Fat, old, ugly, grumpy & lazy flight attendants

Dear Heather,

Here’s another you hate to hear but I will say it anyway… Why is it that US domestic flight attendants are so much more fat, grumpy, lazy and uglier than their foreign counterparts? They are ALL drop dead gorgeous, smile and don’t ask me for any money when I fly with them. Why is that?

Big Daddy

Dear Big Daddy,

Why am I not surprised that a question like this is coming from a person addressing himself as Big Daddy? Why is it that I shake my head as I read this question and wonder just how big Big Daddy is and whether or not Big Daddy is fatter, grumpier, lazier, or uglier than his foreign counterparts? Does Big Daddy not realize that flight attendants are people, too, and that a flight attendant has every right to grow older and get a little fatter and uglier as the years go by, and that a flight attendant can remain a flight attendant as long as he/she can perform the job?

Doesn’t big Daddy realize that flight attendants are allowed the same rights as passengers?

Perhaps Big Daddy doesn’t know that the flight attendants working the US Airways flight that landed in the Hudson River last month were all senior flight attendants in their 50’s. Does Big Daddy honestly believe that all of the passengers who were evacuated safely off that flight and onto the wings and into the slide / rafts in freezing temperature really care whether or not their flight attendants had hips a tad bit bigger, or a belly slightly larger, or faces not quite as pretty as their foreign counterparts? What is it, Big Daddy, that brings out such backwards thinking in people? And what will become of our foreign counterparts when they, too, get older and fatter and uglier, Big Daddy?

Just a couple questions, Big Daddy – are you married? Do you have children? Run with a good group of friends? If so, do you judge them as lesser than if they’re fatter and older than their foreign counterparts? So why are flight attendants any different?


  1. Big Daddy, probably more like Big Fatty. Typical American who is stuck in the 60’s and 70’s, thinks flight attendants are the to answer to his beck and call.


  2. Big Daddy, probably more like Big Fatty. Typical American who is stuck in the 60’s and 70’s, thinks flight attendants are the to answer to his beck and call.


    • I was born and lived in America. I currently live in Asia. I am a frequent traveler back to the USA to Asia, and occasionally Europe. Anonymous..face the music,I see your sensitivity. You don’t want to accept is true. The American Airline Industry truly sucks!!! Its fu*^(&* bad. There is no standards, I am neither ethnocentric nor chanting USA USA USA. I say what I have observed through the years. The american airline industry truly needs to learn from other airline industries like Japan Airlines, ANA, Cebu Pacific, Quatar, etc …really they all know how to represent the airline he or she works. The quality of the american airlines is nothing compared to others mentioned…..NOT EVEN CLOSE.

  3. That was tooo funny!

    Maybe they still do weigh In’s overseas? And doesn’t he know that flying dries our skin and bloats us like balloons? 🙂

  4. hi there heather! 🙂
    i found the link of your profile on the flying pinto’s blog. i enjoyed reading your post!
    i am currently working as a ground attendant for cx (based in mnl) and i was really laughing while reading this post..anyway, from what airline are you? can you give me some advices on how the recruiters select flight attendants? its really my dream to become one!
    thanks, here is my email: lycheesu@ymail.com

    have a safe flight always! ciao! 🙂

  5. Everyone is different in their own way. So you know Dickhead. Not all American flight attendants are "Fat,
    old,ugly,grumpy&lazy" as you said. Foreign counterparts are no better. I have flown a few times. Twice overseas. I've seen many flight attendants, in all
    sizes and looks. Some were ugly,alright to good looking. Nice to Bitchy in attitude. Slim to fat. And of all ages. I do mean Stewards&Stewardesses. Not just the Americans,but Foreigners as well. I've seen enough of what's goingon around me. Obvious you don't fly very often or just have poor judgement.

  6. Big Daddy actually asks an interesting question, and it has an interesting answer.

    Worldwide, it was the norm for airlines to impose restrictions regarding height, weight, and even marital status. This is not at all surprising, given that air travel in its early years was expensive and relegated to the wealthy business traveler, typically older men who would be more inclined to purchase a ticket with flight attendants having such features.

    After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, however, many flight attendants sued under Title VII to keep from losing their jobs when they reached a certain age, gained weight, etc, and the practice quickly stopped. Since this act only applied in the United States, most foreign carriers continue to only allow ‘drop dead gorgeous’ people to administer to their clients.

    While I’m all about equal rights, one does have to ask if this isn’t putting American carriers at a competitive disadvantage, and wonder if it might have at least something to do with the dire state of the American airline industry at the present time.

    • Eric,

      We’re on the airplane to serve drinks, pop slides, and administer a few electrical shocks, if need be – what does that have to do with being drop dead gorgeous? I think the fact that the airlines are in trouble has much more to do with how little you are paying for your ticket than how hot the flight attendant may or may not be. Also, most foreign airlines are government run.

      • Nowhere in my post did I say anything about good looks being relevant to your ability to do your job; you might want to read over it again if that is what you got out of it.

        I also don’t think there are too many people who think “Hey, that airline has hot flight attendants, so I’m gonna fly with them.” But, subconsciously, if you have an attractive woman who is smiling or flirting with you, you’re going to remember the flight in a more positive light, and have warm feelings connected with that airline. I’m not saying it makes sense; nor am I saying its right; but it would be foolhardy to ignore the phenomenon.

        The fact remains that we don’t have a level playing field; that South American oil tycoon is going to choose LAN Chile over Delta every time, and there is nothing Delta can do about it except significantly undercut LAN’s price. This cuts into Delta’s revenues and its ability to make a profit because Delta had to lower its price to compensate for the fact that it had less attractive flight crew. I don’t want to oversimplify things; there are no doubt thousands of factors contributing to the decline of American dominance of the airline industry, but to pretend that this isn’t one of them is no different than an ostrich burying its head in the sand to escape from a predator.

      • That is true, and I was probably overreacting, but that’s because I hear this type of thing all the time – how much better off the airlines would be if the flight attendants were better looking. People really do believe that, ya know

  7. I understand your profound desire to speak out for the rights and dignity of older flight attendants Heather, and for older employees everywhere who can do a job better than a junior. I am one of them. Eric’s comments have more value to the success of the airline though. I have lived overseas since 911 as a military contractor and have filled up three passports with extra pages in that time, and can tell you certainly that it is ONLY THE USA among all nations that has taken the idea of equal rights for flight attendants to an absurd degree and his comments about the connection between struggling American carriers and unattractive flight attendants is spot-on. Popping a slide and administering shocks or dispensing food and drinks will someday be done by a robot when robots also demand equal rights. Where do we draw the line? If someone has allowed her weight and health to deteriorate so much she looks like a ghetto mamma, then that airline should have the right to remove her and replace her with someone who can be a better ambassador of goodwill for the sake of the airlines bottom line. Most who say otherwise are probably one of us old people who are looking out for ourselves at the expense of the welfare of the business as a whole. Or just jealous that someone can be older but amazingly fit, like myself. Call me self centered? So what, I have a job. And I always fly ANY airline except an American one.

    • Where have standards gone regarding the American Flight Attendant? Fat, old, ugly, grumpy & lazy flight attendants. Its True! Most American flight attendants are overweight. They are representatives of an organization and to show their best they should be healthy and in shape and look well in uniform. How do expect an overweight flight attendant to react in any case of emergency and not be physically fit. Old & Ugly: again,he or she represents that airline organization. Who wants to look at an ugly old hag?
      Most american flight attendants I have encountered have no heart and no compassion for the passengers, Not pleasant and definitely not customer service oriented….especially the old ones. Many talk too much and do not attend to the passengers needs…and the last thing is laziness.most of are. It sounds hurtful, but this has nothing to do with discrimination or equal opportunity, It has a lot to do with an airline company’s high quality of standards and company image. The american airline industry truly needs to learn from other airline industries like Japan Airlines, ANA, Cebu Pacific, Quatar, etc …really they all know how to take care of not only there reputation as a representative of the respective airline he or she works for but most importantly the the passengers they serve.

      A frequent airline traveler

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