In what can be termed as no less than ‘bullying’, images of female cabin crew members of a Chinese airline stuffed into the overhead luggage compartments of an aeroplane have garnered much censure in the social media space.
The photos were posted online from a personal Weibo account, China’s Twitter-like social networking platform, The People’s Daily reported. The netizens condemned the act, calling it “bullying”.
“Forced into lockers by security staff upon completing 30 to 50 hours of service” as part of an industry ritual,” read the post, which also said that the airline attendants were forcibly carried in the luggage rack by the security officer of the aeroplane. This ‘ritual’ has been in practise since the past four-five years.
According to a Facebook post by CCTV News, a female flight-attendant from Kunming Airlines complained that they were forced to undergo a celebration ritual of being squeezed into the narrow space by a few male safety officers and their colleagues have consistently filed complaints with the company, but to no avail.
The female cabin crew were initially reluctant to do it but still went through with it due to the concerns of being non-cooperative with their colleagues. Following the post, the airline has investigated the incident and said that these inappropriate traditions happened after the crew members finished their flight missions.
“This was like a ceremony for the new attendants to join the crew team. It is prevalent among other foreign airline companies. But the company paid high attention to the incident and pledged to prevent this from happening again due to its negative effect to the image of the company,” airline sources said.
The Facebook post goes on to say that Chinese netizens who supported the Kunming Airlines flight attendants argued that any ritual — no matter how common it is in the industry — should be carried out with participants’ consent, or it could become offensive.