Lifestyle & Belief

Virgin Australia staff ordered to stop calling passengers "mate"


Dannii Minogue poses with Virgin flight crew during the launch of a partnership between Virgin Australia's frequent flyer program and Westfield on line at Westfield Sydney on November 29, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.


Brendon Thorne

Hoping for a friendly "Goday Mate!" from your flight attendant as you board your plane to Australia? Bad news: Virginia Australia cabin staff have been asked to stop calling passengers "mate," the Daily Telegraph reported. Flight attendants can now only use the term if an individual customer requests it, although asking a stranger to call you "mate" could make for an awkward conversation.

Cabin staff are also required to take etiquette classes, where they will learn how to improve their posture, language, and knowledge of wine and food, Agence France-Presse reported.

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The point of these changes is to make Virgin crew seen a little more high-end and classy. The airline currently has a reputation for sexy staff, the Telegraph said. “They want us to get away from that ’sex’ look that’s been attached to the company,” a stewardess told the paper. 

It's not the first time that the popular airline has tried to class-up its image. In February, the Telegraph reported that Virgin Atlantic crew were receiving lessons from a "whispering coach," so that they could learn how to talk without waking up the plane's first-class passengers.