Thai Airways Tells Flight Attendants That They’re Too Fat
Flight attendants are in an uproar over a new weight rule set by Thai Airways International. According to the regulation established in May of last year, all attendants who exceed a certain body mass index and waistline measurement will eventually find themselves stuck on the ground.
41 employees — 28 of them male — have accused the Thailand-based airline of having “violated their human rights, hurt their feelings and cut their incomes.” They lodged a complaint with the Thailand’s labor department, which declared the regulation valid, saying that such a decision fell within the purview of the airline’s management . Now, the attendants are threatening to turn to the National Human Rights Commission if no action is taken.
Do you make the cut? Female attendants have been asked to limit their BMI to 25 points and waistline to 32 inches (or 81 cm), while male attendants cannot have a BMI greater than 27.5 points and a waistline wider than 35 inches (89 cm). Those who could not comply have been moved to domestic routes and single-day round trips, effectively cutting their income. If after a year their measurements still do not make the cut, the attendants will be further downgraded to ground services.
A representative said that “the regulation was aimed at improving the personality of flight attendants, who were an essential part of boosting competitiveness with other airlines, while their health had an impact on services and the safety of passengers.”
Certainly obesity has become a greater health concern for Asian countries in recent years, but I’m definitely not sold that this is health related. I understand the need for agile, limber attendants in the case of an emergency (who knows how athletic they’d have to be to deal with this guy), but the measurement requirements are pretty harsh; I’ve seen rugby players with necks wider than 32 inches!
Also, ”personality” is a rather odd word to use in that statement, don’t you think?
Do you think the airline’s decision was fair? Let us know in the comments!
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TAGS: Air travel • Flight attendants • human rights • International flight • Obesity in Asia • Thai Airways International • Thailand
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