There is an unlikely legal loophole that lets stateless undocumented immigrants stay in the US

Undocumented immigrant from the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia or Dutch Antilles? A 2001 Supreme Court ruling says you’re in luck.

President Donald Trump’s long-promised deportation force is getting to work. Last Monday, Feb. 13 the Department of Homeland Security announced that 680 people were detained over the past week as federal agents raided homes and workplaces in Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and other cities. But there is one category of undocumented immigrant that the Trump administration will have trouble deporting: stateless people whose home countries no longer exist.

The loophole dates back to the bizarre case of Kestutis Zadvydas, who was born to Lithuanian parents in a displaced persons camp in 1948 in post-war Germany and later emigrated to the US as a child. The US government sought to deport him in 1994 after he served a two-year sentence in Virginia for possessing a half-kilo of cocaine. But both Germany and Lithuania denied that he was a citizen of their countries, and he was detained for three years. The US Supreme Court later ruled, in Zadvydas v. Davis, that the government cannot indefinitely detain immigrants under order of deportation whom no other country will accept–or if their home country has simply vanished.

New countries pop up with some frequency. South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011, and Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008. The globe is littered with aspiring nation states: Scotland, the Caucasian breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Catalonia in northeastern Spain, and Veneto, the watery, city-state dream of gondoliers and bankers. Every time a country is born, it means decades of headaches for officials at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of the Department of Homeland Security.

This predicament will sound familiar to viewers of the 2004 film “The Terminal.” In the movie, Tom Hanks’ character, Viktor Navorski, lands in New York hours after a coup in in Krakozhia, his fictional Balkan homeland. Now a stateless man, he spends the better part of a year in the international departures terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport. Navorski cheerfully makes the best of his time in immigration limbo, earning quarters by returning luggage carts and wooing a pretty flight attendant.

The film’s villainous customs supervisor is alternately perplexed and infuriated at his inability to deport him–a frustration common to law enforcement officials dealing with real-life Victor Navorskis.

“People think we can just put someone on a plane and then kick them out in Moscow or wherever,” a Homeland Security official told me last fall. In reality, Homeland Security often spends years negotiating with countries to convince them to accept aliens that may not technically be their citizens, such an ethnic Serb born in Yugoslavia.

Just how many stateless people like Viktor Navorski are in the US? The figure is unclear. In a December 2012 report, the UN High Commissioner for Refugee found that between 2005 and 2010, there were 1,087 asylum requests in the US from people listed as stateless. Between fiscal years 2009 and 2014, records show that ICE succeeded in removing hundreds of people with obsolete passports, including the Soviet Union (309), Czechoslovakia (168), and the Netherlands Antilles (24).

But statelessness plays a part in only a small percentage of Zadvydas cases, an ICE official told me. The most important implication of the Supreme Court’s decision is that aliens typically cannot be detained for more than six months while awaiting deportation. Cuba, Somalia, China, and India are among the countries that Homeland Security tags as the slowest to accept their citizens back, which then lets them walk free.

Immigration hardliners have railed against Zadvydas for this reason for years. Since 2013, 8,275 criminal aliens were released under this judicial precedent, according to statistics touted last year by the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform.

“The decision has been a flash point for anti-immigrant forces,” says Judy Rabinovitz, who masterminded the litigation strategy that won the Zadvydas v. Davis case in 2001 and is now a deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project.

What will be the next independence movement to raise a flag, declare a new country, and confound ICE agents for decades?

Your move, West Papua.

[via QZ]

German air force jets intercepting Jet Airways 777

VT-JEX, one of the Boeing 777-300ER planes of Jet Airways, had a loss of communications over the German airspace near Cologne earlier this week while operating as 9W 118 from Mumbai to London. This lead to the German Air Force scrambling two Eurofighter Typhoon jets. It is usual protocol to scramble jets to check in on the cockpit in case someone stops responding to the radio, to be able to visually communicate with the aircraft pilots and in case something is wrong in the plane, take further steps according to instructions from the ground.

A British Airways plane, operating on BA 2042, was trailing this flight and the pilot managed to capture the footage on his mobile camera. Someone even managed to click the entire chase from the ground.

The first video posted shows the planes catch up with 9W118, and second one shows them disengaging and flying away. It’s good to watch them in succession with audio on! The pilots on the British Airways plane are chatting in a very calm manner as they see this unfold in front of them, and that itself indicates that this is not an out of the ordinary situation.

The second part of the video has a lot of chatter and eventually the fighter jets go away and it ends with a view of the cockpit.

PLANE ETIQUETTE Who should get the armrest on the plane and WHY does it make passengers so angry?

TWO lawyers became viral sensations today, when footage emerged of them embroiled in a heated argument over an armrest during a Monarch flight.

The pair, who allegedly resorted to spitting and hitting during the row on a flight to Malaga in Spain, certainly aren’t the first to fight over control of the middle ground, so what are the official rules for plane armrest etiquette and why does it make passengers so mad?

Etiquette expert William Hanson and body language expert Judi James have spoken to The Sun about the big battle of the skies, explaining why people care so much and who can really claim it as their own.

According to the former flight attendant Jacqueline Whitmore, there is an unspoken rule that the person in the middle seat gets both arm rests because the person in the aisle can get up without any problems and the window seat has the view.

Two lawyers became viral sensations today, when footage emerged of them embroiled in a heated argument over an armrest during a Monarch flight

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Two lawyers became viral sensations today, when footage emerged of them embroiled in a heated argument over an armrest during a Monarch flight

But William Hanson says etiquette dictates that both people should share the armrest.

He believes that trying to claim the entire post for yourself is the height of bad manners.

What are the official rules for plane armrest etiquette and why does it make passengers so mad?

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What are the official rules for plane armrest etiquette and why does it make passengers so mad? (file photo)
According to William Hanson, the armrest should be used by both people sitting either side of it

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According to William Hanson, the armrest should be used by both people sitting either side of it

William told The Sun: “The armrest is actually more of a seat divider than an armrest.

“Armrest is misleading as a term, because only one person can rest an arm, but two people can rest their elbows on it.

“One person’s elbow can go on the front and the other person can go on the back.

“Etiquette is all about compromise and not being selfish, so taking up the entire armrest is bad manners.”

Etiquette expert William believes that hogging the armrest is the height of bad manners

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Etiquette expert William believes that hogging the armrest is the height of bad manners

While that might seem clear cut, Judi James believes that the no man’s land of the armrest is a battle that will never end, because the battle for space is inbuilt into us as human beings.

She told The Sun: “Space is something that humans and animals fight wars over – it’s the most inflammatory thing.

“It’s why people whose garden wall if half a centimetre to the right can fight with their neighbours for years. We can’t avoid being territorial.

“We even adopt personal ownership of things that really don’t belong to us, like our chair in the office, or our seat on a plane. It brings out the warrior in us.”

Judi James believes that the armrest battle is just human instinct

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Judi James believes that the armrest battle is just human instinct

While some passengers manage to smile and suppress the urge to fight over the armrest, Judi believes that it is a spontaneous reaction in all of us to try to claim it.

She said: “Armrests are always going to be a problem because it’s shared space with a stranger that you can’t halve equally – the airline is asking you to share something that you can’t share.

“Most people aren’t even thinking about their share though, they’re going for total domination and submission of everyone else around them.”

According to Judi, the reason that we care so much about this spot in particular is because of it has a direct effect on our body confidence.

She said: “Confidence is directly linked to the space under your armpit.

“The upturned V gap that we have under our armpit when our elbows are pointed away from the body gives us body confidence.

“If you are forced into not using your arm and have to bring your elbows in towards your body, you feel physically smaller.

“This in turn makes you feel as though you’ve been lowered and submissive, and no one likes to be locked into a place of submission by a stranger.

“But if you have elbows on both arms of the chair, away from your body, you feel in control.”

Passenger Manners 101: What not to say to flight attendants

If you think plane journeys are bad, spare a thought for the poor cabin crew who have to deal with badly behaved passengers on a daily basis.

Flight attendants have been lifting the lid on their customers’ most annoying habits – and the list is endless.

Oversized cabin luggage, travelers ignoring the safety demos and horny passengers are all issues that staff confront regularly, according to an online forum on Reddit.

So if you want to stay on the good side of the crew on your next flight, try avoiding these pet hates…

<h3Work out where your own seat is

CallMe said: “I have often seen people show their boarding pass and ask where their seats are.

“It’s a big straight tube. How hard can it be?”


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Don’t flirt with the crew

Unreg said: “The most annoying have to be the Mile High Club requests – no I don’t want to come to the bathroom with you.”

Turn off your mobile phone during landing

UberGerbil said: “If you’re asked to turn it off. Turn It Off. It’s not your plane.

“It isn’t that bad to be away from your device for 20-30 minutes – read a real book or magazine with real pages occasionally.”

Don’t play with yourself

NiKva 1744 said: “Those who think they are j***ing off discreetly beneath their in-flight blankets, but who really aren’t. We know.”

Don’t ask for a full run-down of the drinks trolley

Sad_Pandaa said: “Being asked what drinks you have gets old.


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“If I had to list off every single beverage we had off to everyone who asked everyday I would lose my voice. Just ask for something and if we don’t have it we’ll go from there.”

Throw your rubbish away

Kimgoesrawrrr said: “Throw your own trash away. We walk through the aisle with trash bags, there’s often a big trash bin on your way out and, if not, a trash can right inside the terminal.

“The worst part was the bathrooms and the pockets on the back of the chairs. I have to reach my hand in there and pull stuff out.

“The number of times I have stuck my hand in gum or bloody tissues is too darn high.”

Don’t complain about delayed flights

Inked1986 said: “We can’t control the weather and we aren’t responsible for booking your tickets, so please don’t get mad at us if you are about to miss your connection.

“If you’re flying through Chicago in January with a twenty minute layover, you’re gonna have a bad time.”


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Be quiet during the safety demo

Yellowwbird said: “If you’re in the front with me while I’m demonstrating, or in the back with me while I’m speaking the safety demo, please be quiet and courteous.

“If you’re having a loud conversation and talking over me, it is distracting.”

Leave your personal belongings behind in an evacuation

Lennarn said: “Don’t bring your carry-on when evacuating.”

Don’t bring over-sized carry-on luggage

UberGerbil said: “If you want to carry all of your items on the plane please for the love of god make sure your carry on items are not too big and that you don’t have to many.”

Keep your children under control

Del said: “Keep in mind your kids have to follow the same laws the rest of us do, and ignoring that is only putting your kid at risk. Make sure they buckle up. If they don’t like it, too bad.

“And don’t ever left your kids run up and down the aisle, it’s dangerous for them, it’s rude to us, and it bothers everyone else.”

This article originally appeared on The Sun.

Tail-strike after bounced landing damaged Jet2 737

Portuguese investigators have detailed a bounced landing at Funchal in which a Jet2 Boeing 737-800 was substantially damaged by a tail-strike.

The inquiry states that an “excessive” nose-up input on the control column after the bounce – during which the aircraft travelled about 300m at a height of 8ft – resulted in a sharp nose-up attitude of 9.15°.

Portuguese investigation authority GPIAA adds that the manual deployment of speedbrakes caused a loss of lift.

It states that the aircraft subsequently struck the runway with a force of 2.15g, at a pitch attitude sufficient to scrape its tail. Inspection revealed damage to the 737’s aft fuselage including bent struts, cracks in stringers, and deformation from frictional abrasion.

Funchal airport is subjected to turbulent winds, and the aircraft (G-GDFC) had been conducting an approach to runway 05 in such conditions on 17 February 2014.

GPIAA says the approach was flown manually from around 1,200ft, but that it deviated from the glidepath, and was below it some 15s before touchdown.

During the last few moments of the final approach the aircraft encountered varying tailwind and crosswind components, and its descent rate reduced and increased with commanded thrust. It experienced oscillations as the control column was turned up to 50° right and 65° left.

GPIAA says nose-down inputs caused the descent rate to increase to 1,000ft/min before a nose-up input reduced this to 150ft/min. But then a nose-down input lasting some 4s, combined with a thrust reduction and a downdraft of 10ft/s resulted in the descent rate rising to 1,500ft/min as the jet passed 220ft.

This was initially limited to 750ft/min with nose-up input, but a subsequent variation in headwind and more nose-down input caused the descent rate to reach 1,100ft/min at 35ft.

After flaring, the aircraft touched down at a sink rate of 350ft/min with a 1.86g impact, and a pitch of about 6°.

Cockpit-voice recorder information reveals that the normal landing checklist had not been carried out during the approach. The speedbrakes were not armed, as required by this checklist, and did not deploy after the initial runway contact.

The aircraft consequently bounced and, once in the air, its speedbrakes were deployed manually, while nose-up column input was increased.

As a result of the loss of lift from the speedbrakes, the aircraft landed heavily – about 5s after the initial contact – at a pitch attitude high enough to allow the tail to strike the runway, causing minor injuries to two members of the cabin crew, before the 737 rolled out.

GPIAA points out that the aircraft had deviated from the stabilised approach profile, and indicates that the crew ought to have executed a go-around, and that a go-around should have been considered after the initial bounce.

The first airport gym in the United States just opened. Expect more in the next four years.

By By  – Work out while waiting for your flight? That’s an option now at Baltimore Washington International Airport, where the only gym at a U.S. airport past security opened this week with plans to open 20 more at airports by 2020.

It’s the latest example of how fitness and health trends have started showing up at airports. Yoga rooms and walking tracks have opened at airports around North America over the past few years, and healthier food options are also easier to find in airports now. You can even get a kombucha to wash down a salad made with locally sourced produce.

The ROAM Fitness gym at BWI includes an attendant who monitors guests’ flights and will alert them if there’s a delay. There’s even free luggage storage, options for renting workout clothes and shoes, and showers. Fees range from $40 a day to $175 a month.

The concept was initially envisioned for international travelers and others with long layovers, but research revealed that many other travelers wanted to squeeze in a workout before or after landing.

“A lot of people coming from the West Coast taking red-eye flights are going straight to their business meeting but they land at 6:30 in the morning. They can’t check into their hotel yet … so it just gives them the opportunity to clean up before they head to that meeting,” said ROAM Fitness CEO Cynthia Sandall.

Roughly 4,000 travelers a month use GoodLife Fitness’ gym at Toronto airport, a 33 percent increase from when it opened in 2014, the company said.

But the concept may not work everywhere. The airport at Las Vegas had a gym that closed. Christopher Berger, who chairs the American College of Sports Medicine task force on healthy air travel, says the gyms’ success may depend on the destination. He thinks they may be best suited for hubs with long layovers.

“You take someplace like (Chicago) O’Hare, Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle … I think you’ve got a real chance of selling it,” he said.

San Francisco airport’s yoga room has been so successful that a second one opened in 2014. Airport officials say it’s used daily. After a few downward dogs, yogis can also order a green juice or curry bowl at The Plant Cafe where everything is made with local and organic ingredients. There’s also Napa Farms Market, Joe & the Juice and new vending machines offering organic, gluten-free and sugar-free snacks.

Other amenities in the pipeline as major airports look to become destinations in their own right include movie theaters, more fine dining and better shopping, says Lorraine Sileo, a senior vice president with the travel market research firm Phocuswright.

But fitness and wellness offerings may be especially appealing to travelers getting on or off cramped planes.

At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, there’s a yoga studio with free mats, a walking path and two 55-foot staircases for an extra cardio challenge. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has a 1.4 mile walking path. Philadelphia’s airport had a temporary program where passengers could cycle on stationary bikes while waiting for their flights. Baltimore Washington International also offers bike rentals and a 12.5-mile trail just outside the airport.

While airports still sell plenty of greasy fast food, many airport eateries also now feature local, organic ingredients and vegan and gluten-free options. Icebox Cafe at Miami International Airport, which uses locally sourced food, reported above-average sales of $3.1 million last fiscal year. Other examples of vendors bringing healthier fare to airports include Nature’s Table in Atlanta and Orlando, Elephants Delicatessen at Portland International Airport in Oregon, and French Meadow Bakery, in four airports including Minneapolis and Salt Lake City.

Ann Gentry, founder of the popular vegan eatery Real Food Daily, has an airport location in addition to two others in the Los Angeles area.

“I knew it was going to be a hit because in our (two other restaurants) people were coming in getting bags of food for the plane, so we were very accustomed to packing up food for the plane,” she said.

But not everyone who patronizes Real Food Daily at the airport location realizes it’s vegan. Some order a spicy lentil burger and bring it back complaining they didn’t know it wouldn’t have meat. On the flip side, some travelers say they enjoyed her airport grub so much they sought out the restaurant while in town.

Oman Air adds new B737-800 to its fleet

Muscat –

Oman Air, the national carrier of the sultanate, has announced that a new Boeing B737-800 aircraft has joined its fleet as of 24 January.

This new aircraft will be used on short and medium haul routes and has a capacity of 162 seats, with 12 Business class seats with seat pitch 46 inches and 150 Economy class seats with seat pitch 30 inches. Each seat is equipped with an LCD screen, back-mounted 10.6 inches.

Oman Air has operated B737s for many years and the aircraft provides the backbone of the airline’s long and medium haul fleet, with 23 currently in operation. The new aircraft will be deployed soon on its arrival for commercial flights.

Abdulaziz Alraisi, executive vice president, Products and Brand Development, said, “In keeping up with the expansion programme, Oman Air is adding a new aircraft to its fast-growing fleet. Known for its energy efficient systems and combined with Oman Air’s superb maintenance staff and facilities, this is an ideal acquisition as we spread our wings to further afield.”

With the addition of the new Boeing 737-800, Oman Air’s fleet stands at 48. Currently, Oman Air’s fleet consists of four Boeing 787 Dreamliners, six Airbus 330-300s, four Airbus 330-200s, five Boeing 737-900s, 23 Boeing 737-800, one Boeing 737-700 and four Embraer 175s.

A second new B737-800 will be joining Oman Air’s fleet on February 16, followed by a Dreamliner B787-9 on February 23. The delivery of the new aircraft is part of Oman Air’s ambitious and dynamic programme of fleet and network expansion. The airline continues to be recognised for its award winning on-board experience, winning many industry awards in 2016 to add to its growing collection. Oman Air’s latest aircraft addition consolidates its position in 2017 as the airline continues its progress to becoming a successful company of the highest quality.

 

Major Cabin Crew Recruitment Campaign for Europe’s Favourite Airline, Ryanair

Ryanair has recently been announced as Europe’s largest Airline based on passenger numbers, carrying 117 million passengers in 2016 breaking all records!   With 86 Bases throughout Europe and highly ambitious growth plans, this is your opportunity to operate as Cabin Crew on Ryanair aircraft with Crewlink.

1Crewlink are an official recruitment and training partner of Ryanair and we are delighted to announce our Italian Recruitment Drive with Assessment Days taking place across Italy.   Start the experience of a lifetime with us by applying to attend an Assessment Day in a City near you at www.crewlink.ie

“Ryanair is now Europe’s largest Airline and has dynamic plans to grow further. We are recruiting for  an unlimited number of Cabin Crew positions and will be recruiting throughout Italy in the coming weeks. No Cabin Crew Experience is required – however you must be an ambitious, hard working person with excellent customer service skills and a passion for travel and meeting new people.”  Andrew Swan, General Manager.

Crewlink will be holding Recruitment Days in Italy on the following dates:

07/02/2017      Naples

08/02/2017      Rome

09/02/2017      Perugia

15/02/2017      Venice

15/02/2017      Palermo

15/02/2017      Genoa

15/02/2017      Catania

16/02/2017      Milan Bergamo

16/02/2017      Cagliari

17/02/2017      Lamezia

22/02/2017      Bologna

22/02/2017      Pisa

23/02/2017      Bari

28/02/2017      Naples

01/03/2017      Rome

To apply for this position and to get your wings please apply here www.crewlink.ie

Singapore Airlines leading flight attendant found dead in San Francisco hotel room

SINGAPORE – A Singapore Airlines (SIA) air stewardess was found dead in a San Francisco hotel room on Tuesday (Jan 31, US time), several hours before she was to depart from the city on the return leg of a long-haul flight, according to a source.

Penang-born Vanessa Yeap, 38, was a leading stewardess on a flight from Singapore to San Francisco with a stopover at Hong Kong, according to a cabin crew member who wished to remain anonymous.

According to the source, who was not on the same flight, Ms Yeap said she was not feeling well when cabin crew arrived in San Francisco – likely about two days before the return flight.

The return flight from San Francisco was scheduled for about 1am on Wednesday (Feb 1) which meant the crew had to check out from the hotel at about 10pm to 11pm on Tuesday (Jan 31).

When Ms Yeap did not appear at the lobby, colleagues went up to check and found her dead in her room. They tried to resuscitate her but could not revive her.

In a statement to The Straits Times on Thursday, SIA said: “We can confirm with regret that one of our female cabin crew was found deceased in her hotel room in San Francisco on Feb 1, 2017 (Singapore time). Our immediate priority is to provide the necessary assistance to the family of the crew member. As the case is under the investigation of the local authorities, we are unable to share any further details.

“The member of crew operated to SFO on flight SQ2/28 January and was due to have operated out from SFO on SQ1/1 February.”

The Straits Times understands that Ms Yeap had been with the airline for 16 years. She was single, but was planning to get married.

Ms Yeap’s elder brother, who works in the sales industry, said  “My loving sister, we love you and cherish you forever. We know you are in good hands with the lord in heaven now.”

He is now on his way to San Francisco to claim the body.

Additional reporting by Karamjit Kaur for straitstimes

Flight attendant angry at website that rates hosties: ‘Quit judging us on our looks’

IT’S BEEN more than 50 years since the “Coffee, Tea or Me?” days of flying, when businessmen were openly invited to ogle the lithe, young, unattached stewardesses bedecked in hot pants and go-go boots.

The airlines marketed their crews as hot young things who came as part of the experience. Stewardesses, sick of weigh-ins, harassment and objectification, eventually fought back against their airlines and eventually put a halt to the sexist portrayal of their chosen career.

But how far have things really come? Not very, if the internet is any indicator.

Travel site Trippy.com recently published a list of airlines with the most attractive crew, and not only did it manage to be offensive by sole virtue of existing, but it was also incredibly creepy; the site actually tracked down the LinkedIn accounts of a number of flight attendants from each airline (and given that these images were from LinkedIn and not voluntarily submitted, this was probably done without consent) and created composite images which were then used to rank the collective beauty at each airline.

The article has since been removed, but nonetheless left many alarmed.

Did you know there is a World’s Most Beautiful Stewardess competition?

It’s held by a Hong Kong organisation called the World Air Stewardess Association (WASA), whose stated purpose according to their website is to support “the overall development and interest protection of professional stewardesses, composed of the females, professional groups, relative people, and groups by willingness who are engaged in, have been engaged in, or are expecting to engage in aviation services in the world.” (A noble cause, I’m sure.)

However, you’d be hard-pressed to locate many other priorities for “the females” other than beauty and fashion.

You don’t need a pretty face or flat stomach to manage an emergency.

You don’t need a pretty face or flat stomach to manage an emergency.Source:istock

Liu Miaomiao of Shenzhen Airlines currently holds the enviable title of “Most Beautiful Stewardess”. She is inarguably beautiful, but that’s not all!

Of course, WASA would not be so shallow as to judge a book by her cover.

The Shanghaiist also tells this riveting story of her prowess with passengers: “In the hectic world of Chinese air travel, Liu has become a calm voice of reason. One time, a flight from Beijing was delayed, causing passengers to lose their temper, but Liu was apparently able to calm them down using her smile.”

A cartoon bird then landed on her shoulder, singing the sweetest melody anyone had ever heard, and all began crying gumdrop tears for having given her any trouble.

I really don’t mean to diminish the career abilities of Ms Liu, as I am sure she really is a fantastic flight attendant. But these skills are essential to the position — a good tone set by cabin crew and rapport with customers can quite often have them declaring an hours-delayed flight the best one they’ve ever had. And this is practised worldwide, every day, and successful regardless of physical attributes.

While there is something to be said for maintaining a professional demeanour and appearance, that goes for both genders and has nothing to do with age, complexion, etc.

It’s a proven fact that the professional and well-groomed appearance of a flight crew helps to develop faith in passengers that they’re in good hands in an emergency, and this is why I do see a good reason for adhering to the strict appearance standards for airline crews.

I would also be lying if I didn’t enjoy the glamorous side of it as well, but again, this has more to do with the uniforms and professionalism, not sex appeal.

All of this is really is a foolhardy way of trying to take things back to a supposed golden age that really didn’t exist.

Sure, the jet age stewardess in a micro-dress and pale pink lipstick leaning lustfully over the orange fabric seat of a rapt businessman looks absolutely pleased to be there in the advertising, but the reality of it was not always as sexy as it seemed.

According to former flight attendant Paula Kane, author of Sex Objects In The Skies: A Personal Account of the Stewardess Rebellion, and others who worked in that era, that was not the case:

“What is that pretty young stewardess thinking as she walks gracefully down the aisle to give you your third drink? Is she anxious to ‘Make You Feel Good All Over’, as much of the airlines’ advertising says?”

She’s smiling, but she’s mostly just hoping you won’t make a pass at her.

She’s smiling, but she’s mostly just hoping you won’t make a pass at her.Source:istock

Instead, the reality was more as how you’d imagine. According to Kane: “If she is a stewardess who has been flying for some time, the chances are very good she is only hoping that you won’t make a pass at her or get drunk and make a scene.”

This works in the reverse as well — when I hear complaints about an airline having poor service, it is often the looks of the crew that are added in to season the story a bit. She (you’ll almost never hear these comments made of a man) is always old, or fat, or ugly.

Last year, Delta flight attendants received negative feedback personally, and a lot of the comments centred on age and weight.

So we need to get out of this mindset of the sexy, young coquette-in-the-sky.

It’s just not a reality, and when we are judged solely on our looks rather than our service or intelligence, it short-changes us.

How quickly and effectively evacuate an aircraft, or respond to an in-flight medical emergency, or even just make a passenger feel welcome does not require symmetrical features or a flat stomach.

And, let’s be honest — those that go rating airlines by their staff’s physical appearances would probably not want us judging theirs.

Amanda Pleva is a flight attendant with 13 years of experience. This article originally appeared on Flyer Talk [via news.com.au]