photo credit: Lemon Toast
Flight Attendant Image
Don’t know if you have seen the new TV show called Pan Am. It’s loosely based on the lives of a flight crew from the old Pan Am airlines. It kind of brings back memories because I’m actually old enough to remember Pan Am as I was on a cross Pacific flight on that airline when I was a kid. I don’t remember the actual Pan Am flight attendant uniforms as depicted on the new TV show but I do remember that the ladies who worked on my flight were very pleasant and pretty.
The show is actually quite entertaining although I’m sure that it’s going to be offensive to some people since it portrays the flight attendant image as a job that only young, sexy and beautiful women can apply for. In fact, they were all called airline stewardesses back then and the TV show actually shows each flight attendant getting weighed on a scale to make sure they are within certain weight limits.
Pan Am TV Show Sexist?
So is the Pan Am TV show sexist? Well, that was the way things were back then during the Pan Am days so the portrayals are quite accurate. Of course, today the various restrictions and limitations for flight attendants are much more politically correct with respect to age, looks and gender.
The term airline stewardess is no longer used. Flight attendants are professionals who take pride in their job skills to ensure safety and comfort for the passengers. I personally don’t care what a flight attendant looks like and whether it would be a woman or man as long as good service is provided on a flight.
Confession About Flight Attendants
However, even though I wholeheartedly agree that the evolution of flight attendants is the right path today, I did go on some airlines like Cathy Pacific where I think some of the older criteria for flight attendants are still in place.
When I went to Asia on Cathy Pacific years ago as an adult, I noticed that all of their flight attendants were beautiful and young, much like the airline stewardesses of the 60s and 70s when I remember Pan Am. As a red blooded male, I have to honestly admit that I did enjoy the presense of these beautiful flight attendants.
Their service was impeccable and they regularly came around to offer me an extra sandwich or some other item. The ‘eye candy’ provided by these flight attendants certainly made the long trans-Pacific crossings much more pleasant.
Of course, the fact that I did enjoy my Cathy Pacific flights because of the flight attendants being a main factor, will cause some folks to label me as a sexist. So I’m a bit torn between the flight attendant image of the past (or present on some airlines like Cathy Pacific, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines) and the present (like North American based airlines).
I’m all for work equality based on work skills and don’t care who is providing service as long as it’s good, but at the same time, I do really enjoy those ‘airline stewardesses’ from Cathy Pacific. The Pan Am TV show just keeps reminding me of this internal conflict!
I’ll be on another North American flight next month as I’ll be traveling to South Carolina as a college speaker. I won’t be expecting any beauty pageant onboard but will certainly expect decent service.
So what are your thoughts on the Pan Am show, the respective flight attendant criteria of the past compared to the present or anything else related? Please enter your comments below.