Six rules for air hostesses

How does an air hostess’s weight matter ? Of course it’s vital, as any airlines will tell you. Air hostesses must be slim and young and pretty. Never mind if they are not courteous or speak such poor English that they do not understand what “toast” means. That’s not what their job is about anyway.

The Hon’ble (male) judges of the Delhi High Court would agree. The Court thinks that Indian Airlines (or Indian or Air India or whatever they call themselves now) was right to ground five air hostesses because they were overweight. This is what the Hindu reports:

The rules prescribe different weight limits according to their height and age. For an 18-year-old air hostess with a height of 152 cm, the maximum weight permissible is 50 kg while air hostesses in the age group of 26 to 30 and a height of 152 cm, the weight limit is 56 kg.

Of course, Air India itself is very overweight and the Maharajah packs a hefty paunch, but then the Maharajah is not an air hostess.

I had always thought that air hostesses are really a sort of glorified waitress. Except, they are waitresses who don’t depend on customers’ tips for their income, which explains why air hostesses in US airlines are so rude to passengers. But apparently not. Air hostesses must be in the fashion industry. Why else would they have rules saying air hostesses can’t marry, get old or put on weight? I thought such rules were only reserved for models. Also obviously, male stewards are not in the fashion industry. That is why none of these restrictions apply to them.

But why stop at just age and weight? The airlines have other secret rules for air hostesses that explain the quirks in their appearance, behavior and the quality of airline service these days. I have seen these rules in action in the US, and I am sure they exist in India (or Indian). So for readers of this blog, I am letting you into a trade secret that is guarded zealously by the airline industry. I shall tell you the secret rules.

Pic by Huong-Lan

The Six Secret Rules for air hostesses:

Rule 1: Air hostesses should remember that they are, first and foremost, sales persons. They are responsible for selling stale trail mix, cheap headphones and overpriced blankets and pillows. Unfortunately, airlines do not as yet sell water, so air hostesses should refrain from handing out water unless specifically requested by passengers. Even then, they should provide water only in tiny water cups.

Rule 2: All air hostesses should wear high heels that are at least 6 inches high. Heels of five inches may be permitted in special cases, with prior approval. They should sashay through the aisle, rolling carts on high heels, and also use these heels to curb passengers who demand too much attention, like extra cups of water.

Rule 3: Air hostesses should have long fingernails that are at least an inch long. Long fingernails are an important accessory that can be used to dip into cups and discourage use of complimentary drinks by passengers. They can also be used to poke passengers while handing out cups of water and juice.

Rule 4: Make up is very important. Nail polish and lip stick should always be bright red in color. Also, make-up should be applied heavily, so the face looks pale, contrasting with the bright red lipstick. Eyes should be heavily made up. This appearance, when combined with a glare, may scare some of the more timid passengers.

Rule 5: Hair color should be brown on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On all other days, it should be black. Red and orange highlights are recommended.

Rule 6: Air hostesses should give the appearance of smiling at passengers. But genuine smiles are not recommended, in case the passengers get too friendly and request additional cups of water, newspapers or other services currently free.

The airlines take interaction with passengers very seriously. Hidden cameras will be placed above each seat to monitor whether air hostesses chat with passengers or otherwise indulge in courteous behavior. Such behavior can attract disciplinary action. Air hostesses are permitted to be rude to economy class passengers, however, and also to smile in relief, however, when passengers depart the plane.

Perhaps there are more. Certainly the airlines seem to invent a new rule every day, and you just have to open the papers to learn about it. So readers, can you suggest more rules for air hostesses that you have come across?

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124 Comments

  1. Hi I am odion, i am a graduate of political science,I am 24 years old and very pretty,hospitable,caring,I am tall,slim, My weight and height are just appropriate for being a flight attendant. Is it compulsory for me to attend an aviation school before I can apply and purse my career.. Because this has and always be my dream job.. Please anticipating your reply..

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