Consider headlines: "The new girl has finally arrived. She's twice the fun and half the price" or "Now taking reservations. The seat, not the girl". This is the way AirAsia demean staffers. We are going to show you how tasteless, damaging promotions play out in reality.
UPDATE: Since this article was published, three AirAsia stewardesses have been attacked and molested in Malaysia. The story - HERE - should echo in your psych as you continue to read how AirAsia treat their staff.
Sadly, this is precisely the demographic that would buy into lowest common denominator ads, using sex to sell. The problem is that AirAsia are prostituting their female staff's image and reputation to achieve it.
Speaking to one AirAsia stewardess on the condition of anonymity, we were told that they - the AirAsia girls - realise that they have a very 'bad reputation' as 'sluts' among passengers, management and particularly stewardesses & staff from other carriers. Her conclusion was, "But what can we do, when we're painted that way? AirAsia is a terrible stepping stone."
As a low-cost operator flying tens of thousands of Australian passengers, we're wondering if AirAsia are subject to legislation governing the Australian workplace. If so, the Malaysians could be in for a rude awakening. Have they not heard of Collective Shout?
Does the sexist treatment also manifest itself in less obvious, but nonetheless negative ways? Do the young girls themselves begin to act out this image that has been pinned upon them by the AirAsia airline?
It is telling that major AirAsia shareholder Sir Richard Branson lost a very public bet with AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes - a typically puerile PR stunt - and wagered what both decided was the ultimate humiliation. The loser had to dress up as an AirAsia stewardess. We think that says rather a lot about both men, don't you?
While we have people such as lecherous old Sir Dick treating staff like objects he can pick up and manhandle, have we really got any hope? Really, have you ever seen a respectable multinational CEO picking up one of his or her staff in a short dress and parading her tail before the press? Tacky. You noted that AirAsia's CEO cannot even spell the word stewardess? Of course, he may have been distracted, busy planning an evening of joy with the Emperor's courtesans.
Many of our blog posts relate to safety, that of passengers. We don't have any confidence in AirAsia in that regard frankly. This one also relates to the well-being of AirAsia's staff. We feel that their work conditions are quite sad enough, treated like second class citizens. We hope that the stewardesses cease to be treated as eye candy, or bait for undesirables.
We doubt Malaysia will ever implement anything approaching adequate workplace practices. We'll let you enjoy your morning coffee ... or as the AirAsia girls say, "Coffee, Tea, or me?" Please consider this before you next make your AirAsia online booking. We recommend finding alternative airlines until AirAsia make an undertaking to treat women respectfully - and not parade them dressed like circus performers ...