Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

Flying is a generally painful experience.

Anything--or anyone--that can make it less painful is surely welcome.

If only the world were blessed with simple objectivity, however.

Indeed, personal and societal prejudices factor into far too many decisions.

Which is where the flight attendants at Russia's legendary airline Aeroflot come in.

Some spoke to The Sun and claimed that they are being discriminated against.

One claimed that some of them are being weighed. Another said that only "young and thin" cabin crew members were now allowed to fly on international flights.

Indeed, a group of Aeroflot flight attendants reportedly even wrote to Vladimir Putin and called themselves STS--the Russian abbreviation for "old, fat, and ugly."

One of the flight attendants, Yevgenia Magurina, told The Sun, "We were all photographed en masse and measured--some were even weighed."

She claims that this was all done as part of a so-called rebranding exercise. She claimed the age cutoff was 40 and the size cutoff was a Russian size 48 (U.S. size 14).

I contacted Aeroflot for its reaction and will update, should I hear. The airline did tell The Sun that this was all, um, fake news.

It said: "Aeroflot does not place geographical restrictions on where its cabin staff may fly and it does not restrict flight time for members of staff based on age or any other physical attributes, such as appearance."

It also said that it had investigated Magurina's claims and found absolutely no basis in truth for them.

Some might think that any airline that tried such discrimination would immediately be shunned, both at home and abroad.

Oddly, though, Aeroflot isn't the first to be accused of such discrimination. Just a couple of years ago, Air India declared its intention to ground 125 crew members for being, in its view, "overweight."

Such attempts always seem to involve women, don't they? Somehow, too many people (men) seem to think that women ought to conform to certain "standards," while men can move about the corporate world without physical strictures.

This is how we end up with debates about Megyn Kelly wearing a spaghetti-strap dress.

In other news, Aeroflot was just named the world's most powerful airline brand by Brand Finance.

This isn't the first award the airline has picked up. Last year, it was voted Best Airline In Eastern Europe by Skytrax.

You might be interested in examining the picture of Aeroflot executives picking up the award.

Published on: Feb 23, 2017
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