'Old, fat and ugly' flight attendants lose discrimination case


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Flight attendants for Russian airline lose court case after claiming to suffer discrimination based on age, weight and appearance.

'Old, fat and ugly' flight attendants discriminated

'Old, fat and ugly' flight attendants discriminated

A group of flight attendants for Russia's flagship airline, Aeroflot, have attempted to sue the airline for discrimination. The female flight attendants felt that they had been victims of "sex discrimination" basewd on their age, weight and general appearance.

The air attendants claim to have been moved from working on international flights to local flights, which led to a major cut in their pay. Despite Aeroflot's denials, the flight attendants feel they were discriminated against for being too "old, fat and ugly" which has led to them adopting the insult into a name for their group "S.T.S." - an abbreviation of the words in their original Russian.

One of the flight attendants filing a suit against the airline, Evgeniya Magurina, said that the airline had been quietly introducing these new rules determining how female employees should look. She said: "All stewardesses were photographed, measured and weighed by the airline in June last year, supposedly to have new uniforms ordered.

"When my boss looked at my photo, he said: "Zhenya, you know, your cheeks are too big for international flights. And you have big breasts, so you should be wearing a sports bra." This is the way they explained to me the new rules."

"Everyone older than 40 or with clothing size larger than small or medium was taken off international flights," and claimed that staff had to be between 5,2" and 5,6".

However, the lawsuit was a failure has with Moscow's court rejecteing their "sex discrimination" claim. The airline has denied these claims in an official statement: "Aeroflot does not discriminate on age, sex, weight, appearance, religious or political convictions, or indeed any other grounds. The claim that the expert medical commission has been instructed to remove 'old and ugly' cabin crew from flight duties is untrue."

The airline has however, admitted that every extra kilogram of weight leads to extra costs of around 800 roubles (£11) per year. Serfei Kovalyoy, who is representing the airline in the case, said that Russian labour laws allowed employers to consider how "elevated body dimensions prevent the rapid movement of a flight attendant on the aisles". He also explained that excessive weight of employees could slow down the aircraft evacuations in the case of an emergency.

Aeroflot has been recently rated as Russia's "most powerful brand", and the company have explained that the flight attendants are the face of their airline as the national carrier for Russia so count as the country's "business card".

"One's first impression of Russia, and attitude towards Russia, depends on the stewardesses' appearance and customer service."

Nevertheless, it is not just staff of heavier build who are being discriminated against, the airline has also explained that air hostesses need to be strong and tall to manage tasks such as lifting heavy equipment and baggage, and helping people in cases of emergencies. Aeroflot pilot, Mikhail Markov, confirmed they need to be strong and that it is "not a job for a 43-kilogarm girl" either.

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Editorial Team
Posted on 22/04/2017 18 shares
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