A pair of Aeroflot FAs who proudly call themselves “old, fat and ugly” are suing their employer for discrimination, claiming they were sidelined by a new effort to use younger, prettier, slimmer FAs. Aeroflot defends its actions on safety grounds.
A Moscow court will soon decide whether the case has merit. I’ve written about this previously, and note that Aeroflot has issued a detailed denial that it discriminates on the basis of physical attractiveness.
Still, a small group of FAs led by Yevgeniya Magurina insist that they were booted off coveted international routes because of their bad looks. Magurina argues that she can no longer order uniforms in her size and that was used as a pretext for demoting her.
Aeroflot insisted its preference for slimmer staff has objective reasons: Overweight attendants could also pose a safety risk by blocking emergency exits, and require more costly fuel to transport.
It seems Magurina still flies international longhaul, just no longer in a purser-like position called “senior attendant”.
Vladimir Alexandrov, Aeroflot’s deputy CEO for legal matters, was asked why the airline no longer stocks larger sizes. He told the AP Aeroflot does not disclose its “internal rules and regulations”.
Right now there’s a policy that a flight attendant has to be sexually attractive. But our role onboard is different: It’s to ensure safety, not to be an object of sexual desire. This is wrong and hurtful.
She’s right about one thing. Here’s Aeroflot’s safety video–
It’s probably better if I do not add my own commentary, except to say that I need a Moscow Mule…
I’ll be sure to provide an update when the court rules.