When most people can’t cover the bills with their paychecks, they normally resort to getting an extra job or perhaps even hold a garage sale to get some cash out of some old items.
Even then, you want to make sure that any old clothes should be washed and presentable if you want to get any money out of them. Unless you’re part of a cabin crew. In which case, you could get a whole lot of money by selling your used and unwashed uniforms!
That sordid detail was revealed by an air steward from Norwegian Airlines who claims that cabin crew from other airlines such as EasyJet, Jet2, Virgin Atlantic, and Emirates have taken to selling off their used uniforms, tights, and shoes on eBay because of “appallingly low” pay.
It appears that these used and unwashed apparel has a certain appeal to fetishists who are willing to pay good money for them. These “worn” items are sometimes listed as “very worn and fragrant of my natural perfumes.”
The air steward, who has been working for Norwegian Airlines since 2015, claims that staff on “every flight” practice selling their clothes to people with “perverse interests.”
The man, who wants to remain anonymous, claims that some crew has been offered up to $650 for a pair of worn tights, an offer so tempting that many have thought of accepting.
The man said: “You do think, ‘oh goodness, it’s a lot’. People think we have a glamorous life going around the world. I don’t think people realize we are reduced to selling our used crew shoes to make ends meet.”
The items are usually advertised as “well-worn” and include shoes, tights, and even name-badges with the names of various airlines.
One listing read: “Worn on many long distance journeys on very long hot shifts. Very worn and fragrant of my natural perfume as often worn minus underwear.”
He claims that as a senior crew member, he now earns half the salary he did as a junior crew member ten years ago with a different airline.
He said: “I started on $2500 a month at my old airline, which eventually rose to $3900.”
When he was let go because of redundancy in 2015, he joined Norwegian Airlines which pays $1,500 a month.
He added: “An awful lot of crew I am flying with have been reduced to selling uniform. On every flight, at least one or two are doing it.”
With his years in the airline industry, he has amassed hundreds of outfits and decided to sell them on eBay where he discovered the market for people with “strange interests.”
He said: “There are people who collect from a fashion perspective, but you get some quite bizarre people who are doing it for I dread to think what reason. I would say they make up about 45 percent of the buyers.”
He continued: “I have just flown from Buenos Aires with a girl who had an email from a guy who offered money for her tights if she wore them non-stop for a week. She said it was bizarre but she was contemplating whether to accept.
“Some of my colleagues have regular customers. One has been offered money for a photo of her wearing the outfit being sold.”
A spokesperson for Norwegian Airlines said: “Norwegian cabin crew remuneration is in line with the market rate and in many instances above that of our competitors. We never comment on the personal situation of our colleagues.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Virgin replied: “We take allegations of individuals selling or passing on their uniforms very seriously and we will always investigate as a matter of security. The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority.”
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