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Galley Gossip: Even flight attendants deserve the right to choose pants
That's a quote from my book "Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 feet." I'm only sharing it with you because there's been a lot in the news lately about Asiana Airlines. Its flight attendants are upset because they aren't allowed to wear pants (or even glasses!). Their union recently filed a complaint to the human rights commission of Korea. The airline claims the uniform was designed based on hanbok, the Korean traditional dress. The flight attendants understand the airline has an image it wants to pursue, but they also believe the most important function of their job is to assist passengers.
I prefer to wear my skirt over the uniform pants and dress. In fact, I've only worn the pants a handful of times during my career -- and I've been a flight attendant for 17 years! At first, it was the big bulky pleats with the high waist that was a problem for me. Now that the pleats are gone, the pants fit lower on the hips and the ankles aren't tapered, it's the material I have an issue with; it's so thin you can practically see through it!
"Which is exactly what most flight attendants are wearing, right?" I asked.
There was a long pause before she replied, "Now that you mention it..."
The point I'm trying to make is this: it actually makes more sense for flight attendants to be wearing pants. I'm not saying we should wear pants. I'm not even saying I want to wear pants. I'm just saying that having the option might be nice. As long as we look and feel good while doing exactly what we were hired to do - assist passengers - does it really matter if some of us are more comfortable wearing tailored trousers opposed to pencil skirts? If designed right, both can be equally stylish.
Come on, Asiana. Loosen up. Times have changed. Passengers have changed. Why can't the uniform also change to reflect the modern times? If some flight attendants want to wear pants, let them wear pants!
Am I wrong?
Don't answer that. Only because I can hear it already: "QUIT YOUR JOB IF YOU WANT TO WEAR PANTS!"
[Photo courtesy of Blackwych]