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Saturday, September 17, 2011

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No More 'Aunty-Hostesses' in Air India !!!


Now Air India wants younger stewardesses; the airline took its time to get the point!

Kritika Kapoor

    Air India’s flights have hit a rocky patch, what with words like CAG and Praful Patel figuring in household conversations daily. But the airline seems to have found a temporary solution to all its problems. Of all weaknesses the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report could find, the airline is concentrating on something else entirely. Air India has decided that their matronly air hostesses are its Achilles’ heel and is demanding a makeover. The snappy aunties will be replaced by younger (err... that’s what Air India thinks 45-year-olds are) and better-dressed attendants. This has drawn praise from those who’ve faced the ire of a stern Air India stewardess in the past, and flak from most considering that Air India has never really been, well, subtle before either. Remember when they openly fired airhostesses for being too fat?
 Can hostesses be behind an airline’s failure?      
 The symbiotic relationship between air-hostesses and airlines has been understood for years. Airlines go out of their way to hire attractive, young air hostesses. Has someone ever questioned whether they’re relevant to the airline’s status or ranking? No. But if one looks at two recent polls — one rating the most attractive air hostesses in the world, and another ranking the top ten airlines — the two have no less than four in common.

The answer is – too much. There are numerous air hostess training institutes in India, out of which more than 13 in Delhi. One of the most important lessons they teach is grooming. The average requirement for a candidate to train at these institutes is “below 25 years of age with a minimum height of 157.5 centimetres. The weight should be in proportion to height. One must be unmarried.” Says an ex-air hostess, who quit due to the monumental requirements demanded by her job, “It is all about
    glamour. If you look good, any airline will hire you. You can literally see them drooling. While you’re on a flight, you can’t have one hair out of place. 

Chipped nailpolish is a no-no. Your grooming is checked before each flight. If out of place, they give you a warning letter. Smelling good is very important. Often, they have grooming coaches who check you in the middle of the flight, and reprimand you in front of others.” An air hostess working with a leading airline adds, “They keep forcing us to get rebonding or different haircuts. Your weight needs to be in check.” Airlines have also upped stakes in recent years by roping in well-known designers to dress up their crew. So while the Air Sahara crew used to wear silk saris by Ritu Beri, Kingfisher Airlines crew sport outfits by Manoviraj Khosla. Spice Jet collaborated with Yatan Ahluwalia, while Jet Airways had its uniforms designed by Ravi Bajaj.
World’s most attractive cabin crews:*
1. Virgin Atlantic 2. Singapore Airlines 3. Etihad 4. Emirates 5. Aer Lingus 6. Lufthansa 7. Cathay Pacific 8. TAP 9. KLM 10. Iberia

World’s best airlines: ** 1. Qatar Airways 2. Singapore Airlines 3. Asiana Airlines 4. Cathay Pacific Airways 5. Thai Airways International 6. Etihad Airways 7. Air New Zealand 8. Qantas Airways 9. Turkish Airlines 10. Emirates

*Survey by Business Travel and Meetings Show **2011 World Airline Awards

FLY WITH ME: Richard Branson obviously pays his stewardesses a lot of attention. Maybe others need to take a 

Credits: Times Of India