Air India fires flight attendants for being too fat

Via the Times Online:

Call it a heavy defeat: ten air hostesses employed by Air India have been dismissed for being too fat to fly.

The state-owned carrier handed the staff their papers over Christmas after they failed to slim down to meet company weight restrictions, which are calculated according to height and age. The cabin crew members had been grounded for months after losing a landmark legal battle in June.

Sheila Joshi, 51, an Air India hostess with 27 years’ service who lodged an unsuccessful petition with the Indian High Court to declare the airline’s weight policy unconstitutional, said: “It is incredibly upsetting that working women are being targeted. This is not a modelling job; we are not working a catwalk.”

This is just ridiculous on the part of Air India, in my opinion. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this at Emirates or Singapore, where being a flight attendant is more of a job you have for a few years than an actual career, but this is wrong for airlines like Air India, where being a flight attendant is a career you can have for 30 years.

This just comes to show you how extreme different companies are. On one hand you have Air India, where I’m betting these flight attendants were moderately overweight, while on the other hand you have the US airlines, where some flight attendants literally can’t fit through the aisle. I think there should be weight/size restrictions, but only to the point that you can perform your duties without your weight/size causing any issues. 😉

Filed Under: Media, Other Airlines


  1. Emirates actually has weight guidelines that are strictly enforced and people exceeding are told to fix the problem. A no pregnancy policy is also there I believe.

  2. Lucky wrote:

    > This is just ridiculous on the part of Air India, in my opinion.

    Well not entirely. The article said:

    > The tactic has been embraced most by Vijay Mallya, the liquor tycoon who owns the upmarket airline Kingfisher and says that he vets each member of staff.

    The competition is priced no higher than Air India, and IME has FAs who look like supermodels. From what I’ve read about Air India and experienced with Kingfisher (the best airline IME) has a lot of things it has to change to compete with Kingfisher. Provided Air India is working on the other things (like literally having 20 people clean the cabin between flights like Kingfisher does, like serving 2-3 choices of meals on every flight, like providing an amenity kit and pre-flight beverage to every economy pax, like free personal satellite AV), survival dictates that emulate Mr. Mallya’s hiring practices.

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