Eastern L1011
Topic Author
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F/A Jobs And Eyesight

Sat Nov 13, 1999 3:09 pm

I am a little confused at the requirements that some airlines (including United and Southwest) have for the eyesight of their flight attendants. They say to be a flight attendant you must have 20/40 correctable vision. This is very disheartening to me because I am legally blind in one eye and nothing can be done to fix it. I have been this way my whole life and do better with one eye than most people with two. My question is this: why would someone like myself be excluded from a job as an F/A? How could I possibly be putting passengers in danger? If anyone can help me on this, I would really appreciate it.

RE: F/A Jobs And Eyesight

Sat Nov 13, 1999 3:54 pm

The reason is because if your glasses fell of during an emergency you still need to be able to operate. You can still be an FA if you find out alll the reason from an airline and get a doctor to say that you can perform the FA tasks as well as any other FA. There is a UA pilot who only has one eye so it can be done.
Eastern L1011
Topic Author
Posts: 124
Joined: Sat May 22, 1999 2:17 am

RE: F/A Jobs And Eyesight

Sat Nov 13, 1999 4:17 pm

I don't wear glasses at all. I function normally without the aid of anything. As a matter of fact, my hobby is ice hockey. I play in a competative woman's league and I am their goalie, a position that depends a lot on eyesight. I can more than prove that I am capapble to handle the responsibilities of an F/A.
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RE: F/A Jobs And Eyesight

Sat Nov 13, 1999 7:03 pm

I believe it is illegal to discriminate against persons with disabilities as long as theyare able to perform the tasks required.

You could ask a lawyer.
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RE: F/A Jobs And Eyesight

Sun Nov 14, 1999 1:24 am

Unfortunately, it's not really descrimination...its all a safety issue. For instance: If one FA (with regular vision in both eyes) hurts their eye in an evacuation, or upon the crash landing, they still have a back-up eye to guide them to perform their evacuation tasks, however If you, EasternL1011, get something thrown into your eye, you have no back up vision to perform your duties.



Sun Nov 14, 1999 1:57 am

I think that is a bit far fetch. If I suddenly lost vision in one of my eyes I would not be able to operate at all. I would be so shocked and the pain I would be in. I think there are so few people that could say lets use the other one and can do it that your is really not a issue.
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To Eastern L1011

Sun Nov 14, 1999 3:23 am

How about contact lens? its harder to lose a contact in an emergency or turbulence than it is to have your glasses fall off like someone mentioned in an earlier post. I think also they have that requirement because F/A's also work in low light environments plus have to function in an emergency if there is no light, or smoke filling the cabin.

How's your vision in your good eye? If its 20/20 uncorrected maybe they'd make an exception?

Even if you can't be an F/A I'm sure there's a place for you in the airline industry. Don't give up on it.
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
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Iainhol And EasternL1011

Sun Nov 14, 1999 7:23 am

There are many, many people out there who would continue, though. If the accident happens very quickly, almost 99.9% of the time the person doesn't notice an injury is present, and they continue playing/working/operating the same as before. During crashes, it has been shown that despite injuries, FA's continue with their job, as they are almost always in a "dazed" state.

((**to clarify an earlier point--
I said (I think, at least) in an earlier post something to the effect of: "some vision is needed to open the door", however in addition to opening the door, some vision is also neeed to see any outside obstructions that could damage the slide (and ultimately the pax. lives), they need to be able to see the manual inflation handle, and be able to pull it (used in EVERY evacuation), as well as see if the slide has completely deployed prior to allowing passengers to evacuate.**))

In any case, [surprisingly] it is not descrimination, and there is no basis for any legal procedures.

An other job you might like, EasternL1011 is this:
**Onboard supervisor** You are incharge of a large group of FA's at the domicile station, and for about 12 days out of the month (the same as a FA), you will fly around the world, supervising onboard procedures, as well as talking to the customers and getting their feedback about the airline and their alliance carriers.



RE: Iainhol And EasternL1011

Sun Nov 14, 1999 7:51 am

Good point fly777ual. I remember slamming my fingure in a door and hoping around the garden thinking my foot was sore. Funny things happen when you are hurt.
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RE: Iainhol And EasternL1011

Sun Nov 14, 1999 11:53 pm

you should be OK with one eye as a FA.. Pilot in the UK can have one eye in a two crew op.. so I dont see why a FA cant!
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RE: F/A Jobs And Eyesight

Mon Nov 15, 1999 1:10 am

What are the chances of loosing one of the two eyes during an emergency?? Why focus only on eyes in that case? Let's take in account possible broken hands and legs... will a FA be required to carry on with one hand and/or leg? Afterall, there isn't far to see in a plane (ok, maybe future planes will be big enough for that...)  .

I've seen last September on my BA flight on a B757 a male FA with glasses.

Also, on a russian carrier I've been on a flight with the crew manager being a woman with glasses!

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