Is 60 too old to be a flight attendant?

By Judith Balea

December 24, 2010

MANILA, Philippines - Was the Philippine Airlines (PAL) being biased when it enforced the retirement age of 45 for its female flight attendants hired over the last decade?

Or was it just being consumer-friendly, thinking passengers might not find so appealing women in their 60s -- the prime retirement age -- serving them on board.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz thought the former.

On Thursday, she gave members of the Flight Attendants’ and Stewardesses’ Association of the Philippines (FASAP) the best gift this Christmas by pegging their compulsory retirement age at 60, for women and men alike.

Baldoz said the different retirement ages for PAL's cabin crew, who are performing the same services, "constitute a clear discrimination of their right to equal work opportunity."

The public was quick to comment on the issue, airing out what they felt about it on social networking sites.

The tone of Twitter and Facebook posts in reaction to FASAP's sweeping win over the PAL management ranged from congratulatory, humorous to plain sarcastic.

Some users welcomed the news and said they were happy for FASAP members. Others were curious about how PAL would fare against closest rival Cebu Pacific in giving passengers the best value for their money, especially since the latter's "dancing flight attendants" were a big hit.

Here is a sampling of what they have to say about this:

"Given that DOLE's ruling sets a precedent, I demand to see 60-year-old dancing flight attendants on Cebu Pacific as well." -- Dax Lucas on Facebook

"PAL fares will go up. Cebu Pacific is happy." -- Jake Antig on Facebook

"Ballroom dancing ang gagawin nila daw. ;p" -- Stella Arnaldo

"I'm srsly dying of jealousy with the Philippine airlines cabin crew. They're soooo lucky!" -- Twitter user YumiArchie28

"Really happy for my PAL friends. Suck it, Lucio. Pay up." -- Twitter user AndrewdeCastro

"Wow, so PAL flight attendants can now work til they are 60 years old. To my friends, determining which F.A. is hottest will now be useless." -- Twitter user empylan

"BEST XMAS GIFT! :D DOLE resolves PAL row. Now - retirement age for flight attendants is 60." -- Twitter user katelopezdee

"DOLE rules that PAL flight attendants can work 'til 60. Wow! Haha. Good luck guys." -- Twitter user HecklerForever.


  1. well for me YES.. that's too old.. i mean, someone could retire and do more productive things while resting.. at Philippine Retirement Website i've learned that retirement brings a lot of opportunities... i hope people will learn that too.. and be successful too without having the need to work up to a dying age... i just mean, live life while you still have it. good luck pals