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General news >> Monday January 21, 2008
TELEVISION

Air hostessesin a lather over a new soap opera

AMORNRAT MAHITTHIROOK

Cabin crew, prepare for a protest. Flight attendants are upset over the way their profession is portrayed in a new TV soap opera, Songkhram Nang Fah (The Air Hostess War), and will today make their feelings public.

Cabin crew led by the Thai Airways International labour union will petition Culture Minister Khunying Khaisri Sri-aroon to get the drama pulled off the air.

Acting union president Somsak Srinual said the Channel 5 show, in which female flight attendants battle to win the heart of a pilot, is humiliating and hurts their image.

They will petition the television station and the National Human Rights Commission. Thai Airways president Apinant Sumaseranee and air force chief ACM Chalit Phukphasuk will also get an earful.

Mr Somsak said one scene was set inside a plane which resembled the interior of the national flag carrier's aircraft.

The crew of other carriers, such as Bangkok Airways, also found the soap opera objectionable. They feared it would discourage young people from entering the profession, he said.

The drama first aired on the channel last Tuesday and ran for three days last week. Songkhram Nang Fah is scheduled to air Monday to Thursday at 8.25pm. The female lead is a charming air hostess, the envy of her co-workers, and a married pilot takes a fancy to her.

Producers Exact said they knew nothing about the union's protest against the show, directed by Nipon Piewnaen.

Rawiwan Mala, who has watched the series, said the melodrama contains many scenes in which characters exact revenge, get jealous and fight each other. It would not do audiences any good, he said.

Panadda Laochuwong, a mother of two, said the content was too strong and it should be taken off the air. It portrayed the flight attendants' lifestyle as scary and saucy.

Darichat Jaikrajang, a Japan Airlines flight attendant, said the drama misrepresented the nature of working as an air hostess.

''Ability and discipline are far more important than physical beauty if you work as an air hostess,'' she said.


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