Air India says flight attendants too fat to fly

A few months back, Air India grounded a group of flight attendants and told them they could return to the skies only if they lost weight.

Instead of going on a diet, the flight attendants went to court.  The scales of justice tipped in the airline’s favor, though, and now the airline has fired nine (some reports say ten) female flight attendants who failed to slim down.

According to this article the airlines says fitness and efficiency were the reasons for its weight standards, which were based on “scientific” combinations of height, age and gender. Lawyers for the fired flight attendants call the move “illegal and against the natural justice.”

There’s more information in an article (Air India fires air hostesses for being too fat to fly) from The Times, which points out that:

“[t]he airline’s stance is likely to surprise many in India, a country with a rich history of voluptuous Bollywood sirens and labour laws that make dismissing public sector staff all but impossible.”

What do you think?   Should an airline be allowed to impose weight restrictions on flight attendants? Or are weight standards OK for the sake of  fitness, efficiency and safety?

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One thought on “Air India says flight attendants too fat to fly

  1. Earley says:

    Depends on where the line is drawn. As an obese passenger, I know the physical hindrances related to moving around the cabin – blocking aisles, hitting elbows of aisle-seat passengers – and obviously would never apply for a job doing it daily! Yes, I think size restriction – for safety and practicality reasons – should be applied… but at what size? Obviously they don’t all need to be Kate Moss, either.

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