How should an airline go about attracting media attention? This is the question that a lot of people in Shanghai are now asking. Spring Airlines has announced that it will be dressing up all of its female flight attendants as maids and all the male ones as butlers.
Although this may seem kind of odd in the UK or even the United States, it’s not all that odd for Shanghai. In fact, some consumers have already said that they think this is a good idea. People have already told media sources in Japan, like Shanghai Daily, that this stunt reminds them a lot of the Maid and Butler Cafes in Japan. They go on to say that this is not necessary a bad thing.
That being said, not all travellers are thrilled with this move. They said that this announcement is nothing more than a PR stunt. Instead of trying to attracted travellers with flight attendants dressed up in cosplay, they should try to attract fliers with good service. In short, they believe that this promotion is nothing more than an excessive use of sexuality.
Some consumer groups are not so much worried about the “sexual” aspect of the outfits, although they do think this may be an issue. They are more worried about safety risks. In some of the photos that Spring Airlines has already released, it shows female flight attendants in high heels. This could be extremely dangerous while working on a plane. This goes double if the plane was to hit some kind of turbulence mid-flight. They also show that the flight attendants no longer have all of their hair pulled back. This could result in their hair falling into food while they are trying to serve people.
Of course it will not just be the cabin crew that will be dressing up. Reports also show that the pilots will be forced to play along as well. Spring Airlines said that all of its pilots will be dressed as butlers. The idea is to make the customers feel like they are being served by their own personal server.
From a business standpoint, Spring Airlines may be onto something here. As said before, there have been Maid Cafes in Japan for a long time. Many of these cafes turned out to be popular tourist attractions for people visiting the country. Now Spring Airlines hopes to capture the success of that by introducing the concept to the sky.
If it works, it won’t be long before other airlines are doing the same thing. Right now the airline market is very fragile. Ever since the economic downturn, people have been changing the way they travel. Although the economy is finally picking back up, people may never go back to the way they used to travel. They are looking for ways to save money and are actually opting for car rentals instead of airline tickets for short trips. In order to keep things interesting, airlines have to come up with a new way to bring in customers. For Spring Airlines, it is dressing its female cabin crew members as maids.