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]

 

American Airlines flight diverted to Knoxville after bomb “threat”

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — An American Airlines flight made an emergency landing at the Knoxville area airport Tuesday night following a bomb scare, reports CBS Knoxville affiliate WVLT-TV.

A spokesperson for McGhee-Tyson Airport in Alcoa, Tennessee, Becky Huckaby, told the station the pilots asked for permission to land at around 10 p.m. and requested that airport emergency crews be on standby.

American Airlines spokesperson Ross Feinstein said Flight 1804 was bound from Charlotte to Indianapolis when the carrier got a bomb threat.

The airline told CBS News the “threat” came from a non-credible robocall.

After the plane landed, passengers were evacuated and crews found no bomb or technical problems with the plane.

passengers-from-diverted-flight-in-knoxville-nite-of-012117.jpg

Passengers from diverted American Airlines flight mill about at McGhee-Tyson Airport in Alcoa, Tennessee, just south of  Knoxville,  on night of January 31, 2017

JULIE MAHURIN

Feinstein said the plane was grounded overnight and depart Wednesday. He said passengers will spend the night in noxville hotels.

One witness told WVLT two people were removed from the plane separately from other passengers. CBS News was told the two men were later seen by other passengers in the hotel after they were questioned by authorities and released.

The station says four or five officers along with a police K9 boarded the plane. More than a dozen law enforcement agents and emergency crews were on scene.

The Knoxville police bomb squad also responded and searched at least two luggage items.

5 Must-Know Facts From American Airlines’ Earnings Call

Investors seem to care more about profit margin at a time when fuel costs are rising slowly and labor costs are rising precipitously.

Emirates Announces a 2nd U.S.-Europe Flight: Delta, United, and American Howl

By Fool – Earlier this week, Middle Eastern airline giant Emirates announced that it will launch a nonstop route from Newark Airport, just outside New York City, to Athens in March. The aircraft will continue on from Athens to Emirates’ hub in Dubai. This will make it the only airline to provide year-round nonstop service to Athens from the United States.

Emirates is starting another nonstop route from the U.S. to Europe. Image source: Emirates.

Not surprisingly, U.S. legacy carriers Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL), United Continental (NYSE: UAL), and American Airlines(NASDAQ: AAL) all protested this move. Right now, the three carriers — along with their European joint venture partners — control a massive share of the U.S.-Europe air travel market. They don’t want any extra competition from Emirates.

A long-running feud

For years, Delta, United, and American have lobbied the U.S. government to put limits on the growth of Emirates, as well as its smaller rivals Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. The U.S. carriers argue that their Middle Eastern rivals are competing unfairly by using state subsidies to fund their growth.

The evidence that Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways rely on government subsidies is fairly strongOpens a New Window.. Seeing the success of Emirates in creating jobs and driving economic growth in Dubai, the governments of Qatar and Abu Dhabi have spent huge sums of money in an effort to build up their own airlines. By contrast, Emirates is probably a self-sufficient business.

However, Emirates actually irks Delta Air Lines, United Continental, and American Airlines more than its smaller rivals. That’s because it has encroached even further onto U.S. airlines’ territory by toying with so-called “fifth-freedom” routes that connect the U.S. and Europe directly, rather than routing all flights through its Dubai hub.

In late 2013, Emirates began flying between New York’s JFK Airport and Milan, competing directly with American, Delta, and Alitalia — and indirectly with United, which flies to Milan from Newark. Emirates was allowed to operate this route because the flight continues on from Milan to Dubai.

A big ruse?

Fifth-freedom flights such as Emirates’ New York-Milan route are controversial. Typically, an airline is not allowed to carry passengers between two foreign countries without a stop in its home country. However, decades ago, airplanes had much less range than they do today. As a result, airlines had to make stops on longer routes. Fifth-freedom rights made these routes feasible by allowing the airlines to pick up additional passengers at those stops.

Today, plenty of airplanes are capable of flying nonstop from Dubai to New York. The only real reason for the stop in Milan is to carry New York-Milan traffic.

Thus, while this route may not violate the letter of the law, it does seem to violate the spirit of fifth-freedom rights. Each of the other four airlines flying from New York to Milan is based in the U.S. or Italy.

Not surprisingly, Delta Air Lines, United Continental, and American Airlines cried foul — but their protests have gone nowhere. Consumer advocates welcome the additional competition that Emirates provides, viewing the U.S. carriers as forming a tacit oligopoly. Furthermore, Emirates is Boeing‘s biggest customerOpens a New Window., providing another reason for the U.S. to not intervene.

Another fifth-freedom route

Emirates will take advantage of fifth-freedom rights again with its new Newark-Athens route. (The plane will continue on from Athens to Dubai.) The route announcement drew a quick condemnation from the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies, a lobbying group formed by Delta, United, and American to fight the Middle Eastern airlines’ expansion.

Delta and its peers want the government to block Emirates’ new Athens-Newark route. Image source: The Motley Fool.

However, while the U.S. carriers may be justified in their ire regarding Emirates’ Milan-JFK route, they are much less sympathetic figures in this dispute. After all, none of them operate year-round service on this route.

In fact, no airline operates year-roundOpens a New Window. from Greece to any U.S. airport. United Airlines flies the Newark-Athens route during the summer season. Delta and American also operate seasonal service to Athens, from New York and Philadelphia, respectively.

Emirates’ new route will offer travelers the option of a nonstop flight to get between Athens and New York outside of the summer peak season. In doing so, it will probably steal some customers who would otherwise fly from the U.S. to a European hub on Delta, United, American, or one of their joint venture partners and connect onward from there.

Nevertheless, the benefit in terms of consumer convenience would seem to far outweigh any harm related to cannibalizing U.S. carriers’ connecting traffic. The new flights might also stimulate additional economic activity, by making it easier to travel between the U.S. and Greece.

If U.S. carriers can’t make year-round nonstop flights to Athens work, they aren’t obligated to operate those routes. But they shouldn’t try to stop other airlines from giving it a shot.

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David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocksOpens a New Window. for investors to buy right now… and United Continental Holdings wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

Donald Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ live: Federal judge defies President and temporarily BLOCKS ban in dramatic court hearing

The President has banned all refugees from entering the States for four months and barred Syrians indefinitely

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Donald Trump’s ban on immigrants and refugees has sparked mass protests in the US and international condemnation.

The President signed an order on Friday banning all refugees from entering the States for four months, and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely.

No visas will be issued for a further six mainly-Muslim countries for the next 90 days.

Thousands have gathered at airports including JFK in New York and LAX in Los Angeles to protest the move and support those stranded.

‘We are as much in the dark as everybody else’

Protesters hold up signs protesting President Donald Trump
Protesters at JFK airport in New York (Photo: Barcroft Media)

An interesting anecdote from a Reuters reporter from JFK Airport tonight here:

After immigration agents detained two Iraqis on Saturday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, their lawyers and two U.S. representatives accompanying them tried to cross into a secure area – and were stopped themselves.

“Step back! Step back!” the agents shouted at them.

A few minutes later, Heidi Nassauer, chief of passenger operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the airport, was called over.

Representatives Jerrold Nadler and Nydia Velazquez, both Democrats from New York, wanted clarification on whether an immigration ban issued on Friday by President Donald Trump prevented the Iraqis from consulting with attorneys.

Nassauer had no clear answer.

“We are as much in the dark as everybody else,” said the border protection official at one of the largest U.S. airports.

Do Flight Attendants on US based airlines have a “cop” mentality?

Do flight attendants have a “cop” mentality? Probably.

Why?

  • -Because passengers think they are “above” the law.
  • -The rules don’t apply to them specifically.
  • -The seatbelt sign means nothing.
  • -TURBULENCE means nothing.
  • -Laptops arent considered “large” personal electronic devices.
  • -People pack bowling balls in suitcases, which become to heavy for them to lift, but assume they’re light for me to lift.
  • -People are too entitled.
  • -People think the airlines owe them everything.
  • -People expect everything for free.
  • -No one likes to be told what to do, even though they aren’t following FAA rules.
  • -Parents with children think children qualify as a disability, and expect everyone to cater to them because they have children.
  • -People use a wheelchair to get to and from the plane, but have 5 bags with them.

The list goes on and on, but until you start being a DECENT passenger, we’ll continue to have the “cop” mentality.

I have travelled on Emirates, Etihad, Cathay, British, Lufthansa, KLM, Jal, ANA and Air China and always found the attendants very pleasant under such a tasking enviornment however I recently flew on United to Mumbai and found the attitude of flight attandants quite obnoxious and high handed. They were seriously acting like police officers.

  • During boarding one FA sternly told the agent to move away from the Aisle eventhough I just saw him arriving and putting his bag.
  • Another lady with a small kid asked for help for putting her cabin bag and the FA responds “you should only bring cabin bags that you can lift, we cant help you with that”.
  • I got up during the flight and the washroom was occupied so I was waiting with another passenger. The FA told us to get back to our seats as congregating around washrooms was not allowed. I asked her can you let me know if the washroom gets vacant and she responded no I need to go back and use it when its empty… lol
  • One old Indian male with limited english was asking her something about the food. She kept asking him do you want A or do you want B instead of figuring out that they messed up his special meals.
  • I took an Ambien and was sleeping when they were apparently descending. Instead of tapping me to upright my chair, out of nowhere I hear a loud thud at the back of my head and saw the FA pushing my seat upright and then doing the same with another one and just going on. Im not exaggerating but it seriously gave me headache all day long. Maybe I was in deep sleep and the huge thud at the back of my head scared the …. out of me.

Its hard to describe their attitude and while the above things might seem petty, my overall impression was less than stellar. They had a very harsh and condescending manner of speaking with passengers like some cop who pulled you over for a traffic stop.

Since its my first time flying a US based airline Im just wondering if this is a standard practice for FA’s to behave like TSA?

The 3 Things to Do When Your Flight is Cancelled and What American Airlines Calls a Salad

  • The 3 most important things to do when your flight is cancelled: find your own alternatives, be nice, and hang up/call back.

    Known for his points hijinks and flying escapades, Gary Leff, the founder of View From The Wing is a big proponent of this tactic. After many flight delays, he knows that being able to present your own options to the agent can help. What might seem crazy to one person – like flying to Florida to avoid bad weather in Chicago – seems perfectly normal to another.

    The key, according to Leff, is to be humble and not “do it presumptively.”

    …“When it is not just one flight and it is weather, a lot of travelers are taking it out on the agent. I find it easy to commiserate with them about other travelers, tell them you think they’re doing a good job,” says Leff. “You can get an agent on your side by being nice. A little bit of kindness can stand out.”

  • The American Airlines enchilada was fine (Austin – Charlotte lunch), but are two cherry tomatoes, one slice of cucumber, and single piece of lettuce a salad?
  • 7 people have been arrested in connection with a 58 million euro diamond heist at Amsterdam airport that occurred 12 years ago.
  • How the media influences our fear of terrorism. On this blog I’ve laid out the controversial things I believe, including that:

    There aren’t actually a lot of people out there trying to blow up airplanes and the only useful changes in aviation security post-9/11 have been reinforced cockpit doors and a new equilibrium where passengers will fight back against any hijacking. In fact, more people have been harmed by the germs they’ve picked up taking off their shoes without socks walking through security checkpoints than have been protected by the TSA (which has never caught a terrorist).

  • Woman thrown off a flight after an anti-Trump rant

  • Two people who met through an online travel forum got married on a Cathay Dragon flight. And it’s awesome. (HT: One Mile at a Time)

Family kicked off American Airlines flight because of SEVERE nut allergy

AMERICAN AIRLINES told a family after boarding they would no longer be allowed on the flight, because their two children had severe nut allergies.

Dr Rosanne Bloom and her family were flying with the US airline from Philadelphia to the Turks and Caicos Islands on Christmas morning.

When Rosanne boarded the flight, she had informed the crew that her teenage sons suffered from nut allergies.

The last thing she expected was to be kicked off the flight.

The family had already boarded the plane and had settled into their seats, when they were asked to leave.

american airlines uk nut allergy symptoms

American Airlines has removed a family from a flight due to a severe nut allergy
Their luggage had also been removed from the flight.

When Rosanne asked why they had been taken off the flight, the response was because her two sons had an allergy.

She told New York Times: “I said, ‘We have our medicine. We brought our own food, and we’re comfortable staying on the plane.’

“I offered to sign a waiver. We were off the plane in two minutes.”

american airlines uk nut allergy symptomsGETTY

American Airlines removed the family from the flight after they had boarded in Philadelphia

 

American Airlines spokesperson Matt Miller told the newspaper that such decisions are at the pilot’s discretion.

He said: “The pilot determined it would be best for the family not to travel based on the severity of the allergy and the need to divert the airline if anyone were eating nuts.”

Express.co.uk has contacted the airline for further comment.

The story comes after two teenage girls were caught living in Barcelona airport for four days before being noticed.

american airlines uk nut allergy symptomsGETTY

American Airlines said it’s up to the pilot to decide whether to fly allergic passengers or not

According to airport officials, two 13-year-old Vietnamese girls had spent four days living in Barcelona Airport’s international transit lounge.

The pair were only noticed after they tried to enter the airport’s Schengen area – where there is no border control.

Medical staff said after an examination that the girls were disorientated and crying.

The pair did not say how they had arrived at the airport, nor where they were heading.

These are the rules for reclining your seat mid-flight

EVERYONE travels differently: ocean or lake, hotel or rental, tropical island or snowy mountains.

But where people’s biggest differences converge (and at times explode) is usually in the air.

In case you haven’t seen the headlines about in-flight brawls, the masses are decidedly split when it comes to that little button on the arm rest — to recline or not to recline?

For a long time, the answer to this seemed simple to me: The right to recline your aeroplane seat comes with the territory. I purchased a ticket that includes access to that little recline button, and the person behind me has a right to those few inches behind them as well. What kind of person would deny anyone that general right?

But one day on a flight to London, that all changed for me.

The moment that the monster of a human sitting in front of me sent a full cup of scalding hot tea careening into my lap when he jolted his seat back during food service, I knew I’d been wrong about that rule of thumb all along.

I let out an audible gasp and then a few choice curse words as the hot water turned cold on my now burned thighs. I waited for an apology that never came.

And then I decided that someone, anyone, should settle in writing once and for all the rules of decency for pushing that recline button. It may as well be me.

Let’s see if we can all agree on these guidelines for reclining your aeroplane seat.

These rules will help us all get along in the sky. Picture: iStock

These rules will help us all get along in the sky. Picture: iStockSource:istock

RULE 1: (THE GOLDEN RULE) LOOK BACK

You have the right to recline. But why wouldn’t you give the courteous half glance backward to let your rear neighbour know that you’re about to encroach on what little space they already have? Sure, it’s only about two inches of vacant air, but the principle of taking over that space merits at least a body-language warning. Especially so they can brace the contents of their tray table if needed, and especially if they’re on the tall side.

RULE 2: DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT RECLINING DURING MEAL SERVICE

Airplane food isn’t exactly delicious, but it’s the one small pleasure you’re allotted while you’re stuffed into a sea of wall-to-wall passengers like the well-mannered sardines the airline wants you to be. Can’t the one thing I look forward to on this flight stay off of my legs? Can’t we all agree to spare our fellow passengers an hour of freezing cold, wet clothing? Hold off for those twenty minutes of your hours-long flight.

RULE 3: TAKE ONLY WHAT YOU NEED

Some aeroplane seats recline more than others, and some passengers need only an inch to be comfortable. Do us all a favour: recline only as far back as you need, and be aware that a seat in my lap is more likely to get grabbed when I’m getting up than the aisle armrest.

You can’t just fling yourself backwards: you need to be considerate.

You can’t just fling yourself backwards: you need to be considerate.Source:ThinkStock

RULE 4: RECLINE SLOWLY

The biggest issue I had with that scalded lap incident is that I had zero time to even try to prevent it. Coming in hot is pointless in your quest for five degrees of reclining space. You’ll get there just as effectively if you take your time. Let’s all acknowledge that the few pleasures you get while flying are for the most part located on a seat back.

RULE 5: USE YOUR WORDS

We’re all human — we make mistakes and we sometimes don’t see eye-to-eye. But we all have been taught since childhood to use our words. Your seatmates are your peers in travel, and the intragroup dynamic should be, at the very least, a civil one. What if you all end up stranded on a deserted island together?

Passive-aggressiveness is likely the root cause of so many of those flights diverted thanks to brawling passengers. So speak up: say thank you and apologise when it’s necessary. Ask nicely and you shall receive. You’re sitting too close to your fellow passengers for too long to be that proud.

This article originally appeared on Smarter Travel.

This is what happens if you open a plane door during the flight

IT is something out of nightmares, but here is what really happens if someone opens a door mid-flight

It is a scenario out straight out of your worst nightmares.

Imagine you are on a plane, flying 35,000 feet in the air and suddenly someone opens the exit door.

Images of people being sucked out of the cabin come to mind, but what would really happen?

Firstly, the cabin would lose pressure rapidly and anyone standing near the exit would be sucked out into the sky.

The temperature would plummet to below-freezing and the plane may begin to break apart.

Like what happened in 1988 to a Boeing 737 flight heading to Honolulu which encountered a roof rupture at 24,000 feet with 90 people on board.

The decompression tore off a larger section of the roof and 57-year-old flight attendant Clarabelle Lansing was swept from her seat and out of the hole.

Luckily, no one else died as all passengers were belted up and the pilot managed to land 13 minutes later.

The more common slow decompression can be fatal. There are around 40 to 50 instances of this per year, where the cabin loses pressure very slowly due to a fault.

One of the more notable instances was in 2005 when another Boeing 737 became the most fatal air disaster in Greek history killing all 121 passengers and crew due to gradual loss of cabin pressure.

This was due to an error in the pressure system state where it was set to manual instead of auto. It was just 13 minutes after takeoff that ground staff lost contact with the crew. The lack of oxygen left the crew incapacitated and suffering hypoxia – dimmed visions, slow thinking, unconsciousness and, ultimately, death.

The plane, on auto pilot, flew until it ran out of fuel and then crashed.
However, while this instance was a result of overlooking the pressure system state, opening a plane door mid-flight is actually impossible.

“Cabin pressure won’t allow you to open the door.”
Patrick Smith
“Cabin pressure won’t allow it,” pilot and author of Cockpit Confidential Patrick Smith told the Telegraph.

“Think of an aircraft door as a drain plug, fixed in place by the interior pressure. Almost all aircraft exits open inward. Some retract upward into the ceiling; others swing outward; but they open inward first.”

“At a typical cruising altitude, up to eight pounds of pressure are pushing against every square inch of interior fuselage. That’s over 1,100 pounds against each square foot of door.”
The only known incident of a plane door being opened by a passenger mid-flight was in 1971 when a man hijacked a Boeing 727, demanded a £160,000 ransom and then let from the exit and was never seen again.

However to be able to open the cabin door he had the pilot depressurise the plane. A year later “Cooper vanes” were installed to completely disable aircraft doors mid-flight.