India's flag carrier Air India has introduced strict selection criteria for its flight attendants: according to new rules, recently, their staff cannot work with gray hair and bald patches. With their actions, the administration wants to make sure that employees look good, smell good, and with this help they think to create a certain image of the company.
Flight attendants are usually associated with their smart attire, but the Indian carrier took extra steps to make sure their employees looked the way they wanted. Thus, Air India personnel, among other things, were faced with the fact that they would not be able to work for the carrier if they did not meet a number of criteria: they have gray hair, bald patches or choose casual clothes, even if they fly as a passenger, not a flight attendant, and many more others. Let's consider them in more detail.
In a 40-page booklet that was distributed to staff back in October, staff familiarized themselves with the new rules, which The Sun reported were negatively received by the airline's flight attendants. “Grey hair is not allowed. Gray hair should be regularly dyed to a natural shade. Trendy colors and henna are not allowed,” the manual said.
Receding hairlines are also prohibited, and employees with thinning hair are required to maintain a “clean-shaven/bald appearance” by having their heads shaved “daily”. At the same time, men are forbidden to wear beards. The administration offers to support this by carrying a shaving kit with you always and everywhere. Male attendants must also wear socks that are no longer or shorter than the calf and that match the color of their trousers.
What other requirements for appearance did the airline present? From now on, airline employees are required to always use deodorant, while strong-smelling products are prohibited. For some inexplicable reason, staff were banned from carrying plastic bags or shopping bags at airports and also from engaging in “improper lounging” in groups, i.e. crowd with packages and discuss non-working issues. Other regulations require employees to wear a minimum of jewelry “to avoid any delays at customs and security checks” and not wear “black or religious thread” around their wrists, necks or ankles.
Unsurprisingly, Air India staff were less than enthusiastic about the new rules, with one of them expressing the majority opinion in a succinct comment to a local newspaper: “Some think it's all necessary to build the airline's image, but others think it's overkill.”
Internet users, after getting acquainted with the innovations, were also left in a slight shock. Here are quotes that tourists left on social networks:
- “Your crew should not seduce us, just serve us. Let them be their age.”
- “Your rules are very disturbing.”
- “That's funny. I'm sure every airline has similar rules, but Air India should first educate flight attendants on better service and customer service and then implement their own changes.
While Air India's new rules may indeed seem a bit extreme, there are examples of other carriers implementing similar measures. For example, flight attendant Heather Poole, who worked for a major airline for 15 years, shared a few inside secrets. According to her, many people think that the work of flight attendants is not so difficult.
However, it is not. For the first six months of being hired, all entry-level aircrew are on probation and any minor violation of the rules may result in immediate termination. In her career, she has seen many people get fired for wearing their uniforms incorrectly, even if it was just a matter of tying a sweater around the waist. For example, one job applicant was immediately fired for trying to get a free flight due to her status as an escort.
And if the flight attendant is unwell, Poole recommended not even thinking about flying. Returning to work with signs of illness threatens flight attendants with an immediate loss of work. Finally, she recalled a long-standing rule when hiring flight attendants. This is growth. According to the standards of many airlines, it should be from 160 to 186 cm.
Earlier, Turprom wrote that “A flight attendant reported one action that makes passengers hate them.”
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