Russian Aeroflot flight attendants win uniform discrimination case

A Russian court has ruled that national carrier Aeroflot cannot tell staff what size uniform to wear. A stewardess had brought the discrimination case after being taken off long-haul flights.

A court in Russia on Wednesday sided with two female flight attendants who had sued Aeroflot for alleged gender discrimination. The stewardesses claimed they were taken off more lucrative international flights because of their body size.

Moscow City Court said the airline could not enforce a rule prohibiting female crew members from wearing uniforms up to size 48 (UK 16 / EUR 42 / US 14).

Read more: Is low-carbon aviation possible?

Important takeaways

- The women were awarded token compensation for lost wages and moral damages

Nature and Environment | 05.07.2017

- The court did not rule explicitly that the Aeroflot policy was discriminatory

- Aeroflot argued overweight attendants could pose a safety risk by blocking emergency exits and require more costly fuel to transport

- The lawsuit put a spotlight on how women in modern Russia still often are judged by their looks.

Read more: 27 hurt on May Day Aeroflot flight to Bangkok

What they said

- Aeroflot: "The company does not infringe on the rights of workers due to age, gender, race or any other characteristic."

- Plaintiff Irina Ierusalimskaya: "I'm sure that the size of clothing cannot be applied to professional qualities. That goes against common sense. Because, first of all, one should be professional in what you do, and looks are secondary."

- Lawyer for the attendants: "We were not suing for money. We wanted the court to acknowledge that you cannot treat people like that."


Big planes or really big double-decker planes

Germans are known as fearless globetrotters and the statistics prove it: the total number of airline passengers was up 6 percent to 55.2 million in the first half of this year compared with 2016. Of those travelers, 43 million flew to international destinations, while around 12 million stayed within Germany.


Decisions, decisions at the check-in kiosks

Within Europe the foreign destinations with the biggest growth were sunny places in the south. Travel to Cyprus increased by 78 percent, Greece by 20 percent and Portugal by nearly 16 percent. The biggest loser was Turkey. Though Germany has a large Turkish population, trips there were down by 9 percent.


Private plane with the registration 16+01

Not everyone has to wait in those pesky lines or take off their shoes and belt for security clearance. Here German Chancellor Angela Merkel leaves her 143 seat plane, the Konrad Adenauer. But don't be too jealous, the plane had been used by Lufthansa for 10 years before being picked up and refurbished in 2009.


Plain interior with legroom for everyone

Despite the fact that many people complain that seats and legroom are shrinking, there is hardly any other practical option to flying, especially to far away places. So far this year the number of people flying to Africa from Germany was up 28 percent, while the number of those going to the US was up nearly 7 percent.


Gourmet bamboo now on the inflight menu

Not everyone is just flying out of Germany. In June, to great fanfare two giant pandas - Meng Meng and Jiao Qing - were flown to Berlin on a special chartered plane from China. The pair is on loan to the Berlin Zoo for 15 years. Yet at this point no one knows if the cuddly couple has already booked a return flight.


Not as orderly as it may seem from the outside

Despite the growing number of passengers this year, German airlines have received a lot of criticism. In July, the European Court of Justice ruled that companies could not levy additional fees if passengers cancel flights. And in August, government officials demanded that the country's air passenger duty be scrapped.


After a while they all start to look alike

Once you reach your destination there is no guarantee that your luggage will be there. Passengers of Air Berlin know this problem better than most and it's one of the reasons why Germany's second-biggest airline recently declared bankruptcy. At this point it is still unclear if the company will be taken over or split up.

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