Such a proud day for Aeroflot yesterday with news that it had been named World’s Most Powerful Airline Brand. But today, allegations have emerged from a disgruntled group of FAs that the Russian carrier is banning flight attendants deemed “old, fat and ugly” from international longhaul flights.
One FA’s Story
A dejected Yevgenia Magurina, an Aeroflot FA, stated, “They told us all that only the young and thin will fly abroad for Aeroflot.” She is part of a group calling themselves STS, a Russian abbreviation for “old, fat, ugly”. The group is protesting after Aeroflot allegedly banned 400 overweight FAs from “prestigious foreign routings” and re-assigned them to domestic routes.
Magurina claims it began in August under the guise of securing measurements for new uniforms. All FAs were photographed and measured. Some were weighed.
Accoring to Margurina, all FAs with a size greater than Size 16 or older than 40 were re-assigned. She protested the move and claims he superiors admitted it was due to her large size.
In a statment to The Sun, Aeroflot denies these allegations, stating–
These allegations are without foundation – Aeroflot does not discriminate based on age, sex, weight, appearance, religious or political convictions, or indeed any other grounds.
Aeroflot does not place geographical restrictions on where its cabin staff may fly and it does not restrict flight time for members of staff based on age or any other physical attributes, such as appearance.
Evgenia Magurina, serves passengers on international and domestic flights, including to the US (for which she has a valid visa).
Aeroflot has thoroughly investigated Ms Magurina’s claims and has found no evidence to support her allegation.
Hundreds of Aeroflot’s cabin crew are aged over 40 and regularly work on international flights to destinations in North America, Europe, Japan, China and elsewhere.
The claim that the expert medical commission has been instructed to remove “old and ugly” cabin crew from flight duties is untrue.
In 2016, only four members of cabin crew aged between 56 and 60 failed mandatory medical examinations allowing them to fly, while 98 passed and continue to serve on flights both internationally and within Russia.
I’m Siding with Aeroflot Here
Part of me is sympahetic to the notion of airlines using FAs as “models” to sell a product who must also be able to perform safety functions. But the other side of me says that many people cannot help being rotund and some of the best FAs I have ever had were on the large side. Weight, by itself, tells you absolutely nothing about a person. You must dig deeper to find the root of a wight problem and it is often far more complicated than “he’s lazy” or “she’s not disciplined”.
That Aeroflot would issue such a fierce and detailed statement rebutting the claims of Magurina suggests that is properly taking these allegations seriously and (hopefully) not engaging in behavior that hurts those who do not choose to be overweight.