Qantas and Jetstar cabin crew can now wear makeup, long hair regardless of gender

  • 12/06/2023
Australian airline Qantas has relaxed its gender-based uniform rules.
Australian airline Qantas has relaxed its gender-based uniform rules. Photo credit: Qantas

High heels no more: Australian airline Qantas has just released new guidelines for its employees regarding grooming and uniform styling.

From now on, staff - including cabin crew members - can have long hair (provided it's worn in a low bun or ponytail), wear makeup or not wear makeup as they choose, wear glasses instead of contact lenses (provided they have clear lenses) and sport flat shoes.

"The update doesn't change our uniform but modernises the way employees wear it in line with employee feedback and evolving customer expectations," a rep from Qantas said in a statement.

The guidelines also apply to the company's low-cost airline Jetstar.

Before this, there were separate regulations for male and female employees. Now there is one set of requirements for everyone.

"Our uniforms are a symbol of our iconic brand and our people are very proud to wear them. Fashions change, and so have our style guidelines over the years," the company said in a statement. "We're proud of our diversity and as well as bringing our guidelines up to date, these changes will make wearing our uniform more comfortable and practical for all of our people, including those with a wide range of body types and those from diverse cultural backgrounds."

There are still some things that won't change, though. Crew members who opt to wear dresses or skirts will be required to wear hosiery. And while it's okay for crew members to have tattoos, they must cover up their ink while working.

Flying fashion forward

Qantas is one of several airlines that have opted to reconsider their employee dress codes in recent years.

Virgin Atlantic dropped male- and female-specific guidelines last year when debuting gender-neutral uniforms designed by Vivienne Westwood.

The uniforms were intended to let employees "embrace their individuality and be their true selves at work," according to a statement from Virgin. The airline also introduced an option for crew members to include their pronouns on their name tags.

In 2022, British Airways announced it would allow all cabin crew members to sport makeup, face stubble, piercings, jewellery and nail polish alongside their uniforms.

"We are proud of all of our colleagues at British Airways and we are committed to an inclusive working environment," a rep from the airline told CNN at the time.