Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hostess anger over Spirit Airlines beer aprons and sexy ads

FLIGHT attendants in the US have hit out at being forced to wear uniforms promoting beer and their airline promotions being referred to as large breasts.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) demanded Spirit Airlines stop promoting alcohol on airline crew aprons and condemned a series of sexually suggestive advertisements

The airline has been running a series of ads inviting customers to enjoy DD's (deep discounts) and MILF (many islands, low fare) – referring to large breasts and an acronym made popular in the 1999 movie American Pie.

The union said the new uniforms, which feature a patch advertising Bud Light, undermine flight attendant's federal obligation to cut off drunk or unruly passengers.

"Several promotional fare ads, with their not very subtle innuendoes, are demeaning not to just the hardworking flight attendants at Spirit Airlines but to all of America's professional flight attendants," said Patricia Friend, head of the AFA-CWA.

"Turning flight attendants into walking billboards is unacceptable," said Deborah Crowley, AFA-CWA Spirit President.

"The proposed aprons diminish the primary and federally mandated role of flight attendants as safety professionals and our role as first responders onboard."

The flight attendants' union has the backing of the Air Line Pilots Association, which condemned the campaign.

A low-cost airline, Spirit aims to sell advertising in any possible format, including bins and cups.

Other recent campaigns from the airline include a "Threesome Sale" and December's "Cheap and Easy and Nothing to Hide" sale.

A spokeswoman for Spirit said that the company has had a great response from passengers since the new ad campaigns.

Australian budget airline Jetstar faced a similar outcry from flight attendants over a controversial Lynx advertisement featuring the slogan “Gen on, get off” in 2005. The advertisement was to picture voluptuous stewardesses providing massages and cuddles for passengers on the outside of the plane, but it was deemed too raunchy and Jetstar ditched the campaign.