SInGAPORE_AIR
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Selecting F/As On Beauty Is A "Setback"

Tue Nov 20, 2007 12:50 am

This is surely something that will provoke heated discussion:

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Fresh faces in the sky



For China's fast-growing airline industry, the screening process for flight attendants is more beauty pageant than job interview. If you can't handle a swimsuit competition, don't even try.

BEIJING -- Fly on a Chinese airline and you will be pampered by flight attendants who ... are young, beautiful and practically the same height.

"A lot of Chinese passengers judge the quality of airlines based on the quality of their flight attendants, meaning are they pretty or not pretty," said Luo Man, a media director at China Southern, the country's largest carrier.

China Southern has put its annual recruitment drive on TV.

The show, funded in part by the airline, follows a six-month audition -- complete with swimsuit competition and a race involving luggage, makeup brushes and drink trays.

"This is every little girl's dream," said Lu Ju, 20.

Veda Shook is not amused by the focus on looks and youth.

"I find it very offensive," said Shook, international vice president for the Assn. of Flight Attendants, the world's largest labor union for cabin crew members, representing more than 55,000 employees at 20 U.S. airlines. "When a carrier views their selection process as a beauty pageant, it's really a setback to our profession on a global scale."

Not that Americans haven't been there.

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More at the Los Angeles Times

Article by Ching-Ching Ni, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
NG1Fan
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RE: Selecting F/As On Beauty Is A "Setback"

Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:00 am



Quoting SINGAPORE_AIR (Thread starter):
"A lot of Chinese passengers judge the quality of airlines based on the quality of their flight attendants, meaning are they pretty or not pretty," said Luo Man, a media director at China Southern, the country's largest carrier.

Here's your answer folks. Its all about perceptions. Different cultures do things differently. Thankfully, Anglo homogeneity hasn't spread through all corners of the globe (yet).

If this thread is about women's lib - let's be frank and say that the movement evolved in the West over many years. Give the folks in China (and elsewhere) time and we'll see some convergence of views/attitudes.

NG1Fan
 
GoAllegheny
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RE: Selecting F/As On Beauty Is A "Setback"

Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:10 am



Quoting NG1Fan (Reply 1):
Thankfully, Anglo homogeneity hasn't spread through all corners of the globe (yet).



Actually, I would say that it's the Chinese airlines that are guilty of homogeneity - young, beautiful and all the same height. Whatever, this shouldn't really be a surprise - is it really that different at Singapore, Thai, or some of the other Asian airlines?
 
comorin
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RE: Selecting F/As On Beauty Is A "Setback"

Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:17 am

I don't think women should be penalized for being beautiful.

My litmus test for airline service is who would I send my 90-year old dad on, alone from JFK to Asia. For me, only one airline, SQ, is up to the task. The FA's on SQ are the most professional and energetic ( they're young and help pax with stowing luggage) I have seen, and I know they will keep an eye on my Dad every second of the way, even in Y.

Now SQ's FA's are good-looking, and it doesn't seem to hurt .
 
777STL
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RE: Selecting F/As On Beauty Is A "Setback"

Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:39 am



Quoting Comorin (Reply 3):
don't think women should be penalized for being beautiful.

That's not the point, you're penalizing women for *NOT* being beautiful.

Either way, I don't really care. Here in the states we have F/As in some instances that I doubt would be able to perform their jobs effectively in an emergency situation due to their age/health. I think geriatric F/As in their 70s/80s is verging on ridiculous. But diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. Cultures are different. I respect that.
PHX based
 
BA
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RE: Selecting F/As On Beauty Is A "Setback"

Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:47 am

This seems to be a trait of Asian and Middle Eastern airlines. To a certain extent, some European airlines as well.

It's about portraying the airline's image and these airlines view the flight attendants as an integral part of the airline's image and brand.

I don't think this is necessarily bad as long as the flight attendants hired are qualified and can properly do their job.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
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zeke
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RE: Selecting F/As On Beauty Is A "Setback"

Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:14 am



Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 2):
Actually, I would say that it's the Chinese airlines that are guilty of homogeneity - young, beautiful and all the same height.

You sound like a typical westerner describing any asian lady. They all seem to around slim, 5'6", brown eyes, black hair, with a nice complexion. I even find it difficult at times trying to work out if some of them are 19, 23, 25, 27, or 30, it is harder for westerners to judge their age.

I know at our airline we have a fairly high turnover of the younger girls as many of them do not see it as a career, they see it as a way to see the world, experience new cultures, and gain access to other airline benifitis. Most seem to do the job for a few years, and then want a career outside of aviation, or settle down and have a family. They often tend to get "home sick" even on a "short" 5 day trip, miss their favourite food and TV programs, and get sick of working holidays and weekends when their school friends are having fun.

Being cabin crew is hard work, in Asian carriers anyway. They provide a lot of service to passengers, and take pride in what they do. I often look around in the bus on the way to the hotel to see most if not all of them asleep from working so hard on flight.
We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
 
NASBWI
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RE: Selecting F/As On Beauty Is A "Setback"

Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:33 am



Quoting Comorin (Reply 3):
I don't think women should be penalized for being beautiful.

They aren't. Apparently, it's women that are perceived as "not" beautiful that are penalized.

Quoting SINGAPORE_AIR (Thread starter):
The show, funded in part by the airline, follows a six-month audition -- complete with swimsuit competition and a race involving luggage, makeup brushes and drink trays.

"This is every little girl's dream," said Lu Ju, 20.

What about little boys' dreams of becoming a cabin crew member? Are they exempt because of their sex?

Different cultures do indeed dictate different jobs, status, etc. This is one reason why I'm thankful that I live in the U.S. Being a flight attendant means a lot to me (regardless of the negative feedback about how FA's should be reminiscent of supermodels), and I'd dread to think of what I'd be otherwise doing in another culture that does not support male FAs.

No one country can change the entire world, and I'm not knocking other airline's decisions to hire whom they please. But before anyone starts jumping on the "America needs to adopt these requirements" bandwagon, let's not forget that America supports free trade, and freedom to pursue your happiness, whatever calling that may be. If being a flight attendant is what's most important to you, and you are up to the task, why let some law that says "you must be a certain age, weight, and height (and sex)" stop you?
Fierce, Fabulous, and Flawless ;)
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Selecting F/As On Beauty Is A "Setback"

Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:53 am

All one has to do to decide if these 'pretty, young' flight attendants are qualified, is to fly an Asian airline. The professionalism of the cabin crews is beyond reproach, as is the service. The cabin crew hopefuls may be selected, partly based on looks, but they still have to pass the training, which is rigorous.

Considering that airliners are small, cramped workplaces, why wouldn't you hire people of a 'certain size' to do the job? Large enough to do the very heavy work required but small enough not to become an obstacle.

Every airline has limits on the size of the people they hire. To a large degree, these limits are arbitrary. If you have to pick, say, 100 people out of a pool of 1000, odds are the people that most ideally fit the size requirements, will also be the most attractive.

I have yet to meet anyone who has flown with North American/European airlines, man or woman, who has told me they prefer them to the Asian airlines, for professionalism or service.
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