Hot Air Hostesses

Oct 28th, 2011, in Featured, IM Posts, by

On the legal, economic, cultural and political issues of hot versus frumpy air hostesses.

Flight Attendant
Hot

Blogger Glen Whitman wonders about the decline in 'hotness' of airline stewardesses on American airlines, putting the change from young and hot until about the 1970's to older and plainer nowadays down to deregulation; in the past airlines largely couldn't compete for passengers on price, as prices were centrally fixed, but instead had to differentiate themselves by quality of service, food... and the attractiveness of their hostesses.

Frumpy, or motherly
Not

After deregulation in 1978 however, when prices were competitively slashed, American airlines found that

as much as male customers might have enjoyed the eye candy, they weren't willing to pay for it. More attractive staff can command higher wages. The airlines could have continued to pay them, if the higher quality had attracted more customers. But as it turns out, most people just wanted to get where they were going, fast and cheap.

In response, Megan McArdle, senior editor for 'The Atlantic', says that the deregulation argument is all at sea, that in fact the change in appearance standards is down to

a combination of feminist shaming, union demands, and anti-discrimination laws

Where airlines once required that female staff be single, slim, childless, and not much over 30, they are now unable to rid themselves of hostesses who no longer meet these standards, and essentially are bound to employ hostesses for life.

Citilink Flight Attendant Ad
Citilink ad - Are you a good looking single female?

In Indonesia, as in most of the wild east of Asia as anyone killing time wandering around Changi airport in Singapore will recount, things are different, unions, feminist harridans, and anti discrimination laws are weak or non-existent, and flight stewardesses still score pretty highly on the hotness scale, with the possible exception of the national carrier Garuda.

To end, a gallery of Indonesian flight hostesses:


41 Comments on “Hot Air Hostesses”

Pages: [1] 2 »

  1. avatar berlian biru says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    There’s no question but that it’s a union thing, the big government run or formerly government run airlines all hired staff way back years ago on government contracts and can’t get rid of them now.

    Thus you have British Airways, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, KLM and Air France -airlines that I’ve recently travelled on- all staffed by middle aged battle-axes (forgive the sexist stereotyping but it’ll be rather hard to avoid on this thread) with the crap attitude of a civil servant who can’t be sacked.

    The cut-price, privately run airlines by comparison can hire young hotties on temporary or even agency contracts. Thus uniquely among European airlines Ryanair can actually produce seriously attractive calenders with their chiefly Eastern European babes posing in the semi-nude.

    The same applies in Indonesia, Lion Air have absolute smashers (had to go and have a wee lie down in a dark room after clicking on the photo above), Adam Air, God rest ‘em, too but Garuda have rather more homely and older staff.

    It’s the same in Cuba, a country where you could make a line up for Miss Universe by simply walking through Havana city centre but whose airline Cubana, government run of course as everything crap in Cuba is, have the most appalling old trouts aboard their equally appalling old planes.

  2. avatar bonni says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    It’s a brand new young, single, hot indonesian girls’ dream job… :)

  3. avatar Chris says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    My feelings in this area are already on the record here. But here are a few things I have learned subsequently:

    - I don’t know where Singapore sits in terms of labour laws, but Singapore Airlines’ hostesses can’t get maternity leave for 5 years, instead of 1 like in most developed countries.

    - Berlian Biru, I remember that Virgin Blue (Australian budget airline) hostesses once appeared semi-naked in an Australian men’s magazine. Sir Richard Branson had to give the go ahead for that one; I suppose he thought it was good publicity or “profile raising”.

    Beautiful Service on Virgin Blue

  4. avatar rima says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    “most people just wanted to get where they were going, fast and cheap.”

    True, who cares if the server is hot or not, as long as I am satisfied, I can receive my food and drinks while imagining my stewardess looks like Emanuelle Chriqui. She’s hot.

    The Batavia Air girl is hot, the rest are yawns.

  5. avatar Lairedion says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Back in those days Sempati Air was infamous for being Tommy’s toy and the very short skirts of its air hostesses. After some criticism they simply replied it was the customer’s demand. :-)

    In general, when you fly regularly the issue of air hostesses being hot or not becomes a non-issue. You indeed just want to get there as quick as possible without too many hassles.

  6. avatar Oigal says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I dunno “L” as someone who flies a lot on some of the smaller mobs in Indonesia. Its a mildly comforting thought that as we come barreling towards the earth, at least something to nice to look at as every else is screaming for God to take the controls.

  7. avatar Lairedion says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Of course Oigal when there’s a stunning beauty serving it’ll move heads. The hottest flight attendant I ever saw was on a Sydney-Singapore flight with Singapore Airlines in an equally beautiful aircraft, the B777-300, back in 2000. She was clearly mixed Melayu-Caucasian so you really can’t go wrong with that, Rima would agree. ;-) Really, the above pics are anything but spectacular.

    But as you said, it’s a mildly comforting thought but nothing more than that. Last week I flew with Ryanair to Mallorca back and forth and the speed and effectiveness more than compensate the lack of beauty with the clearly British/Irish flight attendants. Consider this, I left my home in the morning and in four hours I was sitting at a local beach club enjoying the sun, drinks, food and the females. :lol:

    So I’m in total agreement with Glen Whitman, who concludes his article with:

    And y’know what? That’s a good thing, yet another efficiency gain from deregulation. There are plenty of other ways to see attractive women.

  8. avatar berlian biru says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Slightly off topic but as David is our resident aviation expert I wonder if he could explain something odd I encountered last month on a visa run to Singapore.

    A couple of Garuda B-737′s lined up on the apron were in the old 1980′s red-and-white livery with old style black writing and Garuda symbol, quite out of place beside the modern blue livery of the current fleet.

    It gets even odder as it turns out the plane I was getting on was one of the old types too, even the chair upholstery was of the old fashioned mustard shades of yesteryear but the plane had clearly been modernised as it had modern tv/entertainment centres built into the seat headrests which I’m pretty sure weren’t standard way back when.

    Any idea why they’d update the in flight entertainment systems yet not repaint the planes or is my memory playing tricks on me and these were just old reserve aircraft which were actually fitted with hi-spec entertainment twenty odd years ago?

  9. avatar bonni says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    I wish they employed more handsome air hosts… I once flew with adam air, and gosh… The air host was soooo soooo soooo handsome… It was the best eventhough the seat was not so comfortable!

  10. avatar David says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    Slightly off topic but as David is our resident aviation expert I wonder if he could explain something odd I encountered last month on a visa run to Singapore.

    That’s Chris, he might be along shortly.

  11. avatar berlian biru says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I wish they employed more handsome air hosts… I once flew with adam air, and gosh… The air host was soooo soooo soooo handsome… It was the best eventhough the seat was not so comfortable!

    You do realise he was gay don’t you bonni?

  12. avatar berlian biru says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Actually David, in a search for pictures of the old livery I discovered this site;

    Retro

    They’re going to run retro style liveries alongside the modern designs, seems a bit odd to me.

  13. avatar Chris says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Berlian Biru,

    A couple of Garuda B-737?s lined up on the apron were in the old 1980?s red-and-white livery with old style black writing and Garuda symbol, quite out of place beside the modern blue livery of the current fleet.

    It gets even odder as it turns out the plane I was getting on was one of the old types too, even the chair upholstery was of the old fashioned mustard shades of yesteryear but the plane had clearly been modernised as it had modern tv/entertainment centres built into the seat headrests which I’m pretty sure weren’t standard way back when.

    Any idea why they’d update the in flight entertainment systems yet not repaint the planes or is my memory playing tricks on me and these were just old reserve aircraft which were actually fitted with hi-spec entertainment twenty odd years ago?

    The in-flight entertainment is definitely a recent innovation in Garuda planes. Until then, it was common access TV with the same crap Candid Camera episodes every time.

    I think you are referring to this:
    Garuda Old School Livery

    The comment on a similar photo on the Garuda Wikipedia page is:

    Garuda Indonesia 737-800 (registration PK-GFN) painted in old livery which was used from 1969 to 1985 at Semarang airport in June 2011.

    So that suggests they put the old look on a new plane. Looking at Garuda’s fleet there aren’t any planes that are clearly older than the others.

    Maybe they “retro-fitted” the old paint scheme on a couple of planes for historical reasons, like the 60th anniversary in December 2009.

    Or maybe it’s a special customised thing for an upcoming event that Indonesia is hosting and Garuda is sponsoring like the South-East Asian Games, APEC/East Asian Summit. Other countries’ airlines do “special look” planes when they fly their team to the football World Cup. Funnily enough, Australia’s Qantas did a “special look” plane for the Rugby World Cup, but it was on a plane registered in New Zealand with a Kiwi crew.

  14. avatar Lairedion says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    Many airlines retrofit their planes with classic livery. This is clearly a B737-800 NG with trademark winglets.

    Here’s a KLM B737-800 in classic livery:

  15. avatar ET says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    I’d trade in any goodlooking airhostess for a bit more legroom.

  16. avatar ET says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Unless they retrofit their uniforms with this classic livery.

  17. avatar Lairedion says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Too bad ET, these are only available on haji flights to Jeddah :-)

  18. avatar ET says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Too bad ET, these are only available on haji flights to Jeddah

    Probably. Most important, the hair is covered.

  19. avatar berlian biru says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    I think you are referring to this:

    That is certainly the 1980′s livery but the planes I saw had the earlier livery as shown in the link.

  20. avatar Chris says:
    October 31st, 2011 at 9:26 am

    The topic reminds me of this flight safety video:

  21. avatar David says:
    October 31st, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Nice video; NZ’ers are slightly scary people though…

  22. avatar David says:
    November 13th, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    More Air NZ wackiness and zaniness

  23. avatar Lairedion says:
    November 13th, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Air NZ has come a long way. Last time I flew Air NZ (in 2000) the crew looked like a mix between Calvinist churchgoers and British police officers (bobbies).

  24. avatar ET says:
    November 13th, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    Dirty old Branson still knows how to sell his product.

    Here’s the Official Virgin Atlantic Advert 2011.

    I’ve always wondered what the word “Virgin” stands for in the name of his airline. Lack of experience can’t certainly be a desirable qualification for an airline.

  25. avatar Chris says:
    November 20th, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I saw this relevant section here about the differences between flying then and now:

    For a brief moment in the 1960s and ’70s, flying was glamorous for all. Passengers dressed up for the occasion. Planes had piano bars, and flight attendants — hired for their looks — wore tight miniskirts. But tickets cost significantly more.
    By the end of the 1970s, the royal treatment was gone. Planes started to resemble crowded buses. In the decade following 9/11, any perks that were left vanished. Airlines faced new security-related costs, higher fuel prices and two recessions. They weren’t looking to impress. They just wanted to stay in business.

  26. avatar Chris says:
    December 24th, 2011 at 11:31 am

    Dear Berlian Biru,

    Regarding your previous question on Garuda planes with classic livery, I saw a plane in Medan yesterday that might be the one you’re referring to. Next to where the bags are coming out, it is written “Brand Logo 1961-1969″. Click on picture for full size.

  27. avatar Oigal says:
    December 24th, 2011 at 11:47 am

    It was in Surabaya last thursday..

  28. avatar balipoet says:
    December 24th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Hostess-smhostess. A dumb ass waitress bitch at 30,000 feet is still a dumb ass bitch no matter how you spin it. At America Airlines we’re so use to shit service that we’re content that our chips are crispy and our beer is cold. We try not to look directly at the AARP card carrying hostesses serving us in walkers. If accidentally we make eye contact with these Medusas because they’ve dropped their colostomy bags we’ve got to deal with sun damaged bitches so fugly their birth certificates were apology letters to the condom factory – all written in the lingua franca of their day — hieroglyphics. Southwest Airlines mixes up a bit and has stewards so gay they refer to Top Gun as ‘that beach volleyball movie’. Beverage service on Southwest entails rolling cans of soda down the aisle (I’m not joking). It’s funny until you open the pop top on the can and it Krakatoas all over your best shirt. The stewards fantasize they’re stars in a German scheiße film and walk down the aisle like they’re Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard mouthing “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” If you stare at their sock packed crotches they’ll insist, “I am big; it’s the pictures that got small.” O.K. Norma, give me ‘the wink’ one more time I’m casting you in a cinema vérité snuff film. I’ll do the deed with this otherwise useless soda can.
    On the other hand, Indonesian based airlines do need the eye candy. If you’re embarking on a flight here statistically there’s only a 50-50 chance you’ll live to disembark. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to see before I crash and burn in my grandma wearing her f#cking Bingo hat. If I’m going down I’m taking the pretty dumb ass bitch with me.

  29. avatar berlian biru says:
    December 25th, 2011 at 11:04 am

    That’s the one, they must be rebranding several of the planes.

  30. avatar Chris says:
    December 27th, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I was researching a future post about Express Air (a small airline that specialises in flights around Eastern Indonesia) and noticed this picture with some of their hostesses.

    Express Air hostesses and friend

    The guy looks very happy with himself… I wonder why?

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