Flight attendant

Budget airline says only 'lightweight women' need apply

Peter Harris|

Can you imagine if WestJet, Air Canada or Porter suddenly announced that from now on they were only going to hire slender women to be their flight attendants? I predict that there would be a considerable public outcry. Well that’s just what one discount airline has said that it will be doing from now on.

Low cost airline, GoAir of India has released a new hiring policy stating that moving forward they will now only hire light-weight female flight attendants to crew their flights. It will stop hiring men altogether.

Apparently this will help them improve efficiency and keep the costs down for passengers. The rationale? Women weigh less than men, and thin women weigh less than larger women, so this new hiring policy will help the airline save on fuel costs.

GoAir estimates that it costs about a 0.03 cents for every to fly each extra pound of weight per hour of flying time. They say that this can save them as much as to $500,000 a year in flight costs.

They’re not the first to make an employment issue out of their flight staff’s weight. Back in 2010 Turkish Airlines gave 28 members of its cabin crew six months to lose weight or face termination. Thai Airways also issued a Body Mass Index standard that employees had to meet in order to keep their jobs.

So is this discrimination or simple efficiency? Do you think that companies should be allowed to make hiring decisions based on candidate’s gender or body type if they can show a clear financial reason for the bias? Tell us what you think!

Oh, and there are thousands of jobs on Workopolis right now – available for men and women of every shape and size.

Peter Harris

Peter Harris on Twitter

Category: Latest News & Advice
  • Samantha

    That is total bulls*** that men or women that weigh more costs the air line more money for weight per hour of flying time.

    Than what about passengers who are on the plane are only light weight passangers allowed to fly???

    You people are so F***in discrementory……however your airline likes receiving money from passengers who are fat, skinny, tall, ugly, young, old……money does not have any discrimnation…..only people can be discriminated, bullied, put down….but you like to recevice money From a Big Fat Woman would’nt you? You F*****S!!!!!

    • apihtokosan .

      Passengers pay for their flights

      • Lina Lauren

        This is so lame…..

      • sunbeamcatcher

        and employees don’t??? the only ones who do not pay a penny are fat Indian males – managers and execs, how else in that S**T hole of a country.

        • Markus

          So Sunbeamcatcher, why don’t you tell us how you really feel about India and Indian males?

          • Sanjai Singh

            What’s the problem with paying for what you use. If it costs more to ferry fat people around, then they should be the ones to pay the extra amount rather than the same being shared by other passengers under the guise of ‘human rights’. How come we only talk of human rights when it saves us a few pennies and not the other way around? Everyone is responsible for what they make of themselves (pun intended) and so, if you choose to be fat you should put your money where your mouth is!

    • Markus

      Passengers are paying as for flight attendance they have to be payed. So there you got it and since you so smart let me tell you man and women do not weigh the same, mans bone structure is more dense and is heavier and muscle mass is greater in man then women, that is if we leave the East German woman Olympic weight lifting team out of the play.

      • Michael

        or Canadian and American women

    • Devils Advocate

      Weight vs. fuel usage is legitimate. Drive your car for a week with nothing in it, just normal routine. See how much fuel you go through. The next week, fill up the trunk and back seat with some weighty items. Continue your normal routine and see the difference in the fuel usage. There is a cost associated with weight vs. fuel costs for air lines. Hard to say how they figured out specifically per hour of flying time, but more weight does cost more.

      And FYI, some airlines are currently talking about charging by weight for passengers too. If you look at it purely from a financial standpoint, it does make sense. That’s also why they charge for excess baggage, it costs more. It’s either charge more/less on a per person basis, or just raise the prices for everyone overall to cover rising costs. Is that fair to those people who lead healthy lives and keep their weights within healthy ranges to have to pay more and cover the additional cost that they don’t contribute to? Not to say there aren’t legitimate medical factors for some people who are overweight that should be considered, just where do we draw the line? For the record, I am overweight.

      • Markus

        Davis you are right, to charge by weight is the most just approach to charge passenger, but as you know obesity is the norm and you are right that there is very little medical justification for most over weight people. But I think I found the solution to the problem.Lets switch to the metric system. IT sounds so much better when you say you are 135 Kilograms then 300 pounds, dose it not?

  • Samantha

    Another thing is that all ugly people which constitutes more that 75% of the world are not allowed to work cause they are ugly,& there are lots of ugly people in the world with no manners, class, understanding, greedy, selfish, no humanity should also not qualify to work, along with people who are over the age of 55 cause they are old and wrinkly, and oh yeah pregnant woman too should not be able to get a job cause they have a big belly and are overweight…..what is wrong with people in this world…STOP critizing and look at yourself……how about this no poor person is allowed to work only rich people are allowed to work so they can generate more wealth for themselves and buy more iphones, ipads, and bmw’s audis, mercedes while the poor should take public transit with drunks, low lives, theifs, smelly people, old, ugly people….what is wrong with all you people…..wait till you get old and ugly then you will feel the pain and realize that people should be given chances and not be discriminated against based on their gender, age, looks, The world is full of dishonest people, criminals,, liars, fake people, sick people in their head, drug attics and so much more…………

    • Kathryna Dobrick

      wow, I couldnt have said it better myself

      • nomi209

        Punctuation might help.

    • sunbeamcatcher

      great point Samantha. I would say only that rich people don’t work, they bully others to slave away in temporary minimum or sub minimum wage jobs, while they skim the profits. I saw the statistical report of wealth distribution in USA alone (and the accompanying graph) – it clearly shows that the top 1% produces a zip, while shares in OUR profits. WE, produce 99% of wealth, but receive 1% of it. This is a gist of it.

      • Markus

        O really, They not working??? I think they are working just that they work smarter then ther rest of us. A Jewish expression is “Why are you so pour when you so smart?” I think they have a point. I am not rich my self and work for 34000 CAD per year before tax but I can see the point of this, I think all of you fat people are offended because now it is rubbed into your face, Not pretending that 350 lb is normal weight. So get real and suck it up or get slim.

    • Markus

      Define ugly!! No one sad ugly people the issue is to save on flight costs and make more profit. The American dream…Remember, MAKING A LOT OF MONEY. then you can be as pretty as you want. Since only pour people are the ones that are crazy, as for the rich well they are eccentric not crazy. Get it????

    • Markus

      Besides, as right as you are, you are no better at all. What makes you thing you don’t fall into any of the categories you mentioned? That you are above all of the rest? Just stick to the topic and stop labeling and judging people. I think the one that is out of place is you. You are right about one thing the world is full of weirdos:-) But the issue is weight and associated cost. with no prejudges nor reference to pretty or ugly. Just each pound in the air = x amounts of fuel= $$$$$$$ the difference is will the dollars be earned or spend. That is where the buck stops.

    • Ai Ya

      Totally agree! Fake people even get promotion faster at work.

    • nomi209

      “poor should take public transit with drunks, low lives, theifs, smelly people, old, ugly people”… and that’s what you call “not criticizing”, huh?
      “The world is full of dishonest people, criminals,, liars, fake people, sick people in their head, drug attics and so much more…” who are, I take it from your rant, all equally entitled to any job they like, whether or not another candidate is more qualified?
      PS- hey ,you keep your drugs in the attic, too? That’s smart- the cops never look there.

  • roblamberti1

    I think the relevant Human Rights Commission should look into this.

    • sunbeamcatcher

      as long as the HRC is not India based with Indian males presiding over it or corrupting it as they do with everything else.

      • Markus

        Corrupting is the keyword. Well sad

    • Markus

      India??? Human Right????? What are you talking about????

      • Ai Ya

        A lot of people in Developing World have hard time to satisfy their basic needs every day. When you don’t even have enough food or place to stay, how can you worry about human right? Inflation rate is very high. It is very expensive to even buy mike there. We are living in Developed World, we are just lucky.

      • apache

        lol…. agreed

  • justtme89

    does this mean thinner passengers should pay less ? I doubt that would ever happen so why do it to your employees … ?

    • sunbeamcatcher

      it says a company from India – should I say anything else? it is self explanatory provided the reputation the country has – I am not even surprised, is there anything honourable ever conceived in that place?

      • Markus

        IT is true India is a country that is different, the ability to adapt and improvise is phenomenal, but we should not put them down just because of that, Indian people being discriminated by Indian employers…How is that any off our business. Should we learn ? absolutely, but our culture is to live in the fridge and the gym..di I need to say more???

    • Markus

      We are so upset with India and Indians, but still we import them like crazy to our country. What is up with that? Can we not distance our self from this type of culture where ex torsion, slavery and discrimination is the norm of life? Can we not as society refuse interaction with a social system as this till they live up to the standards of real human right in action not only on paper. If they want to be part of the world, meaning civilized world then they should be forced to show and live such a civilized life. But since it was The crowns most beloved of the colonies we have to put up with them, my question is why? Don’t we have the right to live the way we want and set standards for our self’s and the ones we deal with? But the greed in us and the prospect of profit is throwing all the morality and good deads out the window. So partially we have to take the blame and just either shut up and suck it up or just get real and deal with the issue.
      But here we are with our moral conflict. Are we going to get tough and draw a line or just keep bitching? I personalty refuse to deal with Indian or Pakistanis in all aspects of my life. for the very same reasons, I will not do business with them to support therein discriminating chauvinistic life style. Follow my example and we can change things. if not keep bitching, or better just shut up and suck it up .

      • Anon

        There is a lot to say, I have not read all threads, but assume many points valid/invalid appropriate/inappropriate have been made. But I am hoping you see my msg and that there is a delete comment option available to you. — I am not here to argue your opinions or judge your views not matter how much I disagree with them.– You did say “…. Indians, but still we import them like crazy…” I would like to remind you that yes, there are many Indian immigrants, who are professionals, business owners, valued employees…you are on WORKOPOLIS, are you actually looking for employment, or a career change?

    • Tom Killeen

      Thinner passengers don’t pay less, but I do know that many (all? most?) North American airlines actually do charge extra for obese passengers.

    • Potter

      Actually not to long ago, there was an article about airlines considering passengers to pay based on their weight. This obviously was not approved because of the public, but airline companies are pushing for these kind of things.

  • Danièle Heinen

    Anyone has thought of security concerns? I did a few domestic flights in both Canada and the US on smaller aircrafts and wondered how fast the rather “enveloped’ stewardess would have reacted to run down the aisle or open the doors and get the slides out, considering they could hardly manage to squeeze past in the single aisle between the seats. The politically correct BS is starting to get on me; indeed a large (pun intended) number of large people are so beause of large portions and large glasses out of large bottles of sugary drinks and that does not bring health, but large health issues. Since I have to travel long distance internationally and not just for the weekend the one free bagage allowance after the 32 kg became 23 kg to save on fuel is areal hindrance. The standard used to be a 80 kg passenger for flight weight management.

  • nomi209

    The gender-bias is ridiculous (many men are super-slender and should meet the weight/size requirements no problem), but a person who puts extra stress on the aircraft or takes up an entire aisle sideways is probably not an ideal candidate for a flight attendant position, so if it’s between them and someone who weighs less/takes up less space, I can’t blame the airline for choosing the latter.
    But the gender restriction is flat-out discrimination. Just set your weight limits, and if more women than men meet them, then so be it, but don’t turn away a skinny man just because he has a penis (penises don’t weight that much).

  • Renabee Trueto ThineSelf

    Well I work in Nursing & the big women do less work or at least try & move slower. Try & fit a wheelchair & fat HCA in bathroom, difficult.

  • Renabee Trueto ThineSelf

    Other side of the coin
    I don’t want a small little man to be the Fireman I may call apron. I want a big strong man who can save me.

  • Anon

    Markus commented that we should state weight in kg!! I love this, but will still refer to lbs. Everyone seems to be thinking this policy is based on elimintating the obese, no, no, this is a tighter analysis. They are not comparing 300 lb to 120 lb, they are comparing 120 lb to 104 lb. Even a very slender female that happens to be 6′ would be refused employment, as she would far exceed the weight limit. A very short, slender (with a small penis nomi209 ) should not be dismissed due to his gender, no matter the validity of fuel/weight cost policy

  • Matt

    Shhhhhh! That wasn’t supposed to go on official policy!