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Air India Can Fire Flight Attendants For Fat

Air India Attendants Too Fat (Ugly) to Fly? Court Says A-OK

India's state-owned airline, Air India, has just won the right to prevent attendants from taking flight for carrying on extra weight. The Delhi high court ruled on a case filed by five flight attendants protesting the fact that they'd been grounded by the airline for being too fat to fly. They're expected to appeal.

The judges sided with the airlines, saying a chubby crew presents a safety hazard — but then there's this addition to the judgment — in the highly competitive airline industry, flight attendant's physical condition and appearance play an important role in her overall personality. (Emphasis, mine.) How can someone's appearance dictate her personality? I buy that flight attendants have to be in a physical condition good enough to save people from a burning plane, but the beauty factor of the ruling is not so pretty.

The government-run airline is up against private airlines who don't clothe their employees in traditional saris, opting for Western get-ups, and they've pinpointed the crux of being competitive with their employees' looks. At a recent recruitment drive the airline refused applicants with acne or bad teeth.

Can a court rule that the attractiveness of an employee has business ramifications? OK, some industries — modeling, and the like — depend on appearance, but maintaining safety on an aircraft? Is the ruling fair justice, or just pretty ugly?


Join The Conversation
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Well not having seen any photos of the flight attendants in question it's rather hard for me to make a personal judgment. However, I can say that it all boils down to safety for me. If they can perform the required functions for matters of safety I can care less if she's + sized. As for teeth and ache that's what proactiv and a good dental plan are for.
orisugar orisugar 9 years
In all honesty, I wouldn't want a fat stewardess with acne and bad teeth serving me.
orisugar orisugar 9 years
I mean looks play a role in every profession to a certain degree, whether we like it or not. Some professions (modeling, restaurant host, airline stewardess etc) require people to be more attractive while others not so much- but at the end of the day attractive people do have more doors opening for them- the airline people are just more forefront about it.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I think this is similar to the restaurant story. If you don't like it, don't work there. There is only so much room to walk down the aisle. If you are wider than the cart, then you're too big, sorry. I know this is probably not the case with these women, and if they want to work as stewardesses here in America, then I wish them the best of luck.
terryt18 terryt18 9 years
Hells yeah it does.
verily verily 9 years
Not surprised by this at all. Love how they make excuses that it affects passenger safety. As if being 5'0 and 140 pounds is going to jeopardize anyone. They have still some pretty rigid dress codes and appearance guidelines for flight attendants in America. To comply with anti-discrimination laws, American airline companies cannot set weight standards, but they can still require that you are "proportionate". I'm overweight with an hourglass figure. Does that make me proportionate?? :P
AKirstin AKirstin 9 years
Wow. They have a long way to come. :(
AnnaLove AnnaLove 9 years
Maybe they can form their own Weight Watchers group?
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Were they hired under the guidelines, if so they knew what would happen. I just need more information.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
:-) mini-pixie, it involves LOTS of wrapping and tucking! Here is a link to a website that has printed instructions and video on how to do it - enjoy! :-)
cine_lover cine_lover 9 years
I think they still have standards for flight attendants in the U.S.
mini_pixie mini_pixie 9 years
lol Martini- I've always wanted to try on a sari but they sure look complicated :)
MartiniLush MartiniLush 9 years
I agree with mini pixie...need more info to know if this was a safety issue or discrimination. I didn't know that air india flight attendants wore Having worn many of these in my married life, I would have to say that I would never want to wear one for work - I am always worried they will fall off me when I have them on unless I have them pinned all over the place!
kastarte2 kastarte2 9 years
CaterpillarGirl, I personally don't want any strangers butt in my face, skinny or fat. I agree with mini pixie, not enough info to make a judgement. Although if it is true that they were turning away people with bad teeth and acne, I don't think that's right.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
I think if we'd have had sexier flight attendants, 9/11 would never have happened.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I mean who wants a chubby stewardess backside in your face asking your neighbor if they want a pillow, not me.
mini_pixie mini_pixie 9 years
I just want to know how much extra weight we are talking about here- I mean, if they are having to turn sideways to go down the plane aisle, that's different than if they just broke 140 lbs and are not cute enough. Not enough information to make a judgement call for me.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
i think in the 70s this used to be legal here. i remember hearing a story about my mom working out like crazy so she could get her weight low enough to be a flight attendant. she was 5'7" and had gotten down to 125 and they told her she was still too heavy.
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