Here’s How This Airline Company Determines if Flight Attendants are Too Fat to Fly

airlines

Flight attendants too fat to fly? Ridiculous as that may sound, Chinese Qingdao Airlines has a strict weight requirement policy that flight attendants must meet to ensure “flight safety.”

The company even has a color-coded chart purportedly used as a weight guideline, according to The Nanfang. The chart, which looks to be a standard metric BMI index, dictates the optimal weight flight attendants should maintain according to their height. The green zone of the chart grants flight attendants permission to fly while those whose weight fall into the yellow zone are grounded from flying. If a flight attendant’s weight slips into the red zone they are immediately dismissed from their jobs.

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A Qingdao Airline representative released a statement denying the accusations. Their chart is not a guideline used to determine weight of current employees, but rather a tool for hiring new recruits:

“The chart seen in the article refers to a standard that we use when hiring flight attendants. Every airline has their own recruiting requirements. Our company’s requirements are slightly high.”

He also explained that the strict weight guidelines are due to flight safety concerns.

“We consider that if the weight of a flight attendant is excessive, her ability to react during an emergency situation will be inadequate, which is why we hope they will be able to maintain their figures.”

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A prospective candidate applying to be a flight attendant for the company must be under the age of 30 and fall within a formula for weight. The Qingdao Airlines’ website states the equation used for “Flight Attendant Recruiting” is [height (cm)-110]=weight (kg) (1 plus minus 10%). According to this formula, a person who is 5’5” should ideally weigh 110 pounds.

The spokesperson acknowledged that most of its current flight attendants adhere to the weight requirements, but he did not clarify what consequences employees face if they were to violate the policy.

A spokesperson for Qingdao Airlines justified the flight attendant weight requirement by explaining:

We consider that if the weight of a flight attendant is excessive, her ability to react during an emergency situation will be inadequate, which is why we hope they will be able to maintain their figures.”

A representative for China’s National Civil Aviation Bureau said the Bureau supports the airlines’ guidelines for weight requirements of flight attendants because there is a correlation between flight crew members’ weight and aircraft safety when calculating the load of an airplane.

Earlier this month, Uzbekistan Airways announced that it would be pre-weighing passengers in order to assure flight safety.

Images via Xinhua

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