearance (no super long hooker nails).
These airlines actually produce an appearance guide that must be met. It is not very hard to do. If it is not met then it is discussed with the employee, if they still fail to meet the standard after this then they are given some form of written warning. 3 written warnings for the same/similar things and bye bye job.
What I don't understand about the USA is that in almost all jobs over there it is quite easy to fire someone for pretty much any reason (provided it isn't racist/sexist etc). Why is the airline industry over there different?
56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
: You really belileve this jingoistic nonsense? What about AF358? An example of top-notch performance in an emergency situation. And AF/KL crews tend t
: Back before the 80s, DL had a weight standard for F/As that had to be met. Apparently, someone thought that was discriminatory, so there was a morator
: I would, if he were wearing a dress, make-up and shimmied down the aisle. Could a seriously overweight FA move quickly in an emergency? This woman sl
: I haven't seen Virgin America crew, but I saw an entire flight worth of Virgin Atlantic FAs walking through MCO, and they looked fabulous! And the th
: I can only say that that is a load of BS. The circumstances revolving the 2 accidents are completely different. I would give you some respect if this
: Speaking of Delta spending lots of money on some fashion designer a few years ago to improve their “image”, I have to say, they got ripped off. I
: Great post and thank you for shedding some light on this. Being the son of a flight attendant, I have heard horror stories about proper grooming amon
: I am a 60 year old, slightly overweight male FA. I am on my second career. I am not sexy, but not sloppy. I care about my grooming. I think I do my jo
: I tend to agree FAs on non-US airlines appear to be better groomed. I think AF has the best looking male FAs on the planet. The ladies aren't so bad e
: OK, so pretty women and hot guys. (Though some women would see pretty women as eye candy of course!) But seriously, I don't think there should be a r
: Amen, sister! LOL That reminds me of this commercial....Love it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cM4EOeJzHA
: My point was that she was doing her best to look like a masculine man. She had her back to me as I passed her in the airbridge, and with her close-cr
: I understand the desire to have someone try to present themselves in a flattering way both with their appearance and performance. Why though should FA
: Honestly, I don't care about age and weight, either (OK, well I care, but obviously you can't make that a standard of employment). Just hygiene and g
: Professional in appearance and attitude...that's what really impresses me in a cabin crew. Some airlines have somewhat draconian measures to ensure th
: Every airline I have worked for in the United States has had the same, strict grooming and appearance standards and written style guides. Unfortunate
: Haven't been to the States for a while so I wasn't aware that "dyke" had any pejorative connotations there. It wouln't be as strong a term in Europe,
: Although I am not big on pride I do agree that it is important for both male and female FA's to be respectable. However, I do feel that ultimately it
: Thanks is that forum here on A-Net Non-Aviation?
: Okay, seriously, I want to know how the mods have not locked this thread. I mean seriously....the OP has stated some of the rudest, most stereotypical
: = A little over the top no? Singapore Airlines is still one of the consistently best carriers out there and you cannot compare the safety of one data
: So what's wrong with that? So basically, you think it is not good for an airline's image that its female employees come off as masculine.
: I have nothing against gay people, as I happen to be one myelf, and I'm certainly not talking about sexuality: I'm talking about image here. Now that
: Over the top??? Not a bit... Give me a veteran US crew over an Asian crew any time. I don't feel as comfortable on Asian carriers... because I don't
: If a person chooses a certain appearance it's not rude or intolerant to describe them. It would probably be rude if I -- or anyone else -- referred t
: I agree with OP and the point he's trying to get accross, which some people are twisting for no reason, especailly a couple of drama queens who have m