• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 11:34pm
Cathay Pacific
NewsHong Kong

Cathay Pacific union says female cabin crew's uniforms 'too sexy'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 May, 2014, 5:41am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 May, 2014, 10:11am

Cathay Pacific flight attendants are asking the airline to redesign its uniforms for women, which they say are too revealing and may provoke sexual harassment.

The union representing cabin crew complains that the blouses are too short, showing off flesh when the attendants bend down to get items out of a food trolley.

The Flight Attendants Union (FAU) also says the skirts of the uniforms, introduced in 2011, are too tight-fitting, but says management has so far rejected its pleas for a modesty makeover.

FAU honorary secretary Michelle Choi said: "The blouse is too short and does not cover enough. Whenever a flight attendant bends down, her waistline is exposed.

"We believe the company intentionally does this to make us look a bit sexier and to let the passenger see more."

Choi said she believed the too-revealing uniforms were contributing to an apparent rise in incidents of sexual harassment of cabin crew by passengers, which she now estimates to affect each cabin crew member on one in every 10 flights.

Asked why she thought cases of sexual harassment seemed so prevalent, she said: "I think part of the reason is that we treat our passengers so well. They are spoilt in some ways.

"Some of the Marco Polo Club [frequent flier] members think they can do things to us because they are privileged and we somehow allow it. That is very bad.

"They think it is part of their privilege … Afterwards, they believe they can apologise and everything is settled."

Choi added: "When you report it to the flight manager, they always say it is the crew member's decision whether or not to call the police. They tell you, 'It's your decision. Do you want to delay the flight by calling the police?'

"That puts stress on the flight attendant and it is sad the company is not actively supporting and protecting us in cases like this … [Inflight managers] should be trained to have a stronger mindset to protect the crew."

Choi called for the company to issue specific guidelines on how to deal with instances of harassment on flights.

The FAU had passed on complaints from its members, she said, but no action had been taken to adjust the uniforms. The matter is expected to be raised during a meeting with management on May 13.

In a written response, Cathay Pacific said it had modified the design of the uniforms in response to staff feedback prior to the official launch in 2011.

"We welcome feedback from the crew and certain modifications have also been made, including the length of the blouse and the tightness of the skirt.

"Crew are welcome to exchange their uniform any time if they feel the fit is not right."

On the issue of harassment, the company said: "We do not tolerate any form of harassment and take the issue of sexual harassment very seriously."


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This article is now closed to comments

Way to go CX - great PR. Accuse your Marco Polo frequent flyers (read loyal and revenue generating customers) of sexual harassment. When I get on a flight I just want it to be over. Anyone who mistakes those well-trained plastic smiles for a come-on needs help with their EQ.
Dear Ms Choi,
You seem to be alluding that all Marco Polo Club members should be put on a sex offenders list?

I have never heard such nonsense since Greece was given money and a cheque book.

I am a Diamond member and have never witnessed one incident of sexual harassment in the bordello you suggest is business and first class. Normally it's the same old story, crew hide behind the curtain eating the caviar and only come out when summoned.
When does all this "harassment" go on?
Why are economy passengers better behaved? No room to grope?
The CX uniform isn't provocative and I can assure you that you aren't as nice to us as you seem to think you are. Most passengers wouldn't mind if you wore burqas as long as the service was good, but even Muslim airlines such as Emirates don't go that far. In future I shall only growl or use hand gestures at the staff so I am not misconstrued as a stalker or sex fiend.

If you are unfortunate enough to be harassed, report it to the management and get the offender blacklisted from future flights.
If that doesn't work, I can suggest a waitress's job at Disneyland where the only people you will have to be worried about are those with a Minnie Mouse fetish.
Get real! There are bigger problems in the world.
People who sexually harass others are pigs...
But as an honest opinion, I think the flight crews uniform looks great, not sexy at all.
Cathay Pacific should hire older uglier women for cabin crew especially for the business and 1st class to avoid sexual exploitation by the Marco Polo perverts who think they have a right touch here and there. These perverts should go to Wan Chai or to Manila.
only women should have be allowed to have an opinion on whether or not these outfits are too short, all these dudes on here saying "what? they're not short" need to shut up and know this is not your place to talk. it's not our business to comment on what women want here. come on hong kong dudes, y'all living like it's 1960s.
Sexy? AirAsia's flight attendants wear skirts shorter than that! The uptight **** need to get a life.
I am a female and totally understand what problems short blouses and tight skirts can make when one has to do all those big movements, e.g. raising hands to force luggages into cabins, bending down to serve, etc. Slight modifications to the uniform will help solve the problem.
A Matsui
Why don't you travel on another airline or buy your own private jet?
Blame it on the unicorn. There is nothing wrong with the uniform as it is the duty and etiquette for a stewardess to present femininely in both inward characters and outward physical presentation.
All Frontline labors and not just stewardesses are at risk of being sexually harassed because this is a sexist world. If you can't stand the heat, then stay out of the kitchen. There are always creeps in every corner of society. But if you must insist that the uniform is the culprit then I suggest you wear something like this:-
No, the manager offered a solution, but stated the consequences. The final decision is still left to the stewardess whether to call the cops. There are always political ramifications when the interests of a corporation are put to the test. Welcome to reality.



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