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VIDEO: Did American Airlines Sanction This Burlesque-Style Flight Attendant Performance?

VIDEO: Did American Airlines Sanction This Burlesque-Style Flight Attendant Performance?

a group of people in uniform

Flight attendants have reacted with horror to a new video that has been shared on social media showing performers dressed as flight attendants singing along to a modified version of Shirley Bassey’s 1986 hit, Big Spender.  The performance appears to be ‘celebrating’ high-value Executive Platinum frequent flyers with the skimpily dressed flight attendants cavorting around one such customer who has been dragged on stage to take part in the performance.


Where and when this performance was filmed is still unclear although it’s believed the event took place recently and was arranged by a private group of American Airlines frequent flyers.  Nonetheless, that hasn’t stopped some flight attendants speculating that the airline had some part in organising or endorsing the downright sexist performance.  American, has, however, since confirmed it had nothing to do with the performance.

The union which represents American’s 27,000 cabin crew, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) called the video “blatantly sexist”, “degrading” and “totally unaccepetable”.  The union explained that it had “asked AA’s management to look into this and let us know what the facts of this situation are and whether it is an AA sanctioned event.”

“This cannot be happening in today’s environment. We will not tolerate our profession being objectified in a sexist manner,” commented APFA National President Lori Bassani. “We want the facts about the Company’s involvement and we want answers.”

American Airlines has recently set itself on somewhat of a collision course with its own flight attendants who are unhappy with the way the airline is treating them.  In another recent communication from the flight attendant union, APFA warned its members that the airline was using “union-busting tactics” in order to “divide and conquer”.

The airline will likely want to distance itself as much as possible with this performance and has since called it “demeaning” in an emailed statement.  A spokesperson for the airline told us:

“We saw a customer’s social media post depicting a group of American flight attendants at a customer-organized and hosted event. What was portrayed in the skit, which was produced by a group of customers and not sanctioned by the airline, is not representative of the 27,000 professional flight attendants who take great care of millions of customers each year.”

“We are in contact with the customer who posted the video, have asked him to remove it and have let him know that the actions depicted in the skit are demeaning to our professional flight attendants and crew members throughout the industry.”

An update from American Airline, along with further information can be found on this updated post here.

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