There have been a number of stories over the years referring to air hostesses being spanked, often by the captain of the aircraft they worked on, but was there ever any truth in these stories?


A court case (R v McCoy 1953) that took place in southern Africa seems a good place to start. The stewardess, who was referred to as ‘young woman’ to preserve her anonymity, was working on an aircraft flying to Salisbury (then Rhodesia) and failed to adjust and secure her seatbelt which was a breach of regulations.


Her supervisor, Mr McCoy (the defendant), threatened to dismiss her but told her that if she agreed to accept a caning he would overlook her failure. He then dictated a letter for her to sign. This read:


“I deeply regret not having complied with the regulations… and shall report to your office at six o’clock today to take my punishment of the cane where it will remind me most to sit down and strap myself in.”


The stewardess went to this man’s office as agreed and was asked to remove her girdle, pull up her skirt and bend over a chair. Mr McCoy then gave her six strokes with a light cane administered across her bottom while she was still wearing a slip and knickers.


A trained nurse examined the effects of the caning later that same evening and said that she saw clear reddish stripes across the stewardess’s bottom, one of which was worse than the others. A government doctor examined the stewardess the next day and confirmed that she had been caned.


In court, the stewardess said each stroke of the cane “hurt much more than you’d think.”


Mr McCoy was convicted of assault and fined. He appealed to the Supreme Court of Southern Rhodesia but was not successful in getting the conviction quashed.


That is the sum total of court cases I’ve so far been able to discover although from memory there were several others, including at least one from the 1960s and another from the 1970s.


Interestingly, an episode of the fictional ‘Pan Am’ television series featured one of the stewardesses upsetting an over-friendly male passenger, following which one of the pilots offered to ‘discipline’ the girl if the passenger refrained from logging an official complaint, even if it meant he had to ‘put her across his knee’.


So, were air hostesses ever spanked? Yes, but possibly no more frequently than girls and young women in many other occupations, and some of those incidents have brought court action that we’ve probably all seen in newspapers over the years.