Why a Sexist Ranking of Airline Flight Attendants Doesn't Fly
This story has been updated to reflect a response from a Trippy.com spokesperson.
A crowd sourcing travel website has published a ranked list of airlines based on the physical attractiveness of their flight attendants.
Trippy.com created a composite image from each airline’s female flight attendants by using 50 LinkedIn profile photos—presumably without the women’s consent. More than 2,000 of the site’s users were asked to rank the physical appearance of the composites on a scale of 1 to 10, from least to most attractive.
The site explains the ranking thus: “Cramped seats and fewer free snacks usually make air travel a real drag, so it’s always nice to have a friendly face to connect with during this moment of suffering. Enter the flight attendant. From passing out beverages to helping coordinate a seat change, these soldiers of the sky usually find a way to make air travel a bit more tolerable—and maybe even easy on the eyes.”
Will someone please hand me a sick bag?
The last time we at Travel + Leisure checked, physical attractiveness has nothing to do with providing great service, nor does it have anything to do with flight safety, the number one reason airlines have flight attendants. Trippy.com even makes the ridiculously bold suggestion that “you may want to avoid some of the smaller carriers…if you’re looking for a nice smile when you ask for an extra bag of pretzels.”
In an attempt to make the study seem remotely scientific, the Trippy editors wove some other rankings into its methodology, including a best airlines list from Forbes, and a list of the top airline employers from Investopedia.
The findings also include colorful infographics as well as embedded photos of flight attendants that its editors found on Instagram by searching for hashtags such as #StewardessLife, #CrewLife, and #TopStewardess.
And to add a bit of xenophobia to the offensively sexist study, the methodology explains that it excluded Asian-based companies “as they will be addressed in a future study,” suggesting that Asian women can’t be compared equally to other races.
As the New York Post points out, the physical allure of flight attendants is the subject of many blogs and stories. But equality in the workplace is an important issue in every industry and this continued objectification of women is a step in the wrong direction.
We won’t bother posting the ranked list of airlines here, since Trippy’s unscientific survey has no redeemable value beyond serving as worthless entertainment for puerile frat boys, but if you want to see it for yourself, read it here.
UPDATE: After this story was published, a spokesperson from Trippy responded to our request for comments to inform us that they had removed the posting from the site.