Are Japanese Flight Attendants Sleeping With Pilots For Money?

Filed Under: Media

The Daily Mail, the pinnacle of reputable journalism, ran a story this week about how many Japanese flight attendants are apparently turning to prostitution to make up for wage cuts. Apparently their wages have been cut from £28,000 per year in 2004 to £22,000 per year in 2013.

Their prostitution clients? Pilots, apparently:

Several unnamed flight attendants have been quoted in the Shukan Post claiming that female cabin crew are regularly paid to sleep with the pilots.

According to the women, staff can charge between £300 and £450 for 90 minutes with a client.

So, how does this work in practice? Apparently sometimes the senior flight attendants act as female pimps of sorts:

One stewardess, is quoted as saying: ‘Stewardesses who are willing to do it with a pilot pass their number to a senior stewardess who is effectively a female pimp.

And other times the pilots use hand signals during their pre-flight briefing:

‘There is also a system where the pilots use hand signals to tell the hostesses they are interested, and how much they will pay.

During pre-flight checks, the stewardesses line up before the pilot and co-pilot.

As the briefing proceeds, the pilots allegedly drop signals with their fingers.

According to the stewardess, four digits raised to the nose indicates an offer of 40,000 yen, around £225, for an overnight stay at a hotel.

My main takeaway? If true, and the pilots can afford to drop that much cash for prostitutes with enough frequency for this to be a business, perhaps they’re overpaid. 😉

Whether true or just typical Daily Mail “journalism,” I thought it was interesting enough to share, at least…

  1. I live in Japan and this wouldn’t surprise me one bit. This is the country where teenagers advertise to go on ‘dates’ with older men in order to get a new Louis Vuitton bag.

  2. Are you really surprised? Take a bunch of attractive young women who enjoy an expensive lifestyle and this kind of thing is inevitable. Plenty of this happening in airlines all over the world.

  3. my question is which airline has prettier pool of flight attendants, JAL or ANA?
    would love to know since i am about to book a trip to HKG via narita.

  4. This reminds me of a Japanese airline video I sent you a while ago…. gave me a chuckle!

  5. What’s the “interested” hand signal? Like UAL, I don’t think this applies to ANA’s First Class cabin.

  6. Best twitter headline ever. Anyway, I’m not surprised. When I was living in Qatar you’d hear from the grapevine that QR crew were for hire upwards of QR 5000.

  7. [Quoting from Lucky: Whether true or just typical Daily Mail “journalism,” I thought it was interesting enough to share, at least…]

    In my opinion, not really.

  8. Tom C beat me to it. Ever wonder how unverified rumors get spread around and slowly get accepted as truth, lucky? It’s because of people doing the exact thing that you are right now. It’s pretty disappointing.

  9. Wow. Amazing how some posters use a (maybe not true) storyline like to justify their “I always knew Japanese women were shallow materialistic whores, and this proves it!” view…

  10. Why don’t they offer passengers the possibility of joining the Mile-high-club for a fee?
    Only problem must then be that they would need some extra flight attendant as most of the toilets are occupied?

    At least it could be offered to First or Biz class pax…… 😉

  11. @wwk5d stop trying to be a White Knight riding in to save the world Exactly one person, Moodz, made a comment and it’s debatable whether he was applying it to all Japanese females.

  12. Ben, I’m firmly in your huge fan category. I think you have totally distinguished yourself from your fellow bloggers with amazing content, intelligently presented information and more.

    Would you mind some constructive criticism for the first time after multiple rave comments from me? I’m an ex airline pilot and know what (used to) go on. I know your post headline wasn’t a statement but a question, howver it has implications and could influence negatively many people’s opinion of thousands of decent human beings, even if the allegations have happened in certain cases.

    And to state “most flight attendants sleep with pilots for free” whether tongue in cheek or not, has just alienated every crew member on the planet (perhaps!) I know that is meant to be light hearted but people take the written word as gospel sometimes, and surely that’s not fair.

    You clearly are becoming a respected figure in the industry. Most bloggers don’t fly on the A350 media flight out of the Airbus Industrie factory! I’m impressed and pleased for you that your hard work seems to pay off. You are better than his post. I look forward to more of your normal excellent standards and I truly mean that. Thanks Lucky for an awesome blog.

  13. To quote the post…
    “Several unnamed flight attendants have been quoted in the Shukan Post claiming that female cabin crew are regularly paid to sleep with the pilots.
    According to the women, staff can charge between £300 and £450 for 90 minutes with a client.”
    Humph!! Why limit the opportunity to female flight attendants? Some of the boys are also available. I’m not a pilot (JAL, ANA or otherwise) not interested in such dealings, but find it hilarious. Truth-told, FAs have been sleeping with pilots since both professions were invented, sometimes in public comedy and often in reality. That a few eventually turn it into a business venture should not shock anyone. If the money is good and the time short, why the heck not??? Goforit, girls (and boys too!). -CG

  14. @ u600213

    thank you much for the link. i seriously have to consider a stopover in tokyo for my upcoming trip in april. 🙂

  15. I have no problem with people freely choosing consensual sex. But in this case it sounds like economic pressure and workplace coercion. I question how much free choice the female flight attendants have when faced with male pilots in more powerful positions. Did the pilots also have salary cuts, or was it just the female-dominated profession that took the cuts? The pilots may not be direct supervisors, but I suspect they have a lot of influence over the work lives of the flight attendants. The situation doesn’t sound like fun.

  16. The source cited in both articles, Shukan Post, is a tabloid magazine that tends to carry lots of sensationalized and unsubstantiated stories. So take this with a very large grain of salt.

    I imagine that a few pilots and CAs engage in this sort of thing on the side, but Japan has fairly strong workplace harassment laws, so this sort of thing would be a massive liability issue for JAL and ANA if it were really happening on a systematic basis.

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