Major airlines drop gender uniforms in bid to be more ‘inclusive’

Major airlines They have begun to change their uniform policies for pilots and flight attendants, with many now allowing employees to choose between women’s or men’s uniforms regardless of their biological sex.

JetBlue, Alaska Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Canada’s WestJet, Play Airlines, British Airways and Delta have all made changes to their dress code policies in recent years.

JetBlue was among the first to make its uniform, hair and makeup policy gender-inclusive, according to a statement from the airline in 2021.

“When our crew members are empowered to be their true selves on the job, the benefits are clear,” the airline wrote on Twitter. “In June 2021, we released a uniform gender-neutral crew member policy, a first in the airline industry. #PrideMonth”

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A spokesperson for Fox News Digital said the new uniform “offers crew members a mix of uniform pieces, rather than items that are based in intersex terms.”

“The ability to bring your true self to work and feel included is one of the many reasons why crew members join JetBlue. JetBlue’s uniform, hair and makeup policy provides crew members with a mix of uniform pieces, rather than items based on intersex terms,” said Derek Dombrowski, General Manager of Corporate Communications at JetBlue “By adopting a consistent and comprehensive program, JetBlue has ensured that all crew members feel represented.”

Iceland’s Play Airlines has also launched a gender-free line in 2021, allowing crew members to “take their pick from a variety of outfits.”

“Forget about running around in heels, comfortable sneakers are the way to go. Gone are the instructions for hair, makeup, tattoos and nail polish,” the airline said in a June 2021 announcement.

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In 2022, Alaska Airlines began using conscience badges and allowed flight crew to choose their uniform regardless of gender.

“With these changes, nail polish, makeup, two earrings for each ear, and single nose piercings are expression options available to all employees,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement. “We’ve also updated our grooming policies to allow for tattoos in more locations, more hair styling options and modified the names of our uniform kits to focus on determining fit versus determining gender.”

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Virgin Atlantic also announced in 2022 that it “will offer its employees a flexible approach to its red and burgundy uniform, meaning LGBTQ+ colleagues will be able to choose a red or burgundy uniform, depending on which best reflects themselves.”

The airline said the ad was “part of an ongoing campaign to champion the individuality of its employees and customers.” Like Alaska Airlines, Virgin Atlantic said it would also introduce “optional pronoun badges for all of its members and those traveling with the airline,” according to the release.

“This step enables everyone to communicate clearly and deal with their consciences,” the statement added.

Launched as part of the “Be Yourself” agenda, the changes were the latest after a series of inclusivity initiatives in 2019 that allowed cabin crew to decide if they wanted to wear make-up, pants and flats. Lifting restrictions on visible tattoos and allowing them to more crew members and frontline workers.

Canada’s WestJet has reinvented its uniforms in 2022 with new uniform names like “The Lakes” and “Rocky Mountain,” rather than “women’s” or “men’s,” according to a September announcement.

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British Airways still makes unisex uniforms, but announced in November 2022 that all crew members are now allowed to wear facial hair and wear makeup, jewelry and nail polish, regardless of their gender, CNN reported.

The uniform changes and evolving gender policies come at a time when airlines have faced growing criticism from customers dealing with travel disruptions throughout and after the COVID-19 pandemic. During the 2022 holiday season, More than 15,000 flights have been cancelledIt tends to strand thousands of Americans and spoil the vacation plans of many travelers.

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This resulted in a staff shortage after the pandemic thousands of flight delays, Including Memorial Day weekend in 2022 when more than 5,000 flights were cancelled. The airlines are reportedly still trying to replace pilots and other workers who have not returned to work since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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