Like most budget travelers, I usually book flights from airlines that offer the cheapest fares and never been influenced by airline ads or promotional gimmicks.
But, about a week ago, someone uploaded online a video of dancing flight attendants on a Cebu Pacific flight bound for Butuan on September 30.
Whether or not the video was planted online by Cebu Pacific's marketing people, or by an unsuspecting passenger who was "accidentally" on the flight with a good quality digital video cam or cellphone, we have to admit that this caught a lot of attention.
Curiosity over the viral video may not translate to increased passengers or revenue, but it definitely saved Cebu Pacific a lot of advertising money.
I've always admired Cebu Pacific's marketing strategy: In one of its most recent promo fares on flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the tag line was something like, Kuala ko mahal, yun pala mura lang.. I think it's clever. In other words, the airline's advertising startegy makes me more inclined to believe that the video was not accidental.
Portraying women in a sexy manner to make business brisk is not only a 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 in the decades of fighting.I am not sure if the group saw the same video which 7 million others saw, but the FAs were dancing in decent clothes and with choreographed decent steps. How does giving decent entertainment reverses the hard-won recognition that Filipino women have achieved in the decades of fighting?
Stupid reactions from something as mundane and innocent as the video, as long as it involves women, is something I'd expect from GABRIELA. But, not from The Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines . This group's statement about the video is even worse than GABRIELA's.
Flight attendants are safety professionals and to require them to dance in front of the passengers is demeaning and undignified. Flight attendants are not entertainers.How is dancing demeaning and undignified? Is it not a profession? Is it not an art? Does dancing in front of passengers make their jobs demeaning? How about serving passengers coffee? Or selling snacks or souvenir items? Are these demeaning too?
I admire most FAs for choosing the type of career that they've chosen. I admire their dedication in spite of the low salary.
Flight Attending, especially here in the Philippines is not a high paying job, and for some of them who'd go the extra mile to make flights less boring by doing a little decent entertaining on the side is really commendable.
The video made me curious. It's cool. It's fun. And when I take my next Cebu Pacific flight I'll be looking forward to it. But, over all, I'd still chose cheaper fares over choreographed dancing on routine safety instructions.