I wonder whether 空姐 is still used now. Many countries have been getting aware of political correctness and this kind of words had not been used anymore, even in Japan/Japanese.

How is it in China/Mandarin Chinese? If I use it what kind of reaction do I expect to get?

  • bkrs:空姐abbr. for 空中小姐 (stewardess air hostess outdated?) female flight attendant slang stewardess; female flight attendant,still used, see e.g. iciba: WELL , MY MOM IS A FLIGHT ATTENDANT. 我妈妈是一名空姐. 2. I don't want to be a flight attendant. 我不想做一名空姐. 3. Being a good flight attendant means making your passengers feel relaxed. 当一个好的空中小姐就是要让乘客们感到旅途轻松愉快. there also is (genderless?) 飞行服务员 see jukuu for :flight attendant as well as 空姐 – user6065 Jul 23 '17 at 20:06
  • jukuu: flight attendant: 空中小姐:1,13,空姐:2-4,7,19,空服员:5,飞机服务员(masc.,John),空中服务员:8,14,空中乘务员:9,10,16,航班服务人员:11,乘务员:12,15, 飞机上的乘务员18,中乘务员(sic):20, there are 16 more samples (21-36) – user6065 Jul 23 '17 at 20:26
  • 空姐 is still a common word in mainland China, a formal form would be 空乘. – xenophōn Jul 24 '17 at 2:37
  • What’s not PC about 空姐? – Mou某 Jul 24 '17 at 6:24
  • @user3306356 Because it only refers to female. – Blaszard Jul 24 '17 at 12:36

'空姐' (short for 空中小姐) literally means "Miss/young lady in the sky"

My generation (middle aged) still use the term "空姐"( female flight attendant), along with the more contemporary term '機艙服務員'(airplane cabin attendant) or '航班服務員'(flight attendant)

The younger generation nowadays may prefer to use unisex terms like "機艙服務員" (literally means "airplane cabin attendant" or '航班服務員' (literally means "flight attendant") more.

Some people in Hong Kong would call 'male flight attendant' as "空中少爺" (young master in the sky). But it is not a common phrase since 機艙服務員 can be used for both male and female flight attendant.

  • imho, 「空少」is quite commonly used in hong kong, and 「空姐」of course – wilson Jul 24 '17 at 2:57

yes it is commonly used in mainland China. It is polite and politically correct.


In Chinese, we never use a single sex term to mean the whole job position that includes the opposite sex. For example, when policemen in English is used to mean the whole police force, it becomes politically incorrect. But in Chinese 警察 is unisex.

There are also

消防员 fire fighters male or female

发言人 spokesperson male or female

主席 chairperson male or female


So same here. 空姐 never means the whole flight attendant team, it only means female. And you cannot use it to mean male attendants. So there is no political problem here. As Jacky said, 空乘 is the word for the whole job position.


You should know that "political correctness" does't exist in China.

Recently, I have watched a tv show, the host refered sponsor as "金主" way frequently. SICK

  • What? Never heard of that word... – TurtleTread Jul 24 '17 at 13:47
  • @TurtleTread , it is a common word. – sunfy Jul 24 '17 at 15:32
  • ah I see what it means, but it's not common since it's quite a strange word when you actually say it. The host is trying to spice up his vocabs ;) I didn't downvote your answer btw. – TurtleTread Jul 24 '17 at 15:46

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