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Does sex sell more airline seats? Back in the ’60s, when the Golden Age of Flying ruled supreme, airline stewardesses wore super-high minis, pillbox hats and low-cut tops. Fast-forward to today, and airlines are trying to bring sexy back to flying, this time around with attempts that are much more in-your-face than the golden age of flying ever displayed – and, no surprise, the move is causing plenty of controversy for “sexy-ing up” flight attendants.

The most recent example is Thai carrier Nok Airlines, which has created a 2013 calendar with scantily-clad Maxim models posing as flight attendants. The airline’s CEO, Patee Sarasin, tells CNN, “The airline business has always been seen as sexy globally.” The calendar, he adds, has been a warmly received by appreciative customers.

Nok Airlines isn’t the only carrier to go the sexy calendar route. Ryanair’s cabin crew calendar showcases models in bikinis, and lest you have second thoughts about buying it, you can confidently defend your purchase by knowing that proceeds do go to the Polish TVN Foundation charity.

What do flight attendants think? We asked Heather Poole, a 15-year flight attendant and author of Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet her thoughts about marketing flight attendants as sex symbols.

She wasn’t too impressed.

“Cheap airfare is the only thing that sells tickets today,” says Poole. “That and — oh! — on-time departures and good safety records. If passengers really cared about what their flight attendants looked like, Hooters Air would still be in business. They only lasted for 3 years!”

Poole adds: “The only airlines that seem to flaunt sexy flight attendants are the ones looking to sell calendars or get “likes” on their Facebook page. There’s a reason they’re selling sex over a quality airline. Business must not be quite as hot as the crew.“

Plus, what about women fliers? asks Poole. Sexting up campaigns aren’t likely to win over this huge travel demographic.

“Do most female fliers really care how sexy flight attendants are? I don’t think so. It’s like some airlines are only directing their marketing at male passengers. Last time I checked there were women not just sitting on the plane, but occupying business and first-class seats, serious hardcore frequent fliers! They’re also flying the plane. To which I say, God Bless America! I’m so thankful I work for a US carrier. “

So what do you think? Do the marketing attempts to present flight attendants as sex symbols make flying more attractive to you? Or should airlines focus their efforts elsewhere?

You May Also Like:

Plane Sexy: Flying in the Jet Age
Style in the Aisle: Flight Attendant Fashion
Life of a Stewardess

Richard Branson with Virgin Atlantic Attendants

Like the rest of us, our hosts were getting into the Valentine’s Day spirit this week. Of course if your love life is dead, you’d probably prefer to celebrate with the Ghost Adventures guys and their Ghostly Lovers special. And if all else fails, you can fawn over these adorable snow babies.

Here’s the news you might have missed:

Which airline has hottest flight attendants? According to a survey of 1,000 people, 53% picked Virgin Atlantic. [Huffington Post]

Bomb threat suspect: ‘I did it for love!’ The 300 people who were evacuated from the plane moments before takeoff weren’t amused. [MSNBC]

Not knowing wife’s name gets man in serious trouble: But it may also be to blame for getting her stuck in China. [Gadling]

Baggage handler got trapped: Narrowly missed becoming passenger in the plane’s cargo hold. [CNN]

You can still smoke on planes? Electronic cigarettes, that is. And not for much longer if the US Department of Transportation gets its way. [Huffington Post]

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