A passenger snapped two photos of a flight attendant during an AirAsia flight from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong on October 12, posted them to Facebook, and they’ve gone viral both online and in media with worldwide coverage in China, Australia, the UK and beyond.
Passengers are increasingly permitted to photograph inflight which is important not just for personal reasons but also to document evidence when the behavior of other passengers — or flight crew — goes bad.
However it’s not always so acceptable.
- A British airline kicked off a passenger for photographing a flight attendant from behind.
- In India videotaping a female flight attendant got a passenger criminally charged with ‘outraging the modesty of a woman’.
In this case the flight attendant, Mabel Goo from Malaysia, doesn’t mind the attention — finds it ‘very nice people say such kind words’ but prefers “to focus my attention more on my work with AirAsia” where she’s part of their “cabin crew Fun Team.”
The story appears to have substantially boosted her Instagram account where media reported her following skyrocketed to over 80,000 but I now see it’s over 140,000.
Photography of course is the least of the indignities flight attendants suffer, even in supposedly conservative societies that may protect them from passenger photos — an Indian airline was permitted to strip search flight attendants and a Malaysian airline requires them to remove their tops as part of the interview process.
Apparently it needs to be said: look (but keep your glances furtive). And definitely do not touch.