American Airlines has put its own flight attendants on notice to smarten up their acts in a new crackdown on crew members defying some of the Dallas Fort Worth-based carrier’s strict appearance standards.
In a recent memo, a flight service manager who is responsible for managing the behavior of some of AA’s 20,000-strong flight attendant workforce warned crew members that enforcement action would soon begin on uniform flouters in a bid to achieve “100% compliance”.
Flight service managers will be stationing themselves around airports in an attempt to spot rulebreakers, according to the memo, which warns that “follow-up” action may also be actioned.
“Uniform non-compliance is sometimes an elemental goes unnoticed and isn’t addressed,” the memo admits before warning: “Effective immediately, American Airlines has a goal of achieving an environment of 100% uniform compliance through 2023”.
The memo continues: “If you happen to be observed non-compliant in uniform, we will approach you with follow-up to include the reason for concern and a non-compliant uniform report”.
As reported by View from the Wing, some of AA’s uniforms include a ban on flight attendants wearing green, orange or yellow nail varnish. Nail art is also prohibited, as are multi-colored nails and glitter.
Dress wearers must not wear their uniform more than one inch above or below the knee, while the ‘all season coat’ has now been restricted for use during “extreme cold or inclement weather” while flight attendants are outside the terminal building.
Earlier this week, Southwest Airlines relaxed its appearance guidelines after a backlash from flight attendants over a similar crackdown which attempted to bar nose piercings and small tattoos.
Flight attendants feared Southwest was failing to keep up with a shift in uniform standards across the industry, resulting in the airline performing a u-turn and allowing nose piercings and small ‘discreet’ and non-offensive tattoos.
Last summer, flight attendants at United Airlines reacted in disbelief to management spot checks on flight attendants who might be flouting appearance guidelines while the airline struggled to keep up with a rebound in travel demand.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.
WOW! This sounds like grade school/high school back in the 50’s it 70’s when I was growing up attending public school! Time for corporations to understand that some of their standards are antiquated…. I was a flight attendant in the 90’s, and we had very specific dress codes. Some of FA’s wanted to attract pilot husbands, so they shortened their hemlines. The (almost all) male pilots loved it. At least one ended up marrying a pilot who loved her short hemlines! I kept mine to the standard, yet still ended up marrying a pilot (26 years and going strong). I think nose/eyed/lip piercings are reasonable to be excluded as acceptable, as are extreme tattoos, and extreme diversions from the corporate standard. I do think that a little bit of personalization should be acceptable. One inch above or below the knee??????? What if the tailor gets it wrong and it is 1/4” too long or short? If you have an ugly scar, can you not cover it up w/a longer hemline? Can anyone really tell the difference? A miniskirt? NOPE!!! The “standards” really need to be a bit looser, and realistic, though – however, extremes should not be tolerated – it’s a JOB, not your personal space to make a statement!!! If they don’t like the job requirements, go work for a business that allows you to express yourself.
First you teach you managers or HR team. There was a Hiring event in Chicago and I accompanied my son just for observation and the people who were interviewing looked like janitors. Guy says he is a 34 year old veteran and the way he looked if I am hiring for janitor I will think twice. Big Fat guy, looks smoker, dirty, clothes wrinkly and seems those clothes have not seen a washing machine in days. The guy smelled bad. Has a Hispanic name.