From the time the feminist movement started back in the 70s to the time of the 9/11 terrorist attack; the last 50 years have been very drastic in the working environment and role of the flight attendants.
Working as flight attendants might seem like a glamorous job in the past about 50 years ago, but at that time, the flight attendants industry was riddled with sexism and certain discriminations.
While a lot of the flight attendants have fought to overcome these numerous issues, there still remain a lot of challenges in the work field for these flight attendants such as the depreciating pay as well as the lack of racial diversity.
Today we have decided to let our readers be known as to how being a flight attendant changed for the last 50 years.
Their job does not require high school level education
The job of the flight attendants is to provide safety and comfort to the passengers during the time of their flights. These flight attendants need to cater to their travel needs as well as from time to time to provide medical care. For this role of flight attendants, they do not require education higher than high school education. Still, they can opt for the additional training pram for flight attendants as well as need other certifications to bolster up their chances of getting better work environments.
Marriage was a big no-no for the flight attendants in the past
Back in the time 50 years ago, the working-age for a stewardess would be from 18 to 20 years which was before ever going to college or even getting married. As a matter of fact, for some married women, the jobs of flight attendants were not available as per the former stewardess named Diane Hansen.
Back in 1968, a law was passed by the federal courts that negated the rule of the flight attendants not being married for the job. Then in 1970, airlines also took back the rule of the flight attendants to be not pregnant on the job.
Airlines used the flight attendants in their ads to attract passengers in the past
Nowadays the average age of flight attendants is about 46 years old whereas 80 percent of the flight attendants are younger than the age of 35 years old back in the 1980s. As for 2007, the age group of the half of the airline’s cabin crew was a little over 45 years old.
50 years ago, these flight attendants would have to face excessive sexism in the work line. This particularly intensified during the 70s when the airlines ended up having a significant drop in their profits. This prompted the airlines to compel more business passengers by forcing the stewardesses to wear clothes of tight fittings. Airlines also made use of provocative advertisements to highlight this practice.
These stewardesses were then subjected to the hairdo inspections which made sure that all stewardesses with airlines did not have any hairs on their legs. These flight attendants wore made to wear high heels to be more illicit for the sake of earning a livelihood. Even if flight attendants weighed 2 pounds than the recommend body weight set by an airline, they would often get fired.
2 women started Stewardesses for Women’s Rights
In the late 1960s, flight attendants rose as advocates for the feminist movement and in the 1972 2 particular flight attendants started the movement known as “Stewardesses for Women’s Rights”. This movement fought with a legal action against the sexism.
The term stewardess has not been used since the 80s
The era of the early 1970s was the era when men started entering the industry as the male flight attendants after the Supreme Court passed the law of not discriminating men for the job.
This led to mass recruitment of male flight attendants and in the 1980s, the airlines then started to stop using the word Stewardesses. This was done in order to favor the gender neutrality of the flight attendants.
First black flight attendant
The racial diversity in the industry of flight attendants started back in the 1950s with a woman named Ruth Carol Taylor who became the very first of the black flight attendants back in 1958. She got the job after she filed a complaint against the TWA (Trans World Airline) for their racial discrimination. She was then hired by the airlines’ regional carrier named “Mohawk Airlines”.
Still, this does not emanate that the work environment for the black flight attendants was at all comfortable. The first black flight attendants of the Delta Airlines, hired back in the 1970, named Casey Grant said that even the passengers of the airlines refused to acknowledge her role of the flight attendants and ridiculed her on flights. Thing were so bad that she would not even get the room in hotels during the time in-between flights.
Even today, the majority of flight attendants are white with only 6 percent being Asian and 14.2 percent being black.
After the September 11 attacks, training of flight attendants has changed by a great deal
The 11th September’s terrorist attack changed the job for flight attendants all together. Some of them now have to learn martial arts like Karate dring their primary training and are also trained to check for any suspicious activity by the passengers.
As per the study of the National Institute of health, a large number of flight attendants suffer from PTSD following the 9/11 attacks.
Wages of Flight attendants have decreased in recent times
While their job might seem glorious they actually make less money as compared to the past. The median hourly wage of flight attendants has dropped by almost 26 percent between 1986 to 2007 while the hourly pay for all the workers has risen by almost 13 percent during the same time span.
As per the statistical data, today’s flight attendant on average earns an anal salary of 48874 dollar which is almost 3000 dollars less compared to the salary of the average worker.
These flight attendants are also not paid for any delays of the airlines’ flights or when the commute to the airport. As soon s the airplane doors shut, their pay time gets started. Some flight attendants even said that they have to work overtime to pay their bills and even earn some food stamps.
Despite all these problems, the flight attendant industry is still on the rise as the airlines around the world are gradually replacing their smaller aircraft with large ones to accommodate a large number of air travelers. To cater to these passengers more and more flight attendants will be required.