Last updated: 09:50 AM ET, Tue August 25 2015

Flight Attendant in China Grounded for Being Overweight

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | August 25, 2015

Flight Attendant in China Grounded for Being Overweight

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Strict weight requirements have led a Chinese airline to ground a flight attendant. The carrier cites safety concerns, but others see this as a violation of human rights.

Reported by Naomi Ng of the South China Morning Post, domestic Chinese carrier Qingdao Airlines has apparently forbidden one of its cabin crew from flying for being overweight and not meeting its rigorous standards, according to an unnamed employee.

To work as a Qingdao Airlines flight attendant, potential employees must be younger than 30 years old, weigh between 110 and 150 pounds and have a height between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 8 inches. While those numbers sound tough, China’s civil aviation authority also has rigid rules for the entire country, requiring flight attendants to be between 5 feet 2.9 inches and 5 feet 7.7 inches and weigh between 99 and 160 pounds.

A Qingdao Airlines representative told, “We are concerned that exceeding weight standards will compromise the ability of cabin crew members to respond in emergency situations, and we hope the crew can maintain good body shape.” also spoke with an official at the civil aviation authority, who claimed that disciplining a flight attendant for being overweight was a violation of human rights. Instead, most airlines across the world now just require their cabin crew to pass physical fitness examinations.

This is not the first time an airline has made weight an issue this month. As TravelPulse’s Rich Thomaselli reported earlier in August, Uzbekistan Airways announced it will begin weighing passengers and their carry-on luggage so the airline can determine an average weight for the flight.

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