Malindo Air Makes Flight Attendants Strip Down To Bra In Interviews, Thinks Other Airlines Do The Same

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Malaysian low cost carrier Malindo Air is under fire for how they conduct interviews for prospective female cabin crew. During interviews they make females strip down to their bras, to see if they have any visible marks anywhere. This is apparently because their uniform is somewhat see through, and you wouldn’t want someone serving you or looking after your safety if they have any “scars of pimples.” That would just be too much to handle. Per Malay Mail Online:

It is the right of the employer to request potential flight attendants to expose their chests to interviewers, said Malindo Air public relations and communications director Raja Sa’adi Raja Amrin.

“It is not an issue. We have the right to conduct such body checks on them. I think most airlines do the same,” he said.

“We need to see if they (applicants) have scars, pimples or tattoos that could be seen through the uniform. Our flight attendants wear a corset inside and if it is covered by the corset, it is okay.”

“We need to know if there are scars or any marks as you can see their legs when they walk,” he said.

It’s bad enough that they have this policy, but does Malindo Air really think that “most airlines do the same?” They’re definitely not the only airline, but it’s a very limited number of airlines that have such a policy.

This has caused several Malaysian politicians to demand that Malindo Air change their policy and apologize, per a follow up article:

“I demand Malindo apologise to Malaysian women, especially those who desire to be a stewardess.

“If they want to operate out of Malaysia, they should respect Malaysian women,” she said during a press conference at the Parliament media area today.

DAP’s Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto and Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching were also present during the press conference.

Siti Mariah also demanded that the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and the Transport Ministry take action to “put a stop to this rubbish.”

“Stewardesses need to be presentable and charming but not sexy,” she said.

Shortly after Malindo’s policy was exposed, AirAsia put out a recruitment flyer stating that they won’t “ask you to strip down.” Well played, AirAsia.


Unfortunately female flight attendants being objectified is still very much alive in some parts of Southeast Asia, so Malindo Air isn’t alone. Nok Air has published calendars with Playboy and Maxim models, and VietJet has had their flight attendants strip down into bikinis for publicity stunts (that airline is even owned by a woman).

  1. Good grief. LOL @ the HR guys who are trying act like getting women to undress at job interviews is the most normal thing in the world.

  2. “…but does Malindo Air really think that “most airlines do the same?” They’re definitely not the only airline…”

    Can you name some other airlines that do this?

    I need to know so I can never patronize those carriers.

  3. It’s their business literally, I am so tired of people here thinking other countries should do this or that for the “rights”, “respect” like in this country. They have existed linger than this country without us, they don’t need us to educate on how to live politically, socially or economicly. It’s comical and annoying.

  4. @ TravelinWilly — I don’t know off-hand of any that make interviewees strip down to their undergarments, but it honestly wouldn’t surprise me. It’s just not that unusual for physical attributes to be evaluated for female cabin crew, especially in SE Asia. Even Singapore Airlines, for example, makes female applicants undergo a “skin check” where any skin that would show when wearing the uniform is scrutinized under very bright lights (though for SQ that’s “just” face, neck, forearms. They also have to model the kebaya.

    So I can (unfortunately) see where someone would get the idea that this is an acceptable practice that most carriers engage in.

    Interesting that no one has suggested the solution of just making the uniform less see-through…

  5. @Tiffany

    “Interesting that no one has suggested the solution of just making the uniform less see-through…”

    Oh, Tiffany, you’re just so funny! It’s clever how you imply that female flight attendants aren’t really there to be objectified by men! Ha ha ha ha ha!

    But seriously, this kind of blatant sexism pisses me off so much I want to scream. I knew many of the Asian carriers do various “beauty” and “fitness” checks, which is also…problematic, but they’re not compelling applicants to disrobe so they can check that their skin is unblemished in their see-through “uniforms.”

    I get it, it’s how the world works, etc., but it doesn’t mean the world is working the right way.

  6. I come around to see what Credit will say… why? Because hes insane. I am one of those people that like to study him just for the kick of it.

  7. Is Malindo’s ridiculous policy really that ridiculous? After all, we see all the time here commenters ranting about old hags serving on U.S. airlines while praise is heaped on Asian carriers for employing lovely, young FAs. The way I see it, Malindo is just taking the oversexed attitude that so many men have towards flight attendants and pushing it to its logical, extreme conclusion. Actually, if Malindo really wanted to go that way, they would also be measuring cup sizes.

  8. Talking of objectification: I had female colleagues who constantly berated men regarding female objectification, then they could not stop talking about the Chippendales show they went to watch in Vegas. Talk about hypocrisy……..

  9. I don’t have a problem with airlines wanting appearance standards for their crew, but this is taking it a bit too far. Then again, we have TSA employees fingering 65-year-old women’s private bits below the belt with dirty gloves, which I view as an order of magnitude worse than this. This is still bad though.

    I suspect the interviewers are fat, balding, disgusting men and this is the only way they’ll ever have an attractive woman near them.

  10. Considering that Malaysia is a Muslim country, I am surprised that they would expect women to expose themselves.

  11. I’m constantly reading comments on American and European blogs (including this one) that objectifies female crew members – it’s not just a “South East Asian problem”…

    Daniel B – Hardly comparable. That’s only hypocritical if they denounce men for going to strip shows. There’s a difference between objectifying people who actively choose to be objectified and any random person you see.

  12. @Kaj, you clearly know nothing about Malaysia then, but go on thinking whatever it is you think 😀

  13. @callum. IS comparable. Those attendants could refuse the degrading request. No one is forced to undress. If they do it, the do it to get a job and make money. See……..

  14. Singapore Airlines also has the same practice, albeit not as obvious. They require applicants to undergo a swim test during the interview process, where the applicants will don swimsuits. This is when the recruiters will inspect the applicants’ skins for any visible scar, blemishes, etc.

  15. Well I remember back in the late 1990s seeing an advertisement for flight attendants for Qatar Airways when they were still a rinky-dink carrier, explicitly stating that applicants (to be fair it was seeking male AND female applicants) must be physically attractive and fit. Most assuredly outside of Europe and North America, appearance, looks, matter a lot for those wanting to apply as flight attendants.

    Honestly, especially on long flights, if the service is good, I don’t care about the looks or even gender of the flight attendants. What matters to me is if I have an issue do they try to take care of it with their abilities to do so (I’m aware not all problems can be fixed in air)?
    I do find the flight attendants from South East Asia much more willing – even interested in – engage in small talk during the flight, and have much more humorous. An example, on Emirates 1st class they serve a spicy Arabic coffee with a date. Whenever the flight attendant passes by my cabin asking “would you like a date, sir?” I always respond, “Sure I will go on a date with you.” to which we both laugh out loud at the silly joke, no “I’m offended”, no “harassment!”. If I tried that in the USA or Europe I’d probably be escorted off the plane lol.
    And one time that actually would have worked, on a A380 flight to Bangkok, when I said that to the flight attendant, she gave the usual laugh but then asked if I would be staying in Bangkok, but unfortunately I was only in transit, go figure.

  16. @Emirates4Ever,

    You just harassed them. Let’s see them saying not with “a fat, old slob like you and then saying oh I was just joking and then you both laugh it off”. No hard feelings etc. No taking offenses on your part. I doubt you would be so open minded.

    They listen to your crap because you are in a position of power and they need the job. You are a predator. Psychopaths hide behind charm and “I was just joking” to test how much they can get away with.

    You think we or they are all clueless to not know whats going on?

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