The European budget airline Ryanair is on a mission to cut fuel costs. In addition to announcing that it will now print its in flight magazine, which will also double as a menu, on thinner paper, Ryanair is also cutting the amount of ice on board and will reduce the weight of the seats and carts. These changes will save them thousands of pounds in fuel and printing costs, but that’s not all they are doing to lighten their load.
Flight attendants for Ryanair may find their jobs in jeopardy if they don’t keep their weight in check. Airline spokesman Stephen McNamara told The Telegraph: “We encourage staff to watch their weight – with the motivation of appearing in the annual Ryanair calendar.”
Sounds crazy, but some airlines do more than encourage. Thai Airways required specific BMI and waist line measurements of their flight attendants last March, and gave employees six months to drop the weight. In August 2010, the same happened to 28 Turkish Airline flight attendants who were given six months to lose weight or be faced with termination.
I may be in the minority here, and it isn’t lost on me that part of these airlines’ motivation is to be known for having hot flight attendants, which, to be honest, is part of the “fantasy” of the flight attendant (Pan Am, anyone?) but this really doesn’t bother me much. I can’t think of another job where each extra pound you carry actually costs the company money. As long as their weight and BMI requirements are in a healthy range, and the attendants know upfront, is it really that terrible to ensure that they aren’t spending money they don’t need to? What do you think?