2019 Conference
All Conferences
Contacts & Support
TSVC | Tourism Students Virtual Conference

The Associated Pressures With Airline female cabin crew

The Associated Pressures With Airline female cabin crew
Author: James West
1 Commentries
For a number of years it has prevalent that female cabin crew are always forced to look their best whenever on duty. The pressure to look their best still stands when they are walking through an airport terminal at 3am after a long night flight. The pressure to look the best has of course had a positive effect on the industry and female members of cabin crew have a greater degree of control on their image and company branding.

The subject and issues that are linked with emotional labour are generally covered from a female perspective as women are usually the sex who suffers criticism and ostracism. Gender ostracism has been challenged and fought by trade unions as this is not segregated to either specific gender type. Emotional labour is noticed especially when women feel they have to dress in a sexually provocative way to be aesthetically pleasing to male customers. These specific demands have introduced a bond to the world of cabin crew and a relationship has been forged from cabin crew of different airlines and carriers alike. Over the years there have been different stories and accounts published by female members of cabin crew on the issue of weight and size. There has been an increased amount of outrage as female members of cabin crew are under constant scrutiny to have their weight and size judged whereas pilots do not face these pressures.
It has been assessed that sex sells and is used to sell and launch products, this is prevalent right across the board and does not cease where tourism is concerned. Sexualised work does not have a direct with sex but can often be misinterpreted in this way due to the nature of the subject. The jobs this relates too are often those where customer services feature and focus heavily. Employers who aspire to high levels of customer services declared it was vital to take pride in appearance an attitude.

There have been various efforts attempted to free the workplace from the sexual and sensual connotation that is linked to the workplace; this proved to more of a challenge than first thought as sex is suddenly to be found everywhere. Sexuality has existed in workplaces for many years, this was first recorded in the 1830’s when barmaids were employing aesthetic labour in establishments known as gin palaces. A lot of employers saw the attempted sexualisation of the workplace as a marketing tool rather than an attempt to employ sexualised labour on their employees. Airlines do employ a strong sensual image to their employees, this then means a strong image is born and imprinted on the mind of the consumer. The airline Virgin are described in media terms as he worlds sexiest airline. Certain airlines employ sexually suggestive slogans and advertising strategies. Certain theorists used examples from Delta and National. Some airlines do not like to use slogans that might be deemed as sexually explicit as they are aware of what the consequences can be if trade unions and litigation are involved.
Whatever the job or the nature of work sexual harassment is a very series matter. Sexual harassment does not constitute compliments or jokes told in a socially acceptable manner, but behaviour that can be deemed and thought of to be offensive. Sexual harassment constitutes as bullying and can effect how well an employee does their job and function within the place of work.
Studies on flight attendants in the USA were carried out. It was thought that jobs in the airline industry were gender specific and depending on whether the worker was male or female the outcome could be very different. It was discussed that female cabin crew deployed their skills of feminine charm in order to please the customer and defuse a situation that could otherwise be awkward. The study also found that male cabin crew were not as likely to be criticised as female members of cabin crew. The service industry has been described as an old industry but with certain elements reinvented. This will then allow for social barriers to be eradicated. The appreciation or dissatisfaction is predominantly shown from most consumers with a judgement on the overall quality of the service received.

It is fair to declare that conclusions can be drawn from the findings of emotional, aesthetic and sexualised labour. There were many strong feelings that cabin crew are exposed to increased levels of emotional labour. Research found that those who worked in the airline industry compared to other service sector careers were prone to longer periods of face to face time with the customer. Those who worked in these service sector roles all took emotional exhaustion in different ways, these factors could include cultural or educational differences.

Flight Attendants Emotional Labor and Exhaustion in the Taiwanese Airline Industry
Chang, CP. Chiu, JM.

Who’s Got the Look? Emotional, Aesthetic and Sexualised Labour in Interactive Services
Warhurst, C. Nickson,D.

Employee Relations
Aesthetic labour, cost minimisation and the labour process in the Asia Pacific airline industry
Spiess, L. Waring, P.

The Associated Pressures With Airline female cabin crew
Author: Amjinder Kaur Sandhu
The purpose of choosing this discussion paper is due to a passion towards the Airline: Cabin Crews industry as well as the topic seemed interesting. The commentary for this paper will focus on the strengths and weaknesses towards the discussion and it will analyse what the author has discussed and written.

The paper discuses whether females should always remain professional and whether one may feel pressured to always keep up with it. However, for the first statement the author mentioned could have added evidence towards “cabin crews are always forced to look their best whenever on duty”. The writer found Buchan (2013) stated “Cabin crews are selected for a combination of grit and glamour, trained to put out fires (literally and metaphorically)”. Yet the writer does believe it is vital to present well as it is an individual’s job role even if it is a late shift, it would benefit the company’s image of a Cabin Crew attendant is associating themselves in a formal way. Nonetheless, this would give a positive aspect towards the customers as one would know which Airline each cabin crew belongs to, again the whole point of the image and dressing well is to mainly represent the brand of an Airline.

Thus, the author also mentioned other examples towards pressure such as “subject and issues that are linked with emotional labour”. The information founded has reasonably discussed great opinions towards emotional labour as examples were given and plenty of background research was found, as well as the writer strongly agrees with the “weight and size” statement, which again can put pressure towards the attendant as one would always need to maintain a good lifestyle. Nonetheless, considering this section it has given the writer a better understanding of what is meant by emotional labour. The paper also further mentioned the sexualised labour for flight attendants, yet this part seemed complicated to understand however, it has accessed plenty of suggestions of what sexualised labour is within a flight attendant perspective and illustrated different sorts of sexuality in the terms of the author demonstrated a well structured study which compared both the female and male roles towards a flight attendant.

To put the commentary to an end the author has given a decent summary towards this topic, mentioning the sort of work demands a Cabin Crew has to do in an everyday career and one would need to work for such long hours and tolerate what customers want and need and most importantly looking their best which may put pressure on the worker as mentioned already in the discussion. However, the writer felt the paper was established in a very professional manner and used key words that relates to the topic such as emotional labour and illustrated examples of when sexualised labour first existed and gave relevant samples such as “flight attendant in the USA” and “The Airline Virgin. Although, for further research the question also is do males feel as cabin crews are more likely aimed at woman and noting the fact that is the job role aimed towards woman more, as shown on media it feels as airlines are advertised in a way to “promote the woman as the main flight attendants” as well as visiting Airports you also see majority of females not males working towards a Cabin Crew Job.

Reference List

Buchan, E. (2013) Sky-high glamour: Cabin crew share their top tips for looking good on a plane. The Daily and Sunday Express [online] 28 August. [Accessed 7 May 2015]. Available at: <http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/style/425007/Sky-high-glamour-Cabin-crew-share-their-top-tips-for-looking-good-on-a-plane>.

West, J. (2015) The Associated Pressures With Airline female cabin crew [online]. University of Lincoln [Accessed 8 May2015]. Available at: <http://www.travel-conference.co.uk/commentries.php?paper=320#.VVB7J1RwZQs>.