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Airline to Flight Attendants: “Lose Weight or You’re Grounded”

Airline to Flight Attendants: “Lose Weight or You’re Grounded”
Jackie Reddy

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has ordered members of cabin crew to lose weight or risk being grounded. The directive came via an internal memo issued by PIA management on New Year’s Day and orders overweight members of airline crew to lose up to 30lbs over the course of the next six months.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has ordered members of cabin crew to lose weight or risk being grounded, reports The NationAccording to Paddle Your Own Kanoo, the directive was issued on January 1 via an internal memo and calls upon staff to drop 30 pounds by this summer.

This, says the carrier, will be applicable to all crew serving on international layover flights.

The memo, a copy of which has been shared via Paddle Your Own Kanoodirects staff to lose this 30 pounds in five-pound monthly increments over the course of the next six months, beginning on February 1.

The notice also states that, “If any crew found to be above 30lbs from the desired weight after 31 Jan, 2019, [they] will be grounded and referred to Air Crew Medical Center for medical evaluation and treatment until weight is reduced up to desired standard / BMI.”

It also advises that monthly weight checks will be undertaken at base stations and that staff members’ progress will be monitored by PIA’s management.

While PIA’s request may be considered controversial, it is certainly not the first carrier to request that staff members keep a careful eye on their waistlines. Malaysia Airlines, Aeroflot, Air India and Emirates have all made similar requests of their staff in the past few years. The latter airline, reports Paddle Your Own Kanoois especially stringent when it comes to personal appearance.

“Emirates is alleged to have a ‘threshold of appropriate appearance’ and overweight crew members can be grounded and even sacked unless they lose the weight set by grooming officers,” it states.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (6)


  1. CWAL

    January 4, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    If I lost 30lbs I’d probably die.

    How does this work for people who are already thin?

  2. randysea

    January 4, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    It only applies to “overweight” flight attendants, not to thin one.

    Of course, guess who will be targeted the most – men or women? And who will find it harder to lose 30 lbs, a 150lb woman or a 250 lb man?

  3. Zurick

    January 5, 2019 at 6:10 am

    They are there for “our safety” and I have seen some that are too big to move rapidly down the aisle

  4. JackE

    January 5, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Tough call.

    Less body weight = less fuel = less climate change.

    More body weight = more carbon sequestration.

  5. HEhatesusall

    January 7, 2019 at 2:17 am

    This is a BMI check- don’t mistake it for a “health check”.One can technically be categorized as overweight by BMI standards just due to extra muscle size. That specific individual would probably be much faster/agile than your average “slim” FA.

    The only reason airlines run these checks is to make sure passengers see beautiful (whatever that means) FA’s, and nothing more. Institutionalized sexism at its best.

  6. skidooman

    January 7, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    Within moderation I can understand the requirement. Airplanes are cramped spaces. I got a FA that woke up everyone on her way along the aisle because she was a bit large and bumping into seats. Se wasn’t extremely fat, but her buttocks were quite large, and that turned up to be an impediment to her work.

    But within moderation and for safety reasons. Of course, the real reason airlines want a certain BMI has everything to do with the image they show. Hence to attract passengers. Then the BMI is set at a lower, possibly much lower ratio it needs to be.

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