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Norwegian Air Nixes Heels, Makeup Requirement For Flight Attendants After Serious Backlash

"We now allow female crew members to wear flat shoes at all times"

Bjoern Kjos, chief executive officer of Norwegian Air Shuttle AS, poses for a photograph with his arms outstretched in front of a Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner, ahead of the company's inaugural flight to New York.
Bloomberg / Contributor / Getty Images
 

The female flight attendants for Norwegian Air will be a great deal more comfortable now that the company has lifted its requirement for them to wear heels and makeup, according to Fox News.

 

Last month, the airline made headlines when reports surfaced that flight attendants were under such a strict dress code that they had to present a doctors note if they wanted to wear flat shoes outside the aircraft when greeting passengers. The policy also forbid women wearing more than two rings per hand and nothing on the thumbs. All jewelry had to be made from gold or silver metal; necklaces could not have any religious symbolism.

According to USA Today, a spokesperson for Norwegian Air, Anders Lindström, confirmed that policy has been laid to waste.

"We now allow female crew members to wear flat shoes at all times and no makeup if they choose, male crew members can also wear light makeup," said Lindström. "Our cabin crew have always been required to wear flat shoes while working on board our aircraft for their safety and comfort. As a responsible employer, we are in continuous dialogue with our cabin crew colleagues to see how we can improve our uniform guidelines."

At the time of the controversy, Norwegian Air defended its dress code as being "neutral and discrete" while being "similar to other airlines."

 

"We are willing to review the guidelines again internally and make necessary changes if there is a wish to do so among our cabin crew globally," Lindström said at the time. "It is certainly not our intention to offend or provoke anyone with our uniform guidelines, externally or internally."

Though Norwegian Air allowed flight attendants to wear flat shoes on the airplane, The Independent reports the backlash crescendoed into an eventual fever-pitch, with critics saying that the airline operated according to the rules of a "Mad Men Universe" — a reference to the AMC show.

 

"It is almost comical that we face these issues in 2019,” a women’s spokesperson for the country’s Socialist Left Party told Norwegian newspaper VG. “While the rest of society has moved on, Norwegian is stuck in the Mad Men universe from the 1950’s and ‘60s."

The Norwegian Labour Party’s women’s spokesperson Anette Trettebergstuen said the dress code went way beyond simple uniform requirements. "Uniform requirements are one thing, but to impose heels and makeup is going too far,” Trettebergstuen said. "The year 1950 rang and it wants its rulebook back. This is super embarrassing and they should have progressed further."

Following the backlash, an online petition began circulating that racked up 20,000 signatures demanding that Norwegian Air change the policy. The Independent reports that other airlines have already implemented similar changes.

"Last month, Aer Lingus announced it will not require female cabin crew to wear makeup or skirts anymore. The flag carrier airline of Ireland said it had made the decision in response to feedback sessions with staff across many departments," reports the outlet. "This came after Virgin Atlantic revealed makeup and skirts would cease to be mandatory for female staff days earlier."

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