the disparity of #ModernSlavery
Daily musings #613- Friday, 7 October 2022
I am a nuanced flyer carefully observing things when I fly to make sense of the various patterns. And one of the things I observe are the “hostesses” (my bias in the use of this term as a female norm) in various airlines and how this role evolved over the years.
I flew Indigo to Hyderbad and back recently (and what I write is true of most airlines) and I saw the same routine support act while flying:
Help board the plane and settle down
Keep smiling and look welcoming
Close and arm the doors
Get people to straighten the seats and settle the luggage, wear their belts
Make necessary announcements and demos
Advice the exit row (in which I usually end up) on emergency measures
Settle down for takeoff
Start serving snacks, food, and drinks to the prepaid passengers - Sell stuff after to the others if possible
Help clean up, Keep on smiling
Don’t seem stressed or grimace at any turbulence or air pockets.
Announcements, check on seats and luggage for landing
Disarm doors at the gate, help with deboarding, smile, and thank some more
This is the usual charade. These girls (literally) seem like clones of each other and if they don’t follow this routine and fake smiles and happiness - there are millions in line vying to take their jobs.
I had one of the air hostesses sitting facing my exit row seat (the backward seat) and we started chatting. She had been flying for nearly a year 3-4 days a week on average. Today she said she had 6 rotations (take off’s and landings) - that would mean a 12-14 hour day. And also put her at 850-1000 take off’s and landings per year.
I also asked her whether she got time to eat, rest, or have a cup of water/tea/coffee and she said mostly not. They often don’t have any time to do that and perhaps a few seconds to take care of themselves including bio breaks. Service at a cost in this miracle called air travel. Another story of #ModernSlavery when you look under the hoods. What a shame!
And yet, this is the cost we pay and the world we live in… where is the requisite empathy in this business at all costs?