The High Courts in India have ruled that if you are an air-hostess and your airline thinks you are too fat to fly, they have the right to keep you on the ground. This ruling comes after 5 Air India hostesses appealed to the courts when they were grounded for breaching the airline’s weight limits. It’s not clear if it’s enough to dismiss a flight attendant, but being transfered to the ground for weight issues is humiliating enough.
Air India has a weight scale chart that specifies what weight their hostesses are expected to be. For instance, an 18-year old girl, with height of 152cm cannot weight more than 50 kilograms.
Now, being fat is one thing and being over the airlines specified weight limit is another. An 18-year old girl, with height of 152cm will look fine even if she weighs 52-55 kilograms; not being exactly 50 kilograms does not justify someone being grounded or fired. You would have thought their personal hygiene, working ability and way of dealing with customers took the upper hand.
Air India is known to not have particularly good-looking hostesses, with most of them being old and motherly more than anything else, but as long as they are good hosts and pleasant to deal with, I personally don’t care how they look.
I just took a flight with KLM from Amsterdam to Dubai and one of the stewards was this older rolly-polly guy — big belly and podgy arms — but he was one of the most pleasant hosts I’ve encountered on a plane. Should he be grounded or fired just because of his huge belly? I think not.
I understand that Air India is facing tough competition from newer Indian airlines as well as international ones, both of whom generally hire young hotties, but being slightly overweight should not put your job at risk, and who chooses to fly an airline basis the way their crew looks anyway?