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Thailands PC Air Hires Transgender Flight Attendants

Thailands PC Air Hires Transgender Flight Attendants

Thailand’s PC Air becomes the first airline to hire third sex flight attendants…

Thailand’s new budget airline, PC Air, has hired four transgender flight attendants to become part of its new 30-person cabin crew.

The company’s chairman, Peter Chan, hopes the move will set his company apart from its competitors, while opening opportunities for the ‘third sex’.

Thailand has one of the world’s largest populations of ladyboys, with many holding positions as shop assistants in salons and cosmetic stores.

Although the country is known for is conservative views, the population remains largely tolerant of ladyboys, or ‘katoeys’ in Thai. And due to the high demand of men wanting to become women, Thai doctors have become pioneers in the field of gender reassignment.

pc air ladyboy cabin crew 550x366 Thailands PC Air Hires Transgender Flight Attendants

PC Air Hires Ladyboy Flight Attendant

Affordable costs, highly skilled surgeons and picture perfect results make the procedure much more of a reality in Thailand than in the U.S., where costs can easily reach six figures.

Some ladyboys simply chose to wear make-up and dress like women, but all of the 4 new recruits have undergone full transgender reassignment surgery.

PC Air had originally decided to hire male or female applicants, but changed its mind after receiving more than 100 applications from ladyboys for the jobs. Then from December 2011 to February 2012, the airline hired its first 4 transgender flight attendants, along with 19 female and 7 male cabin crew.

Chan noted that while generally accepted by many, some may shun the airline because of its decision, however he believes that the katoey’s would be valuable to his airline since they are typically ‘service minded’.

Bosses were said to have judged the applicants on the same criteria as all female staff, which evaluated femininity, attractiveness and proficiency with English and Mandarin, as well as the ability to learn airline security and safety, and flight service.

The ladyboy attendants wear special gold-colored name tags to distinguish them, but most passengers say the can not tell them apart from the female crew. Anut Pruksuwat from Malaysia said:

“I still don’t know who is a ‘ladyboy’…I think they’re all very friendly. They provide great service to the passengers.”

One of the newly chosen ladyboy crew, a former winner of the 2007 Miss Tiffany pageant, Dissanai Chitpraphachin – nicknamed Nong Film – said it was her dream to become a flight attendant.

Nong Film was featured as the face of the company in its advertising campaign.

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  1. Ladyboy airline flights take off in Thailand. The Telegraph, 01/04/2012.
  2. Leon Watson: Come fly with he/she! Thai carrier PC Air takes to the skies with ‘ladyboy’ flight attendants. Daily Mail, 12/16/2012.
  3. William Lee Adams: ‘Ladyboy’ Flight Attendants Begin Their Ascent with Thailand’s P.C. Air. Time, 12/16/2012.
  4. Ladyboy flight attendants. Bangkok Post, 21/12/2012.

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