Christmas is fast approaching and that can only mean one thing (apart from spending too much money and overindulging on festive treats) – Tis’ the season to dress up in ugly Christmas jumpers, ridiculous Santa hats and cutesy reindeer antlers. And fortunately, many airlines based in countries that celebrate Christmas allow their staff to join in the celebrations with relaxed Christmas-themed uniform standards.
Nothing unusual there you might think – especially at North American carriers where flight attendants bring their own tinsel and decorations to spread Christmas cheer amongst passengers and crew. But what about airlines from countries that wouldn’t traditionally celebrate Christmas? Like, say, in the Middle East?
Emirates has arguably always taken itself a little too seriously when it comes to uniform standards. A long list of rules and uniform do’s and don’ts isn’t particularly conducive to allowing cabin crew to show off their personality. That’s obviously quite deliberate but it does seem a little bah humbug during the Holidays.
But even Dubai-based Emirates is feeling Christmas joy this year and has told its cabin crew that they can wear Santa hats, reindeer antlers or as they put it “other appropriate decorative wear” during flights over Christmas. Emirates has extended its Festive offerings over the last three years, and even offers a full-on Christmas dinner for passengers travelling from Dubai to big Christian destinations in Europe, North America, Australia and South Africa.
There are, rather sensibly, some rules though – for example, festive dress-up won’t be allowed on flights to destinations where the majority of passengers don’t celebrate Christmas. Nor will cabin crew be allowed to wear Santa hats during boarding, disembarkation or safety critical periods like takeoff and landing. Emirates has also sadly banned the wearing of decorations in public areas like hotels and airport concourses.
This is a really refreshing approach from Emirates and in a way, it’s simply reacting to what many cabin crew were already doing in the last few years. Not that the airline will be going so far as carriers such as Virgin Atlantic – who will be gifting a special Christmas jumper for every member of cabin crew to wear over the Christmas period.
Along with a huge selection of Christmas films and indulgent festive treats, Emirates has also created a special limited edition Christmas toy for younger passengers – Bell the robin will be available onboard for a limited time in December only.