Korean Air, one of South Korea’s leading airlines, has decided to unify the titles of its cabin crew in favor for a more gender-neutral title. In the past the airline has used separate titles for men and women. Accordingly, the titles of steward and stewardess will be abolished 50 years after their establishment. On October 26th, Korean Air announced, “On October 14th, we made an internal notice that the ranks of stewardess (SS) and steward (SD) would be merged into flight attendant (FA).”
The new title is more gender-neutral and it will be applied to flight attendants from November 1st this year. Previously, Korean Air called female cabin crew stewardess and male steward. Korean Air flight attendants first receive the rank of apprentice flight attendant after joining the company and then earn the title of regular flight attendant after three months of probationary service.
It is the first time since Korean Air was founded in 1969 that the titles of flight attendants have been unified, without any distinction. It is considered to be the first step for gender equality.
An official in the airline industry said, “It has been consistently pointed out, even among flight attendants at other airlines, that giving different titles to men and women is not right.” He said that, considering Korean Air has preemptively changed the titles of the cabin crew, a similar move could follow throughout the whole airline industry.
In fact, the title of stewardess has almost disappeared in the international airline industry. The dress code for female flight attendants has also been changing in the airline industry as a whole. Accordingly, following these international trends, domestic airlines also started to allow comfortable pants, jeans, and low-heeled shoes, and hair regulations are changing.
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