Dancing flight attendants as 'entertainers' hit

Posted at 10/04/10 10:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines - While some people were amused, 2 groups cried foul over the "dancing flight attendants" video posted 4 days ago on YouTube.

In separate statements, the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) and women's group Gabriela said portraying Cebu Pacific's female cabin crew as entertainers will only make them vulnerable to unwanted sexual advances.

Both groups noted that the video has elicited a lot of "sexist comments" on YouTube and on social networking sites -- from requests to do a "sexier dance" to comments that flight attendants should be pretty, young, and in "minis and tubes."

"Flight attendants are safety professionals and to require them to dance in front of passengers is demeaning and undignified," FASAP said, adding, "Flight attendants are not entertainers."

For its part, Gabriela said, “Portraying women in a sexy manner to make business brisk is not only cheap promotional gimmick but also makes corporations such as Cebu Pacific a purveyor of sexism and machismo that reverses the hard-won recognition that Filipino women have achieved after decades of fighting."

The groups hoped that Cebu Pacific would reconsider its dancing flight attendants gimmick "for the sake of gender sensitivity and professionalism."


Carrying seat belts, life jackets and oxygen masks, young female flight attendants of Cebu Pacific danced to Lady Gaga's Just Dance and Katy Perry's California Girls while demonstrating safety procedures. (Read: Netizens mixed over 'dancing cabin crew' video )

Actual flight safety guidelines were read while the music was being played on the aircraft.

Netizens had mixed reactions to the video, which was uploaded only last Thursday. A number of them commended the Gokongwei-led airline for having "pretty flight attendants" and "nice (dance) moves."

Other Internet users, meanwhile, called the dance routine "cheap," "ridiculous" and "unnecessary," and scored Cebu Pacific for "not taking safety lightly" by not providing clear safety instructions and allowing electronic gadgets such as video cameras to be used inside the aircraft.

Cebu Pacific, for its part, earlier made it clear that the cabin crew's dance routine was meant to "make people interested, showcase homegrown talent and raise morale."

The company added that passenger safety remains their primary concern.

"This does not replace the serious safety demo as required by CAAP (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines). It was done at cruising altitude during one of our test flights," Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific vice president for marketing, earlier told abs-cbnNEWS.com.

She continued, "They (cabin crew) enjoyed it, not just the passengers. We just want to add a little more fun. We're always thinking of new things."

Iyog revealed that Cebu Pacific tapped the help of professionals to come up with the dance routine,1 and has trained at least "2 sets of cabin crew" for the company's new gimmick.

She said they are planning to roll this out to long flights to keep guests entertained.

"Maybe for flights that last longer than an hour, both for domestic and international flights," Iyog said, adding, "We're going to do this along with the serious safety demo."