Some veteran female cabin crew employed by Russia’s flag carrier say they have been denied the chance to work on Aeroflot’s international services due to their age, size and looks.
It has been reported that up to 400 female cabin crew members at Russian flag carrier Aeroflot have been discriminated against because of their physical appearance. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports that some veteran staff have been banned from working the airline’s international routes purely because of their age, size and looks.
“They [Aeroflot] told us all that only the young and thin will fly abroad for Aeroflot,” cabin crew member Yevgenia Magurina explained to the outlet. With 15 years of flight experience, Magurina said that she, up until a few months ago, had been working as a senior cabin crew member on international routes for Aeroflot.
Late last summer, however, things appear to have changed for Magurina and other veteran cabin crew members.
“We were all photographed en masse and measured – some were even weighed. This was done under the pretext of company rebranding and ordering new uniforms for staff,” Magurina explained. Her life, she said, changed in the middle of August when she was denied the chance to work as a crew member on Aeroflot’s international routes.
At this point, Magurina said, the carrier “stopped putting anyone on international flights if they are older than 40 or take more than a size 48.” A Russian size 48 equates to an American size 12.
When asked for clarification, she was told that “these are the new rules of the game and that I was removed from international flights because of my clothes size – it mustn’t be more than a 46, and I’m a 48.”
Those veterans affected by the ruling, who have dubbed themselves STS, the Russian abbreviation for “old, fat, ugly”, say they are being denied the chance to work on the carrier’s more lucrative international flights. Instead, many have found themselves limited to the airline’s domestic roster.
Igor Deldyuzhov, the head of a trade union at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO), said that many crew have not taken up their grievances in court for fear of jeopardizing their jobs.
Aeroflot has not offered comment on the situation.