Stewardesses Crammed Into the Luggage Rack: A Game-Like Ritual?

A stewardess of Kunming Airlines is crammed into the luggage rack with her hands covering her face. (Image: WeChat)
A stewardess of Kunming Airlines is crammed into the luggage rack with her hands covering her face. (Image: WeChat)

We all know that it’s never an easy job to be an air stewardess in China. What some of you might not know is that those stewardesses do not only encounter all sorts of unexpected or unreasonable requests from passengers, but also from their colleagues.

These pictures of a Kunming Airlines’ security officer bullying a new stewardess were posted online on October 11. Some claimed that “stewardesses being crammed into the overhead luggage rack” has become some kind of a “ritual” or “routine,” and this has got the public talking and worried.


A stewardess curls up in the luggage rack as a male cabin crew member flashes the V-sign. (Image: WeChat)

A blogger exposed that the acts began about four or five years ago. Every stewardess would experience such “treatment” after her completion of more than 30 flight hours. Only a few very quiet and introverted ones were “exempted,” but they were labeled as “unsociable.”

As we see from the pictures, a stewardess curls up in the luggage rack and beside her stands a male cabin crew member flashing the V-sign. We can’t really see the stewardess’s facial expression as her face is covered by her hands, but, according to the blogger, most of the stewardesses were forced to do so.

It is said that many flight attendants have reported such unhealthy practices several times, but the safety supervision department of the company decided not to investigate, as it’s just a game-like routine.


A stewardesses is crammed into the overhead luggage rack. (Image: WeChat)

Kunming Airlines responded on October 12 that those are acts of individuals, which the company did not know about or encourage — and that since the acts did not affect flight safety or customer services, they will criticize and educate the parties involved to prevent such incidents from happening again.

Bloggers commented:

  • “Disgusting. The response is even more disgusting.”
  • “How can it not affect flight services? Every luggage rack has a certain operational lifespan. How can it not be damaged when you constantly cram adults into it? If it’s crushed, should passengers be held accountable for having too heavy luggage?”
  • “Criticizing and educating the parties involved to prevent such incidents from happening again? To put it bluntly, they are gonna ‘criticize and educate’ those who let out the ‘secret’ to prevent such embarrassment from happening again.”

Experts believe that such act violates the law and liability shall be pursued in accordance with the law.

Zhang Qi Huai, researcher of the Institute of Air & Space Law China University of Political Science and Law, slammed the response by Kunming Airlines as “irresponsible” and “simply incorrect.” Zhang believes the cabin crews’ behavior is not only dangerous, but suspects it’s a violation of the law, and the company should investigate it, according to NTDTV.

Well, I wonder how they get into the luggage rack… by stepping on the seat backs perhaps?

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