Qantas Airline uniforms - a controversial conversation.

Posted on March 17 2022

It is no surprise that this slightly controversial conversation has reached Australia regarding airline crew uniforms, as British Airways and many other airlines have been reviewing their uniform standards. A European low cost airline has swapped high heels for Nike sneakers.

A recent article in "Australian Services Union pushes to remove gender-based uniform requirements" highlighted the unions are urging Alan Joyce to review the uniform guidelines to be more inclusive, and to remove heels, makeup and hosiery from the female cabin crew guide.

Throughout my 20+ career in aviation, 17 years as a flight attendant, and 4 years as a customer service agent I loved having a uniform. I wore every one of them with pride. I liked the high grooming standards and the guidelines made getting dressed for work at a moment's notice or early start easy.

There were many clothing options within the uniform guide. Initially I wore dresses and skirts but changed to trousers so I wasn't concerned about changing hosiery if laddered in the aircraft bathroom. I had a choice. I also wore heels but was very particular about the quality, heights and comfort of my chosen footwear. My feet were always happy because of the shoes I chose. I could have worn flats but chose not to.

In realty the uniform guideline is just that, not a super strict policy without flexibility as uniform guidelines once were. The uniform policy is in place to represent the company as a high end brand, while ensuring crew are comfortable and safe while at work. The acceptance of individual needs that vary from the current policy is considered and allowed.

Working on the aircraft and more recently at the airport it is customer dress standards for flying that have changed significantly. I understand comfort is essential when travelling, however I question whether they are travelling, going to the beach, or just come straight from the gym. 

We definitely need to keep reviewing with changing times, and as a shoe brand for airline crew and corporate women the last two years have seen changes to our worklife and dress code like never before.

It will be interesting to watch the outcome of this current conversation.

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