Join 3,432 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Japan Airlines
March 4, 2010 6:28 PM   Subscribe

Apparently, bankrupcy isn't the only thing Japan Air Lines is fighting. The flight stewardess' uniform black market...
posted by Heliochrome85 (32 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
If the market is so lucrative, why isn't it filled with fakes? How hard can it be to have a seamstress create some copies and stitch in some phoney serial numbers?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:40 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


This dude has 896 different stewardess uniforms from 374 airlines.
posted by gman at 6:41 PM on March 4, 2010 [26 favorites]


Fetish industrial complex
posted by Iron Rat at 6:50 PM on March 4, 2010


gman: You've almost singlehandedly salvaged this lame FPP! ...Almost.
posted by etc. at 6:51 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


"It's a question of security, as anyone wearing a JAL uniform at an airport could quite easily access restricted areas..."

what
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:53 PM on March 4, 2010


Maybe they'll do better in the uniform business than they did as an airline.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:02 PM on March 4, 2010


The Enron code of conduct was hot, but this is HAWT!!!1
posted by Cyrano at 7:05 PM on March 4, 2010


It was nice to see Oolong in the sidebar of that Telegraph piece.
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:06 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a question of security, as anyone wearing a JAL uniform at an airport could quite easily access restricted areas..."

Paired with a photoshopped badge, I definitely agree as long as one doesn't have to go past swipe devices, but frankly I think I have more to fear from the minimum wage employees with the contracted aircraft cleaning company, all of whom are wearing legit badges out the yin-yang.
posted by crapmatic at 7:09 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


gman, that web site is ten kinds of awesome! Particularly because for many of the uniforms, it includes versions going back to 80s, 70s, etc. Very neat stuff.
posted by Pontius Pilate at 7:11 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe the key to their survival as a carrier is to cater to a smaller but more lucrative market of uniform fetishists.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:12 PM on March 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh Japan. Please don't ever change.
posted by dobie at 7:12 PM on March 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


what

It is absurdly easy to bypass significant parts of airport security at Narita. I avoided the crowds, and went straight to the security chokepoint. Once I made it to the actual gate, one of the officials was nearly speechless when he discovered that my only documentation was the boarding pass I printed at my hotel.

I never did figure out what other documentation I should have acquired from whatever security I bypassed, but it was clear that whatever I did was horrifically embarrassing.


I suspect you can get away with just about anything in Japan if you act reasonably polite, and then act embarrassed when prompted.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:17 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's something about a woman in a uniform...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:23 PM on March 4, 2010


My drink cart and barf bag collections are awaiting the highest bidder.
posted by benzenedream at 7:26 PM on March 4, 2010


Auctioneer: Our first item is a barf bag confiscated from benzenedream.
Air travel fetishist: Fifty bucks.
Auctioneer: Used.
Air travel fetishist: Forty-five bucks.
Auctioneer: Liquid contents appear to be about 5 of those little airline liquor bottles.
Air travel fetishist: Fifty bucks.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:43 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


"It's a question of security, as anyone wearing a JAL uniform at an airport could quite easily access restricted areas..."

Paging Bruce Schneier. Bruce Schneier, please pick up the white courtesy phone.
posted by mullingitover at 8:24 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


This dude has 896 different stewardess uniforms from 374 airlines.

duuuuuuuuuuude

...*later*

So: Kulula is among the snazziest of the normal-type uniforms, Thai Airways' current uniforms are beautiful clothes in general (with Pakistan International Airlines and Singapore Airlines tied for second place), boo on Braniff International for ending up boring after reaching such heights of silliness, Tyrolean Airways makes me happy and Hughes Airwest is love, but AirComet wins overall, I think.

Iran Air is a story in pictures, and Kenya Airways and Hooters Air were the farthest from what I was expecting.
posted by jinjo at 8:38 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh Japan. Please don't ever change.

This guy's Dutch. And selling one's uniform is hardly unique to Japan (see military surplus stores for an example).

So perhaps you meant, "Oh humanity. Please don't ever change."?
posted by armage at 8:57 PM on March 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


In general, Japanese view flight attendants differently that in America (though I don't know what Europeans think of their flight attendants). It's a rather highly sought after job for young women in Japan, so the airlines have their pick of the prettiest and most well mannered applicants. Contrast that with the often brusque manner that some (but not all!) American flight attendants display--apples and oranges.

For a low-key but amusing comedy about the Japanese airline industry, check out Happy Flight.
posted by zardoz at 9:05 PM on March 4, 2010


Zardoz, didn't jobs as stewardesses used to be really desirable/high status in the U.S.? Its my understanding that seniority is a lot of the reason that cranky flight attendants get the good routes on U.S. airlines. A European flight attendant I talked to laughed about not being able to pick whatever route you like right from the start as long as there's an opening.
posted by Bunglegirl at 9:32 PM on March 4, 2010


Being a flight attendant is not considered to be an actual career in Japan - it's something you do until you get married. While I don't have strong opinions either way, it seems obvious that this sort of work is pretty hard on the body, and is really only something you'd want to do in your 20s anyway. Flying Air Canada to Japan quite frankly, sucks. Flying JAL has been heaven.

"What would you like to drink?"
"Beer please"

I receive an entire can, and I drink it.

"Would you like another beer?"
"Yes!"

I receive another can and drink it.

"Would you like another beer?"
"..."

Air Canada gives you half a can, and that's it.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:19 PM on March 4, 2010


jinjo: "Hooters Air were the farthest from what I was expecting."

Worry not; Wikipedia points out that two "Hooters Girls," dressed in their restaurant uniforms, were on each flight assisting the (traditionally attired) in-flight crews with hospitality duties.
posted by pwnguin at 10:22 PM on March 4, 2010


For a low-key but amusing comedy about the Japanese airline industry, check out Happy Flight.

Also low-key and amusing is the tv drama Good Luck!!, which I fondly remember from my college days. It might be terrible, but I associate it with good times, so I cannot be objective.
posted by thedaniel at 11:18 PM on March 4, 2010


Zardoz, didn't jobs as stewardesses used to be really desirable/high status in the U.S.?

In the BBC documentary The Secret Life of the Airport, which covers the history of commercial British aviation (and is worth watching if you're into that sort of thing), the stewardesses say that it was a glamourous job because so few people could afford to travel while they would be in one country one day and then another country the next. One even said that she would wear her uniform to parties. I assume it was exactly the same for US stewardesses.
posted by cmonkey at 11:22 PM on March 4, 2010


I believe that the title should have "stewardesses'" instead of "stewardess'".
posted by jpcooper at 12:51 AM on March 5, 2010


Dude, if we're recommending Japanese TV shows about cabin attendancy, it had to begin (and, I would argue, end) with Stewardess Monogatari. The Japanese CA culture most people are familiar with was the result of a perfect cultural storn in the 80s: lingering jetset romanticism + unlimited money + culturewide emphasis on manners and presentability + sexist attitudes that viewed women in the workforce as primarily decorative, and expected them to get married and retire around 30. These days there's less money so the whole scene is gradually re-entering the real world, but the glamour remains. (It's the scarves.)
posted by No-sword at 1:44 AM on March 5, 2010


I think the politically correct term is "Flight Attendants" rather than "Stewards" and "Stewardesses" ;]
posted by vectr at 2:02 AM on March 5, 2010


So perhaps you meant, "Oh humanity. Please don't ever change."?

Ah, but the fetishization of Japan never ends...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:56 AM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm fairly sure that the kebayas worn by Singapore Air flight attendants are sold at duty free shops in Changi in both children and adult sizes.

Though I've only seen them worn once... at a Halloween party in Singapore. Splattered with fake blood. The girls went as flight attendant aeroplane crash victims.
posted by peripathetic at 4:15 AM on March 5, 2010


PSA early to mid 70s ROCK.
posted by gman at 4:22 AM on March 5, 2010


AirComet wins overall, I think.

Well, if this JAL situation is anything to go by, you shouldn't have much trouble finding one of those uniforms, since Air Comet went spectacularly bankrupt (stranding thousands of passengers) during last Christmas.
posted by Skeptic at 7:10 AM on March 5, 2010


« Older Chief Justice Roberts is not resigning. But here's...  |  Antique sock knitting machines... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments