The debate over whether or not it is appropriate to impose weight and size restrictions on flight attendants just got another boost. According to Gadling, Thai Airways is starting to enforce new rules that set a limit on Body Mass Index (BMI) — a height to weight ratio — and waistline measurements.
For females, the limit for BMI is 25 with max waistline of 32 inches. For men, their BMI must not exceed 32 and their wastes must be 35 inches or under. I can understand the argument of passenger safety and the ability of one to do his or her job adequately, but what surprised me was the first thing mentioned in this quote from the vice president of products and customer services for Thai Airways, Teerapol Chotechanapibal:
…the regulation was aimed at improving the personality of flight attendants, who were an essential part of boosting competitiveness with other airlines, while their health had an impact on services and the safety of passengers. Flight attendants had to be agile and able to evacuate passengers from a plane within 90 seconds in the event of an accident.
So apparently they are trying to boost the self-esteem of their staff by telling them they are too big to work. I’ve flown Thai Airways and personally don’t see a problem with the personality of their staff. In fact, my flights to and from Thailand from LA were the best flights I’ve ever taken. I received the best and friendliest service.
Flight attendants who do not meet the new regulations will be “demoted” to domestic flights and same-day services. If, after a year, they still do not comply, they will be moved to ground crew. 41 flight attendants, including 28 males, who did not meet the limits have filed a complaint with the Thailand Labour Protection and Welfare Department.
[Image: Jennifer Su / Flickr]