When did the airlines get rid of the “No Ugly” rule for Flight attendants? For that matter, when did they become Flight attendants as opposed to Stewardesses?
I don’t know the exact answer, since I don’t work in that industry, but I would guess it happened right around when ‘Political Correctness’ and ‘Fair Hiring Practices’ became fashionable. You know, when newsmagazines took over TV.
About the same time as they implemented the “No Retards” rule for obnoxious passengers. Progress marches on!
Didn’t they do away with intelligence tests for internet access about the same time? Thank God for that, heh?
No reason to get defensive about the OP. It is an honest question. At one time airline flight attendants were hired based on height, weight, and beauty. My question is when did the change occure. An addition to the OP:
Were the airlines smart enough not to put the ‘beauty’ part in writing?
IIRC There were also requirements of; no marriage, no pregnancies, and no one over 34.
“Under the EEOC’s guidelines, an employer may not refuse to hire members of one sex because of general assumptions about the comparative employment characteristics of the sex or because of stereotypical characterizations of the sexes. Thus, it is unlawful to refuse to hire women because of the notion that the turnover rate among women is higher than among men or because women are not sufficiently aggressive. The preferences of coworkers, the employer, clients, or customers may not serve as the basis for denying employment opportunities on account of sex. 29 C.F.R. S1604.2(a)(1)(i). See, e.g., Diaz v. Pan American World Airways, Inc., 442 F.2d 385, 3 F.E.P.Cas… (BNA) 337 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 404 U.S. 950 (1971). Similarly, an employer’s desire to promote “a sexy public image” will not justify a BFOQ. Wilson v. Southwest Airlines Co., 517 F.Supp. 292, 26 F.E.P.Cas… (BNA) 989 (N.D.Tex. 1981). Rather, the EEOC will consider sex to be a BFOQ only where gender is itself necessary for purposes of authenticity or genuineness, such as for actors, actresses, or models. 29 C.F.R. S1604.2(a)(2) …In the interest of public safety, some courts have also applied the BFOQ exception with respect to the employment of pregnant airline stewardesses. See, e.g., Condit v. United Air Lines, Inc., 13 F.E.P.Cas… (BNA) 689 (E.D.Va. 1976), aff’d, 558 F.2d 1176 (4th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 435 U.S. 934 (1978); James v. Delta Airlines, Inc., 571 F.2d 1376, 17 F.E.P.Cas… (BNA) 447 (5th Cir.), cert. denied sub nom. Batkin v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 439 U.S. 864 (1978); Harriss v. Pan American World Airways, Inc., 437 F.Supp. 413, 15 F.E.P.Cas… (BNA) 1663, reaff’d upon motion to vacate, 441 F.Supp. 881 (N.D.Cal. 1977). Other courts, however, have only endorsed mandatory maternity leave as a business necessity after the thirteenth week of pregnancy. See, e.g., Burwell v. Eastern Air Lines, Inc., 633 F.2d 361, 23 F.E.P.Cas… (BNA) 949 (4th Cir. 1980), and Zuniga v. Kleberg County Hospital, 692 F.2d 986, 30 F.E.P.Cas… (BNA) 650 (5th Cir. 1982)”
I fly Singapore Airlines and can’t decide whether they have a “no ugly” rule or a “stunningly beautiful woman” rule. Perhaps flight attendants in Singapore are classified as “actors, actresses, or models” (kind of like Hooters waitpersons are in the States).
Most people think that flight attendants are just there to serve the passengers food and drinks. In reality, they go through a lot of training. There are FAA regs to learn and follow, plus a lot of training in emergency procedures. Flight attendants (personally, I prefer the posh-sounding “steardess” and “steward”) are required on aircraft that have more than a certain number of seats (I think 19). In the early days of passenger aircraft, the airlines required that they be registered nurses. It seems that in the 60s and early-70s (in particular), flight attendants were used as a marketing tool. They had “mod” uniforms and had to have the youthful look of “jet setters”.
Apparently, someone found out that a person’s appearance really doesn’t have any bearing on their ability to to a job. Now if only some passengers can learn to behave…
Yeah, I knew that early flight attendants had to be trained nurses, and I know that contemporary flight attendants are severely-trained safety professionals, because they OOZE that attitude if you ask them for a second Bloody Mary.
That bizarre “Fly Me” window, though, circa 1968-72…I’m just wondering what it would have felt like to have your life saved in a flaming plane crash by a chirpy blonde in hot pants and a pill-box hat.
Care to elaborate? I was wondering how Hooters was able to get away with that.
And I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a female flight attendent who would be considered unattractive. Maybe not stunning. So there must be a little bit of envelope-pushing still going on in the flight industry.
In fact, if you stop and think about it, other professions come to mind where you don’t tend to see the appearance-challenged. Park attendants at Disney World, for example.
That’s why they exist in the first place. FAA regs said the airlines had to have a person trained in emergency procedures in the cabin with the passengers. The airlines decided they could also bloody well do something besides sit there for the entire flight. Otherwise, “no frills” airlines could save considerable money by having no attendants. It would be like riding a flying subway.
yabob, You are correct. I didn’t mean to give the impression that they weren’t required.
Remember the female news announcer who was described as “Too old, too ugly and not deferential to men”. I am more of a male pig than the next guy but that stuff probably started to go out about the same time as separate lunch counters.
(trivia) I beleive that was Christine Craft in Kansas City, and the Supreme Court refused to hear her appeal.
United just lost a court case that discriminated against somewhat overweight female flight attendants. Expect your ticket prices to rise soon!
Aeroflot is highly non-frilled. In fact, the planes that I flew on did not have overhead storage bins. They had open overhead racks, like a Greyhound bus.
Ahh yes, in this wonderful age of political correctness. Perception is reality. I was flying with my young daughter and her first words after we were seated were “Where’s the peanut lady?”
This debate will go on forever about the true value of flight attendants. The last thing I want on crashed jet is a 100 pound Fifi trying to save my life. Their primary job is to be a waitress in the sky, THEN they can help open the door of a crashed plane… if anybody is still left alive and she hasn’t been trampled to death.
I know, I know, this is going to have someone try to put a troll stamp on me, but come on. I worked for “a major airline” for seven years. Did I ever do a sick out because I was unhappy with my current job? No. In my experience, flight attendants have an over-valued sense of self worth. Just because it disrupts service when they take a chickenshit way out, by faking sick, they think that proves their importance. Sorry, sister… if the trash man stopped coming to your house twice a week, that would cause some disruptions too.
Know your roll.
(ducking low and waiting for the bombs!)
Have you noticed when they give their spiel at the begining of the flight that they are now “here for your safety” & not “your convenience”? They’ve become sky security.
You see, Singapore is a little country off the tip of Malaysia. For some reason, they choose not to be bound by the EEOC. Go figure.
Actually I’m planning to become a flight attendant after I retire. I figure if I can stay in shape and pass the physical requirements I’ll apply for the job and if they reject me because of my age I’ll sue and make some cash. I know they ground pilots after a certain age but I’ve never heard of grounded attendants. Damn, free travel for me and my wife to see the grandkids, what could be better ? Old and ugly are IN !! See you in the friendly skys !!