Sunday, January 10, 2010

Too Fat to Fly

On my flight back to Shanghai to the U.S. , there was an old (it was American Airlines) and "wide" flight attendant. Since she was "wide", she was unable to walk down the aisle of the aircraft without knocking into some of the people who had aisle seats. My attempts to get any kind of rest during the trip was interrupted numerous times from getting hit in the head with a part of her belly.

Normally, I do concur with most of the laws set by the United States to protect workers to prevent workers from being discriminated against during the hiring process. However, when it comes to the hiring of flight attendants, I think the rules should be amended. Since I have been living in Asia for some time, I have seen the flight attendants there. Model-like and thin. It may sound superficial but there is some customer experience that should be taken into account. In addition, I think the airlines should be able to fight some of these laws with the following arguments in hiring the fat flight attendants:
  • Customer Experience: Obese flight attendants ruin the customer experience and may affect their business.
  • Economics and Being Environmental: Overweight flight attendants add additional weight to the aircraft and as a result burn more fuel. I am sure it could be calculated that with the number of miles that these flight attendants fly every year, the amount of fuel that could be saved with a flight attendant of average size.
  • Safety: A fat flight attendant may not be able to exit the aircraft in a timely manner during emergencies or be even pass the physical fitness requirements in such an event.

I hope in the future, we finally start seeing thinner flight attendants. As a bonus, it would be great if they were hot ones too. Just for the passenger experience. Who wouldn't fly an Asian airline over an American airline if possible.

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