Airline tells staff to treat dolls like real passengers
A subsidiary of Thailand’s national carrier has released an internal memo to flight crew instructing them to treat passenger’s dolls in the same way they would real people.
Thai Smile Airways, a domestic carrier operating as part of Thai Airways International, will allow passengers to purchase seats for their dolls, so that they can sit next to them.
The internal memo reportedly instructs staff to serve the dolls drinks and food just like any other ‘passenger’.
The life-like dolls, known as Luk Thep, or Child Angels, are popular in Thailand, where it is believed they possess supernatural powers that can bestow health and happiness upon the owner if they are treated properly.
They have become increasingly popular in Thailand after several celebrities extolled their benefits. The dolls can sell for hundreds of dollars and are thought to possess the spirits of child angels so their owners pamper them with brand-name clothes and accessories.
For safety reasons, the dolls will need to be strapped in during each flight, but the owner will be allowed to take them for a walk in the aisles once the seat belt sign has been switched off.
The Thai Smile Airways memo explains that the Luk Thep dolls can be treated like children because they have undergone a “spiritualization” process that breathes life into them.
For safety reasons, the dolls will not be allowed to sit in an emergency exit row.
Thai International Airways is a codeshare partner for Emirates Airlines. It is unclear if Emirates will be offering the same doll-friendly policy for Thai passengers connecting from a Thai Smile Airways flight.