“According to the declaration, the attendant confided to the friend that after taking the flight attendant job, she was encouraged to get licensed as a masseuse so that she could give Musk massages”
A lot of people are sharing an Insider news story about a flight attendant who reportedly received a $250,000 settlement in a sexual misconduct case against Elon Musk over an incident that happened in 2016. I can’t get past the line above.
Before we go any further, I want to make it clear that when it comes to the Elon Musk flight attendant case, all I’m focused on is the massage. This isn’t about politics or free speech or a smear campaign or the “kindness party” or anything else. It’s about flight attendants massaging passengers. In this story that passenger may or may not have been Elon Musk.
As a flight attendant for over 20 years, I can say that I’ve never met a flight attendant who wanted to give massages to passengers on flights. Oh sure, there may be one or two passengers that might be fun to massage, but for the most part all we want to do is pick up your trash and be done with the service. Our layovers are short and we’re tired. We barely have time to eat, sleep, and eat on a domestic 8–10 hour layover. At least that’s how it is for commercial airlines.
This is when someone will point out that Virgin Atlantic used to give massages in flight to first class passengers. The massage person on those long haul flights wasn’t official flight crew. They weren’t trained to operate an emergency door or how to handle different medical scenarios. For instance, you wouldn’t see the massage person running to give chest compressions to an unconscious passenger. You definitely wouldn’t see them fighting a fire or yelling at passengers to brace for impact.
Remember Hooters airline? It’s similar to that. Two tank-topped “Hooters girls” were on board each flight to entertain and mingle with passengers. They weren’t trained as flight attendants to command an emergency evacuation or even serve drinks. Hooters Airlines hired flight crew to do that part.
One more time so we’re clear: Hooters did not train waitresses to be flight attendants, and Virgin Atlantic never trained flight attendants to give massages.
Back to the Elon Musk case. The flight attendant claims the massage took place in his hotel room, not on a plane. According to court papers cited in the Insider article, the flight attendant told a friend that after taking the job as a flight attendant for the SpaceX corporate fleet, she was encouraged to get a massage license so that she could give rubdowns to Musk.
Working as a flight attendant for a private company is a lot different from working for a commercial carrier. I’ve worked for a low-cost carrier, a major carrier, and I was lucky to have worked a few trips on Mark Cuban’s private Gulfstream GV jet so I have an idea how it works on all sides of flying. While flight attendants who work for commercial carriers barely have time to eat, sleep and shower, let alone give massages, flight attendants who fly for private companies have longer layovers, so there’s plenty of time to eat, shower and talk about horses.
I’m happy to report that in my career as a flight attendant nobody has ever asked me to give them a massage or to become a masseuse. One man did ask if he could lick my leg and I said no. On two different occasions my butt got pinched, but that’s another story.
Or is it?
I mean if we’re asking flight crew to get their massage license, is it fair to say we haven’t come a long way, Baby?
For those of you who see no issue with this, think about it this way. What would you think if you were hired to be an engineer at SpaceX and your boss encouraged you to become a masseuse. Because, ya know, why pay for a real massage therapist when you can turn company employees into massage therapists. I bet engineers would love to massage each other, or Elon Musk, on a break or something. Saves money and makes people more relaxed and productive.
I’m sure some of you are thinking that’s a stupid example because engineers are too important to waste their time massaging each other, and Elon Musk. Ok how about this scenario. Imagine you’re in the SpaceX cafeteria eating a grilled cheese sandwich or maybe it’s an organic kale salad and the person who doles out the mashed potatoes or whatever was on the menu that day asked you if you wanted a massage after they finished washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. Would that feel weird? Would you be willing to massage them after they massaged you? If not, why not?
Why is that different for flight crew?
Is it because flight attendants have been so overly sexualized over the years by airlines marketing sexy women to passengers that some people think nothing about a flight attendant massaging Musk or anyone else at SpaceX? Seriously forget all the other stuff and just focus on this one thing. I don’t care about Elon Musk’s penis under a white sheet or the promised horse, unless it comes with a ranch; I only care about the massage license.
REMINDER: Most people who get massages do so naked, so there’s bound to be something under the sheet that may or may not….stand out.
What I want to know is, is it true that SpaceX encourages flight attendants to become masseuses? If so, are all flight attendants encouraged to get their license or only a select few? How many flight attendants who are on the payroll have a massage license? Do the licensed flight attendants work more trips or get paid more? Inquiring minds want to know.
So, if you hear anything, let me know
To all my flight attendant friends: just say no to massages.