In the face of dwindling incomes, air stewardesses in Japan are turning to other means to make more money.
Japanese magazine Shukan Post has claimed in a report that some of them are willing to sleep with pilots for a tidy sum.
The report quoted several unnamed flight attendants as saying that those under 30 years old can charge the maximum amount for their services.
"We have an expiration date," a 29-year-old stewardesses, who resembles actress Misaki Ito, was quoted as saying.
After observing her mentor, she said she realised that their "value" diminishes once they hit 30.
She said she is enrolled at an outcall sex service that specialises in stewardesses.
"I never imagined that I'd do this kind of thing," she told Shukan Post.
But the fees are highly alluring, she said. They are paid about 60,000 yen (S$680) for a 90-minute session.
Another stewardess was quoted as saying: "Stewardesses who are willing to do it with a pilot pass their number to a senior stewardess, who is effectively a female pimp.
"There is also a system where the pilots use hand signals to tell the hostesses they are interested, and how much they will pay.
"Other stewardesses outsource their services through companies, some of which specialise in offering air hostesses."
The report also claimed that during pre-flight checks, the stewardesses line up before the pilot and co-pilot.
As the briefing proceeds, the pilots allegedly drop signals with their fingers.
The stewardess says four digits raised to the nose indicates an offer of 40,000 yen for an overnight stay at a hotel.
Another 30-year-old attendant told the magazine that a "prostitution circle" had begun several years before she joined a Japanese airline in 2007.
When management got wind of the goings-on, the ringleader was terminated.
She alleged that because the girls in the circle at that time are still with the company, "I'm sure it still goes on even now".
The magazine said other stewardesses may take up part-time work as party companions or bar hostesses in Tokyo's ritzy Ginza district.
According to Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, salaries for flight attendants have dropped significantly over the past decade.
From 2004 to 2013, the average annual wage of a stewardess aged between 25 and 29 dropped from 4.98 million yen to 3.91 million yen, the report said.
This article was first published on Jan 24, 2015.
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