Hasten S.O.P for cabin crew hiring


The new standard operating procedure (SOP) for employing flight attendants should be expedited to prevent unnecessary incidents during interviews.

Current and former flight attendants gave their two cents’ worth on the recent controversy surrounding Malindo Air, which reportedly requested potential flight attendants to expose their chests, lift their skirts, fold up their pants or remove their pantyhose during a job interview. 

Former flight attendant Muhammad Azfar Mohd Annuar, 29, who served Malaysia Airlines (Mas) for five years, said the move to issue new guidelines by the Transport Ministry and Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) for airlines to comply with during interviews was lauded, as the incident tarnished the reputation of Malindo Air and the flight attendant profession. 

He said the new SOP should see airlines clearly stating their individual standards so that potential candidates were aware of them to avoid confusions.

“If an airline has a different standard regarding tattoos or dyed hair, for example, they must make it clear to the DCA.

“It helps candidates to prepare,” he said.

AirAsia flight attendant Nina Ismail said regardless of the reasons given by the airline, it was sensitive to ask people to take off their clothes during interviews. 

“They probably wanted to make sure that there were no visible scars, but for me, it is
sensitive to ask people to strip down. I think one can still can be a flight attendant without exposing themselves.

“After all, the sensitive areas are covered by the inner shirt (of the uniform).”

Nina said she had never been asked to expose any sensitive areas of her body during her interviews with AirAsia and Mas.

On the standardised SOP, she opined that it was timely, but the SOP had to be practical because each airline had its own plan on how it wanted its cabin crew to represent its brands.

Another flight attendant, who wished to remain anonymous, said sometimes it was necessary for some airlines to ask candidates to show certains parts of their bodies.

“Failure to do so may affect their applications.

“However, having a standardised SOP is a good move, provided there is a limit to what the interviewers can ask them to do,” said the 26-year-old Air-Asia X flight attendant. 

DCA director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman told the New Straits Times that details of the new SOP were in the works, but the main aim was to streamline all existing ones so that no more untoward incidents were repeated.