Have you ever wondered how airlines manage to get around employment laws and only ever seem to hire good-looking flight attendants?
Experienced flight attendant Susan Brown spilled the beans on the popular forum Quora, and the answer is not exactly what you might expect.
“The reason why many people ‘think’ that most cabin crew out there are good looking is because the airlines have created the illusion,” Ms Brown explains.
“During the cabin crew training all crew go through some kind of grooming/image/uniform training. They get trained in what to wear, how their hair should look, what kind of make-up to use, how to look, what kind of jewellery to wear, what kind of shoes to wear, how their nails should look and how male crew should keep their facial hair.
“They train them in skin care, health care, how to behave, how to even walk and talk. They instruct the crew exactly what they want them to look like. They kind of mould everyone into a certain look they want their crew to look like. It is like creating clones in some ways.”
She explains that the airlines consider their flight attendants and cabin crew as a PR ‘product’, which they polish to make sure people think that their airline is good.
“Some airlines have grooming/image ‘checkers’ at the airport,” Ms Brown explains. “When crew arrives to the airport and before each briefing there is this grooming checker that checks each crew (member) and makes sure everyone looks their best.
“When the crew go home and take off the make-up and the uniform, they will look ordinary.”
Ms Brown explains that most airlines will reject flight attendants who are overweight as they are not considered ‘fit to fly’.
In an emergency the cabin crew is expected to be able to handle any situation and there are minimum fitness requirements considered necessary such as pulling, lifting, moving or assisting passengers – requirements that are considered when assessing whether an applicant is ‘fit to fly’.