Too fat to fly? (

November 13, 2017

Employees from regional carriers including Qatar Airways have confided to Arab News that they have faced being grounded or have been “humiliated” by their employers for being overweight.

A former Qatar Airways cabin member, who asked to be quoted by his first name “Martin,” said when he worked for the Doha-based airline he was sent a letter by the management asking him to lose 10 kilos.


Gabriel Mocho, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) civil aviation section secretary, told Arab News that the practice of sexism, as well as appearance and weight discrimination are a “problem” in some airlines. “When it happens we will call the airline out on it,” he said.

Mocho said discriminating on the basis of a person’s weight is “wholly illegitimate.”

He said: “We tend to see it in countries where there’s little or no union presence, and where labor legislation and the culture of flight safety are weak — both on paper and in implementation. Cut-throat competition among airlines due to decades of deregulation without proper social safeguards is making the situation worse.”

Mocho said discrimination would only be justified if a person’s weight undermined their ability to perform safety-related duties, but said this is not what is happening in these cases.

The ITF secretary said: “This is discrimination. It’s an unacceptable practice. Once again it ignores the fact that cabin crew are, first and foremost, safety professionals — not ornaments for the vanity of an airline.”

Read the whole news story here>>

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