Thai Airways, Thailand’s atrocious national carrier, has told its flight attendants “lose weight or lose your international flying privileges” and Thai Airways flight attendants are, rightfully, angry. So angry, in fact, they’re threatening to file a complaint with Thailand’s Human Rights Commission.
Back in June last year, Thai Airways flight attendants (only flight attendants, and not the rest of Thai Airways’ staff) were told, if they were women, they couldn’t have a body mass index of more than 25 and a waistline of more than 32. If men, a BMI of 27.5 was their limit, with a waistline maximum of 35 inches. Since the ruling, 41 flight attendants failed to lose the weight in the six months they were given, and were moved to domestic flights, from the much higher-paying international flights.
Teerapol Chotechanapibal, a Thai Airways executive, said the new weight guidelines were made to help “improve the personality and health of flight attendants” (since when did losing weight ‘improve one’s personality?”- the idiocy of so many high-ranking Thais has no bounds it seems).
The problem is, where this could have been put down as nothing more than a health issue, it’s now being named a discrimination issue as these weight rules were not applied to everyone on Thai Airways staff, only to flight attendants.
Not surprising really, Thai Airways already has a terrible reputation. It’s expensive, their customer service is awful, and the food on the flights couldn’t be worse. I don’t know a single farang or Thai who will fly Thai Airways already, so it’s no wonder they continue to lose money at record levels. Now, with rulings like this, Thai Airways may soon find themselves at the end of an expensive lawsuit, one in which, unless this ruling is applied across the board to all staff, it will be very difficult to win.
Photo copyright – Mattes/Wikimedia Commons