Apparently men are heavier than women. Did you know that ? In many parts of the globe, that is probably true, but in India ?? Can you believe that Rajalakshmi, she of the considerable proportions, is inferior to Ramamritham, when it comes to the weight stakes ?? I somehow, seriously doubt that. But not, it appears GoAir, an India based airline. This is the news from GoAir, that set off this post.
Cabin attendants, flight attendants, stew, whatever name you wish to call them, are predominantly women, everywhere in the world. It all started in the initial days of flying. A pretty young air hostess was part of the decor of the plane. Nervous travelers, usually pot bellied men, could relax by looking at a smiling pretty face. As the years went by, the pot bellied business traveler remained the same, at least pot belly wise, but the nervousness disappeared. The flight attendants meanwhile aged, and age discrimination laws in the US and Europe ensure that these days its a matronly woman giving you a geriatric smile. It is not the most pleasant of sights, unless you have a major mothering need. That's why every regular traveler instantly closes his eyes and goes to sleep on entering a plane - those that don't are just waiting for the booze to come before doing exactly the same. Asian airlines however still consider a pretty flight attendant as an important component of air travel - the Singapore girl continues to be, well, a Singapore girl. The strong preference of this blogger for Asian airlines, should not go unmentioned.
GoAir, being a sensible Asian airline, wants to do exactly the same. But then, it is extremely incorrect politically to say so. They have therefore announced that they would only recruit female flight attendants, because ( wait with bated breath)...... because women are less heavier than men and therefore they can reduce the total weight of the aircraft and achieve fuel savings !! Wow ! Double Wow !! That is the most ingenious explanation you can ever imagine. Not only has it flattered all Rajalakshmis, who will rise in defence of this move, but it has also cleared the way for the airline to recruit petite sweet young things. Isn't that brilliant ?
Well, airlines have been known to do all sorts of things to reduce weight. ANA took the cake, by asking all passengers to pee before boarding, as a means of reducing total load on the aircraft. Ryan Air tried to achieve the same thing by thinking of charging passengers to go to the loo onboard - thereby forcing them to go to the loo before boarding. American airlines achieved this by abolishing all food on board and replacing them with peanuts. But GoAir is scaling new heights by trying to reduce the weight of its crew.
Perhaps they will now do some in depth research on the weight habits of Indian travelers. You see, the men are mostly those, who can only see their toes by looking at the mirror, because there is a significant protuberance that obstructs the natural line of sight. The women have a different problem - they can only walk down the airplane aisle sideways as, the width somewhat precludes a straight-faced progression. In such an environment, imagine the plight of a petite flight attendant. When the aircraft lands and she opens the doors, the onrushing melee will probably knock her off the plane altogether !
GoAir has probably scored a march over its competition. India's "national airline", Air India, believes that it should accurately portray a representative Rajalakshmi in its cabin crew - they are therefore, shall we charitably say, non petite. Kingfisher, which practiced the policy of all flight attendants being hired personally by the Chairman, could have probably beaten GoAir hollow - the Chairman's ability to spot the right talent in this matter being somewhat legendary. Unfortunately the airline went bust, pun unintended. So the field is ripe for GoAir.
This blogger is significantly underweight. He therefore intends to fly GoAir next time and ask for a weight discount. And while flying, he can appreciate, the petite cabin crew. Of if you prefer , as the verbatim technical specs the airline has put out says - cabin crew with a minimum height of five foot three inches and weight proportionate to the height !!