Flight attendants in the aircraft were not always: when they began to hire and how changing requirements

The flight attendant profession has always caused great excitement among travelers. Men admired their refinement and beauty, and women envied lifestyle, which involved endless travel, stay in expensive hotels and stay at the azure beaches, writes “Lenta.ru”.

Стюардессы в самолетах были не всегда: когда их стали нанимать и как менялись требования к ним

Photo: Shutterstock

However, the work of the flight attendants, though not without a certain romanticism, had always assumed the hard work, the harm to health due to the constant change of time zones, and often failed personal life. In addition, many of the employees of this sector has been repeatedly subjected to harassment of men and humiliation, because the airlines are often attracted customers with their charm, but did not care about their safety.

The user imposes stringent requirements on the appearance of candidates in the flight attendants, interfered in their relationship and discriminated against in all possible characteristics. But over time, it became clear that short skirt flight attendants is impractical to use as a competitive advantage, and on the fore passenger satisfaction with service quality. In connection with this changed the priorities of the carriers when hiring employees.

What a deprivation for years faced girl, who dreamed to connect his life with the sky and flight, and what awaits them after the pandemic coronavirus — gallery “Tape.ru”.

Exactly 90 years ago the world’s first flight attendant Ellen Church and seven girls-nurses accompanied the 14 passengers on a 20-hour flight from Oakland California to Chicago. Being so young, the Church dreamed of becoming a pilot, however, the gender stereotypes of that time did not allow her to achieve the cherished goal. Nevertheless, she did not leave the dream of flying, gathered a group of nurses and convinced Boeing that the travelers on Board must be accompanied by lovely ladies.

“Imagine how it will look aircraft, if young girls become regular members of the crew. Imagine what effect this will have on travellers. Imagine how valuable they will be for us to imagine accurately serving food and caring about the welfare of passengers”, — wrote in a letter to the boss, the Manager of Boeing Steve Simpson. May 15, 1930, Boeing 80A aircraft first flew in the skies with the women acting as hostesses on Board.

Then, the requirements for flight attendants were very simple and fundamentally different from the usual modern realities. They had to wear the watch to constantly check the time to monitor passengers to prevent violations of safety rules, and to have the timetables in case the plane made a forced landing.

Over time, expectations grew, and the quality of service has become higher not only on earth but in the sky. To better cope with the responsibilities and meet all standards, employees of the airlines had various trainings. For example, in may 1946 members of the crew of Trans World Airline instructed how to care for the travelers, to charm them and not lose my temper. In addition, girls are taught lessons in reading and French, and also made vital vaccinations.

The presence of older women among the crew members was expressly excluded. First, marketers believed that a younger and fresher appearance attracts customers a lot more, and second, to become a flight attendant could only unmarried girls whose lives are not burdened with a relationship. That is why in those days flight attendants did not stay in the service longer than three years.

Стюардессы в самолетах были не всегда: когда их стали нанимать и как менялись требования к ним

Photo: Shutterstock

Because the way the flight attendants were extremely sexualisierte, in the 1950-1960-ies of the appearance of the flight attendants tried to make it as more fascinating. Mini skirt, off slender legs, bright makeup accentuate their beauty and clearly revealing the body suits. Armed with all the above attributes, the girls went to work and barely fought off the men.

Gradually the work of the flight attendants began to appear new responsibilities. So, on their fragile shoulders fell interior cleaning, repairing chairs and even aid in the refueling of aircraft, which led to changes on some airlines. The designers of the uniforms finally understood that women, working at height, you first need comfortable clothing.

However, many carriers continued to perceive flight attendants as a showcase to attract the consumer. By the way, in the 1970-ies, the National airline Fly released a controversial advertising campaign with the girl, calling “fly on it”. National even made a video which was shown on TV. “I will fly to you like no one else ever,” the flight attendant flirted in the frame. The result was not long in coming — airline sales increased by 23 percent.

In 1968 a new era of human rights protection, and the United States lifted the ban on marriage and relationships for flight attendants. In addition, carriers are no longer permitted to set age limits and to hire only young employees. And in 1971, equality is achieved and women — now they, too, could become flight attendants.

Meanwhile, in the USSR, the requirements for appearance of the flight attendants was just as strict as models on Paris fashion Week. Each girl had to meet clearly defined parameters: growth of no more than 162 cm, weight 52 pounds, not older than 25 years. So all Soviet flight attendants looked almost identical — their uniform was distinguished by extreme rigor, and her hair was always pulled back. And even shades of makeup is clearly regulated by the employer.

In addition to the appearance of the Soviet flight attendants had to conform to other standards: to have good manners, high education, preferably in medicine or psychology, to be sociable and stress-resistant.

Progress does not stand still, and by 1990, the only important condition for the recruitment of flight attendants had completed higher education. And then US President George Bush recognized the importance of the profession and announced on 19 July national Day of the flight attendant. Later, the festival has reached international level, and today it is celebrated on may 31.

Today, airlines have different regulations for their employees. And, despite the modern feminist movement, I suppose this error, causing universal outrage. For example, in 2019, the carrier Norwegian has released a 22-page document with the rules for staff. In it, in particular, contained a ban on the wearing of flat shoes without a doctor’s permission. In addition, women are encouraged to do a certain make-up: eye shadow, apply a lightweight Foundation, tinted moisturizer and powder.

Other carriers, by contrast, sought to avoid all sorts of restrictions and requirements for the appearance of flight attendants. For example, the British airline Virgin Atlantic in March 2019 has announced that it is now the employee are not required to wear make-up to work. A distinctive feature of the representatives of these airlines were always bright red lipstick Upper Class Red brand Bare Minerals. However, the management of the company decided to grant them “greater freedom of expression”.

Стюардессы в самолетах были не всегда: когда их стали нанимать и как менялись требования к ним

Photo: Shutterstock

And, for example, in March 2018, the authorities of the flagship airline of Hong Kong Cathay Pacific for the first time in 72 years has allowed flight attendants to work in pants. Since the company’s founding in 1946, the official uniform of the flight attendants consisted of a white blouse with the logo of Cathay Pacific, red skirts with two slits, tight black stockings and black shoes with heels. Optionally, you had to Supplement the costume with a red jacket. However, the participants of the Association of flight attendants finally won the right to replace the skirt with pants.

Despite the fact that some organizations still have not won the established stereotypes regarding the appearance of flight attendants, today to hold this position much easier than 70 years ago. Though, because a flight attendant can now be any person, regardless of skin color, age, gender and level of attractiveness.

Pandemic coronavirus irreversibly influenced all spheres of human life, and especially on the aviation industry. The crew members were at risk of infection due to the fact that many people continued to travel even during the escalation of the situation. To protect their employees, some airlines decided to abandon the usual elegant uniforms. For example, AirAsia has recently introduced new uniforms for staff, developed specially for the duration of the pandemic coronavirus. Other organizations at least demanded that all flight attendants and passengers wore during the flight mask and gloves.

However, care staff have shown not all. Many airlines had to reduce staff due to financial losses, and their flight attendants went part time in supermarkets, and sometimes in strip clubs. Some experts assume that after the pandemic the profession might disappear altogether, and later travelers with nostalgia would be to consider pictures of adorable girls who were trying to make the passengers comfortable flights. Well, while the remaining without a job the flight attendants do not lose hope and every day waiting for the opportunity once again to welcome travelers and to wish them a pleasant flight.


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