SJS Press June 2011

James Taylor of Southwest Airlines had a little more than Carolina on his mind late this June. During one of his flights, his cockpit microphone stuck on as he bantered about his state of life at Southwest. Anyone flying the airways that day may have heard him discuss the different qualities of today's flight attendants and how they affect the life of airline pilots. Taylor touched on the finer points of the "Grannies, Gays, and Grandes" of Southwest's flight attendant ranks. A recording of his speech was captured and broadcast to various media outlets such as YouTube and national news sources. The public was stunned at such cockpit rhetoric and wrote Taylor off as unproffessional. Some thought he should have been terminated immediately. Luckily for Taylor, his airline considered the incident a Southwest family matter and did not release him from employment. Taylor did apologize for his behavior in a letter to fellow co-workers. It will be up to them to grant him forgiveness.

In light of this incident, The Press at launched an investigation to answer a few questions that the flying public did not consider. Were Taylor's comments truly off base? Was this a case of a disgruntled pilot who was in fact subconscious of his own shortcomings? Or did this airline captain simply report observations as they related to the airline industry? The Press explains what Taylor was really talking about; the five Gs.

The Five Gs is airline colloquial speak for flight attendant descriptions. Although there may be several variations of the Gs, they all stem from Grumpy, Granny, Gay, Grande, and Ghetto. Unfortunately Gorgeous is not one of them, as that G was lost in the jet era's past.

GhettoAt Southwest Airlines three of the Gs, "Granny, Gay, and Grande" are the norm. As of this report, Southwest flight attendants tend not to be of the Grumpy or Ghetto types. One flight attendant says "There really isn't anything to be mean and Grumpy over. This isn't United Airlines. We have a good quality of life and are paid well. We get to sing songs as well!" Another Southwest employee agrees, "We definitely see three of the Gs here and will be adding Ghetto once the AirTran workers are merged with us. I'm not sure if they're angry, but I think they're dangerous."

When it comes to the Grannies, they serve as a link to the airlines' past. It was just a matter of time before the young stewardesses associated with the romance of the skies aged into the well seasoned grandmother flight attendants of today. Instead of "Hey there big boy," you'll more likely hear "Hey there sonny boy" as you board your next flight. A frequent flier states "I've had the best of both worlds. I've had the young ones, yet I don't mind having the Grannies. They're oldies, but goodies. I just don't want them to go dying on me in mid-flight."

GrandeAs personal appearance standards of flight attendants decline, airlines such as Southwest are happily complicit. A Southwest representative explains "We do not discriminate when it comes to the Gs. We wouldn't do it towards our passengers, so there is no need for us do do it towards our employees. For example: We let anyone on our planes be as large as they want to be. Even our flight attendants. Sure, if you are a passenger that is on the heftier side we might make you buy an additional seat or row, but we'll get you to where you need to be and we'll continue to be profitable. It's a win-win!" This spokesperson may have been correct, but Southwest has been known to upset those hanging too tightly onto the past. GorgeousOne of The Press writers involved in the Gs investigation pleads "I don't get it! They'll let the Grandes on board, but kick off the hotties. I wanted to sit next to that blonde chick, not Kevin Smith." It wasn't too shocking when Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Brands agreed. "I don't understand them Yanks over there. They'll let anybody fly on their operation, unless they are too good looking. I would never allow such a thing. So I suppose they are right when they say that one man's trash is another man's treasure."

BrunoFAFlight attendants certainly will get older as time passes and become larger as they eat more, but why would the job attract so many Gay men? The Press can only come up with one explanation. Like many airline pilots, these male flight attendants have a case of SJS; Shiny Jet Syndrome. A Southwest flyboy tells us "Think about it. All you pilots do is quote Top Gun all day. Isn't that a movie about hot men with their shirts off playing volleyball? Afterall, there's a reason they're called jet jocks. He-he-he. We actually have a lot in common with the pilots, including SJS." As SJS passes between cockpits and cabins over the skies of America, one must not be surprised if their next male flight attendant asks you if you would like "Coffee, Tea, or Me!"

The Press concludes that the five Gs are prevalent throughout the U.S. airline industry. To state such a fact should not be met with scorn or public outrage. At the same time, crewmembers such as the Southwest Captain should not create hostility through stereotypes. As not all pilots are male chauvinistic incondsiderate fanatic sexists, not all flight attendants are bullet proof jacket wearing unapologetic hairdressing nursing home orderlies lined up at a buffet.


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