Qantas has announced a series of policy updates aimed at fostering inclusion and diversity among its crew members. Employees will be allowed to wear shoes without heels, as well as to have long hair or dispense with makeup, regardless of their gender. In a statement, the airline group reported that the changes to guidelines related to “style and grooming” are a response to employee feedback and customer expectations. These updates represent the first changes made since 2013 and reflect the airline’s commitment to adapting to the needs and preferences of its staff and customers.
The Australian airline, along with its low-cost carrier Jetstar, implemented significant changes to its crew dress code. These modifications remove the requirement to wear high-heeled shoes or make-up. Male crew members are now allowed to wear foundation on their faces if they wish to do so.
The update doesn’t change our uniform but modernizes the way employees wear it.Qantas
The new rules allow both cabin crew and ground crew to wear their hair long, pulled back in a ponytail or bun, and to wear diamond earrings, glasses with clear frames and jewelry, including watches. Airline employees are requested to cover their tattoos and wear their name badges prominently.
Although Qantas uniforms remain unchanged, the airline has clarified in its statement that it introduced clothing combinations that replace gender-differentiated uniform sets. This move allows employees to choose garments that match their gender identity without restriction.
“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 are proud of our diversity and, in addition to updating our guidelines, these changes will make wearing our uniform more comfortable and practical for all our employees, including those with a wide range of body types and those from diverse cultural backgrounds.”
Although many airlines around the world still require female staff to wear high heels as part of their uniforms, regardless of the long distances they often must walk within airports, a progressive change was seen at some companies. Japan Airlines, for example, allowed the use of flat shoes in 2020, recognizing the importance of comfort for its staff.
In 2019, Virgin Atlantic stopped requiring makeup on its flight attendants and introduced in 2022 gender-neutral uniforms, promoting inclusion and equality among its staff. Air New Zealand allows its employees to display their tattoos, as in New Zealand tattoos are considered a symbol of cultural identity for the Maori population.