Virgin Atlantic Will No Longer Require Women Flight Attendants To Wear Makeup Or Skirts

Virgin Atlantic is making a move to get with the times. The company has changed its uniform policy for women flight attendants, no longer requiring them to wear skirts or makeup while on duty for the airline.

According to Mark Anderson, the airline’s executive vice president of customer, this is a move toward encouraging self-expression.

“Not only do the new guidelines offer an increased level of comfort, they also provide our team with more choice on how they want to express themselves at work,” Anderson said in a statement. “Helping people to be themselves is core to our desire to be the most loved travel company.”

virgin atlantic photo
Getty Images | Neilson Barnard

Who knew such strict style “guidelines” were required in the first place? Apparently, Virgin Atlantic isn’t the only airline that strictly regulates the appearance of its employees.

The Telegraph reported on a number of requirements for flight attendants, some — such as the ability to swim (you know, in case of an emergency water landing) — make more sense than others, but they also include regulations on body mass index, tattoos and piercings and more.

flight attendant photo
Getty Images | Alexander Hassenstein

Before the recent adjustment, pants were only available by request for women flight attendants. Now, both pant and skirt bottom options will be supplied to all women flight attendants automatically. If the flight attendants do still decide to wear makeup, they’re “welcome” to do so within the regulations set forth by the airline.

Anderson said that these changes came after company officials received feedback from employees.

According to the BBC, other airlines have also ditched the “no pants” rule. British Airways did so back in 2016, for example, but the it still requires women to wear makeup.

stewardess photo
Getty Images | Leon Neal

Based on the reactions online, changes of this kind for the airline industry are long overdue.

Twitter user @pdoubt had one simple thing to say after learning women working for Virgin Atlantic could now wear pants and forego makeup if they so choose: “Good”:

And Twitter user @YMRalways called the old dress code “archaic”:

Twitter user @GirlGurl26 pointed out that women flight attendants will now be able to worry less about their appearance and actually focus on “what matters … [their] job”:

While this is a start, Twitter user @GarateRikki would love to see this policy go “industry wide”:

Hopefully, Virgin Atlantic won’t be the last airline to make some major updates to its rules and regulations, especially when it comes to employee appearance, because it seems as though the airline industry has a long way to go in terms of providing more inclusivity in the workplace.