You might think that it takes a lot of skill and training to become a flight attendant. Put aside all the “follow your dream” and “if you stick to it you’ll reach your goal” kinda thinking, it won’t get you anywhere in the Chinese airline business provided you can show certain physical features like attractiveness, a particular height and youth. If you are over 24 and don’t look good in a swimsuit, don’t bother applying.
“A lot of Chinese passengers judge the quality of airlines based on the quality of their flight attendants, meaning are they pretty or not pretty,” said Luo Man, a media director at China Southern, the country’s largest carrier.
So obviously beauty is a big issue within the Asian aviation industry. Part of me wants to point out that we’re supposed to be sophisticated human beings and should rather rely on skilled pros, especially when oxygen masks are popping out at 35000 to 39000 altitude, who cares whether that flight attendant looks good in a bikini??? But I can also understand why it would be vital for an airline to prefer good looking women/men. I guess a lot of people do judge them by their service/staff on board and let’s be honest, would you rather see an all smiley, attractive young lady or a 50 something bearded overweight woman?
The Chinese have even gone so far as to put their air personnel selection on TV and turned it into a reality show, like a beauty contest.
The show, funded in part by the airline, follows a six-month audition — complete with swimsuit competition and a race involving luggage, makeup brushes and drink trays — through several major Chinese cities. Thousands of young women lined up for the chance to compete for 180 openings.
So what’s the appeal? What exactly makes this job so special? I’ve never had the desire or dream to become a stewardess and let’s face reality, working as a flight attendant can’t be all that great right?
They are supposed to be responsible for the care, comfort and safety of airline passengers. I really don’t want to put any airline staff done but from what I have seen, this job is hardly much better waiting tables nowadays. Also according to USA Today, the average flight attendant salary is $29950.
Fresh faces in the sky [LA Times]