Sunday, March 26, 2006
We recently had a new business class airline start-up, and quickly fail here in Australia withing a matter of a few months.
I was lucky enough to fly with them a few times, and saw some great improvements on what is offered by our monopoly/duopoly airlines here.
I used to recruit cabin crew, flight attendants, flight crew, hosties or whatever you want to call them, for Australia's premiere airline, Qanatas. That airline ran its flight crew like military teams. Highly disciplined, literally never a hair out of place, and very obedient. It wasn't for everyone. Many many people applied for these roles, but we were instructed to turn people down on personal hygeine, hair, skin, and a number of other characteristics that would be illegal to screen for if it was written down as criteria.
Qantas air staff received lessons in hair and make-up preparation, were regularly inspected, and were expected to tow the line. They reminded me of that old Robert Palmer video clip with the identical models dancing in the background.
OzJet, the failed business class airline, hired nice, friendly, and slightly less than perfect cabin crew. One very nice young lady I saw on a couple of flights (who incidentally remembered me) had a couple of tattoos. Whilst they were not visible as such, they were covered with bandages, one of the bandages, the one on the back of her neck, was coming off on one flight.
She was gorgeous, friendly, and tattoo'd. I was in love. But that was also part of the problem with the airline. The regimented way Qantas does things is the main reason they are known around the world, have outlived much of their competition, and continue to this day to be the most successful airline in the region.
But, they are still boring. Tattoo neck, if you're out there, drop me a line.