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Indian Airline Fires Overweight Flight Attendants

India's government-run Air India airline has dumped 10 female fight attendants who were grounded last year for being overweight. A report says the firings occurred after the cabin crew was warned about meeting minimum physical fitness standards (as in, not being thin enough, apparently) and given "sufficient time to lose weight." The report also says the flight attendants were offered alternative ground assignments, which they understandably refused.

Last year, the airline won the right to prevent attendants from taking flight for carrying on extra weight after Air India cited contract clauses that barred stewardesses from flight duties if they put on too much weight. The company is up against private airlines (who don't clothe their employees in saris) and seems to focus their competitive efforts on their employees' looks. At a recent recruitment drive the airline refused applicants with acne or bad teeth.


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xXFurygeistXx xXFurygeistXx 8 years
xXFurygeistXx xXFurygeistXx 8 years
It's offensive, yes. But I can see where it has it's reasons, and they aren't all aesthetic. You have to be thin and fit to work those aisles in a prompt manner, and I can tell you, passengers on aisle seats don't like getting jostled around by someone's bum. -.-;; You also have to take into account that the seats for flight attendants are usually made small. It's by far cheaper for the company to fire the flight attendant than do a rehaul on their seats. Then you have to consider weight on the plane, how much more oxygen is taken up due to them having a much more active job on the plane, their ability to carry out duties, etc. etc. etc. Look, I'm overweight at the moment. It is a bit depressing and insulting for this kind of thing to occur, but it has more reasons than you don't fit into the flight attendant uniform. Some jobs....some jobs you just can't do when you way 190+ pounds.
candace87 candace87 8 years
There should definitely be rules in regards to their fitness. Do I want to leave my life in someones hands when they may be unable to carry out certain tasks due to their weight? I don't want to start some big fight by saying that all overweight people are out of shape, but that is the case the majority of the time. This goes in line with the obese passengers needing to buy two seats.. until you have had to sit with another person taking up half of your seat you might disagree with it, but experiencing first hand being smothered, uncomfortable and unable to change seats, your view might change.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Its interesting because in India , being overwieght used to be a sign of wealth. I have no problem with the firing if they were warned.
Was it really because they were too fat or was it because they were not "fit." What was the standard? If they couldn't open the emergency exit or lift luggage, then I would understand but simply being a little pudgy seems not so good.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I'm not sure where my last comment went. I didn't say anything offensive....did I?
Korsgal Korsgal 8 years
I know I should be upset about this but I actaully think they did a good thing. I don't think it's about being thin enough. I applied for some flight attendant positions a few years ago and that policy is in place with every airline. A flight can't take off if there is too much weight on board (why do you think they weight our bags?)and also, a flight attendant has to be able to walk through the aisles, lift things, and be able to handle any emergencies. I think this is a fair policy.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
steph - I'm still working on the latte. :) pop - I know what you mean. I've had that happen before too. It ain't a pleasant experience.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
And it's back! "There was a heavier flight attendant on my last flight. When she leaned over to hand her drink to someone in the next aisle, her ass actually hit me in the face." I'm sorry pop but...:rotfl:
stephley stephley 8 years
Oooh Starangel - where can I get that latte???? Y'know, this story was here yesterday, then it disappeared.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
I'm interested in what that 'certain weight' standard was. If this is purely for appearance reasons, it rubs me the wrong way. I'd avoid using their services for sure. But if the size restrictions were purely for safety and logistics, then I don't have a problem.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
There was a heavier flight attendant on my last flight. When she leaned over to hand her drink to someone in the next aisle, her ass actually hit me in the face. Also, flight attendants are supposed to be quick and able bodied to help in an emergency. Not to mention this is a private company that can hire whomever they want. If we don't like it we can boycott with our wallets. I don't have a problem with this decision at all.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Well, I guess if the airline gave warning, time to lose the weight (but I hope it was a reasonable amount of time), and alternative assignments, there doesn't seem to be much the flight attendants can do. "The company is up against private airlines (who don't clothe their employees in saris) and seems to focus their competitive efforts on their employees' looks." Hmm, I wonder if that actually works. Do people really buy plane tickets based on how hot the airline's flight attendants are? I'd imagine it would be based more on whose tickets are cheaper, but maybe that's just me. :ponder:
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
Okay, I'm looking at this from an HR stand point. If they were told upon hire that they had to maintain a certain fitness level, then they can be fired for not staying at a certain weight. I can see how the airline industry's employees may need to maintain certain weight requirements for the their safety and those of the passengers. It does not seem they were fired just for being fat or overweight. It doesn't mean I like it, but I can understand it.
tiabia tiabia 8 years
No matter how you phrase it, it's just wrong on so many levels. However, the flight attendant industry on a whole is in general very superficial.
Jinx Jinx 8 years
I am seeing this differently. It first says that they were grounded and later fired for not meeting fitness requirements, after being given the chance. That is a little different than firing someone just for being fat. Not sure what to think of the acne and bad teeth though. You do represent the company, and it is a service industry, I guess you have to look good?
momma-tikita momma-tikita 8 years
They were grounded? wtf? Super fucked up, I'd like to see what the guys who fired them look like...
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Good Morning Wind.
windago windago 8 years
good morning I am new
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Steph I just noticed it too! Strange....
stephley stephley 8 years
Has this been here all day? I only just saw it - I don't think my computer works. Anyway - this is sad and stupid and not going away any time soon.
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