Monday,  October 2, 2023  7:15 am

Virgin Atlantic says goodbye to mandatory makeup rule for flight attendants

Virgin Atlantic says goodbye to mandatory makeup rule for flight attendants
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch:

Any woman who's gotten up for an early morning flight knows how tough it can be to pick out a comfy plane outfit, let alone even think of picking out a lipstick, and subsequently applying a full face of makeup before dashing off to the airport.

Yet that's the reality for many flight attendants around the world, whose airline employers hold them accountable for wearing makeup when they're on the job.

In an historic first, Virgin Atlantic has done away with that rule, and now says makeup is not mandatory for female flight attendants on the job

"Our world famous red uniform is something all of us at Virgin Atlantic are incredibly proud of, Executive Vice President of Customer, Mark Anderson, told PAX. "As an airline, we have always stood out from the crowd and done things differently to the rest of the industry. We want our uniform to truly reflect who we are as individuals while maintaining that famous Virgin Atlantic style."

While makeup is no longer a mandatory requirement, flight attendants who do wish to wear cosmetics must still follow the palette put forth by Virgin Atlantic's guidelines.

No more nylons!

Virgin Atlantic has put forth a series of new guidelines for personal grooming habits that aim to offer female flight attendants more comfort and more choice.

Not only do women not have to wear makeup anymore, but trousers are now available as an option for all women and will be provided as standard when joining Virgin Atlantic. 

According to the airline, trousers have always been available to female cabin crew, but they had to be specially requested from the uniforms department.

"We have been listening to the views of our people and as a result have announced some changes to our styling and grooming policy that support this," Anderson said.

Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!