Friday, December 02, 2022

Air India crew hide greys, follow strict makeup while global airlines allowing tattoo, piercing

Air India has updated its ‘Cabin Crew Handbook’, a 39-page dossier on the dos and don’ts for its crew members. This Air Bible, as I like to call it, has instructed male crew members with deep receding hairline and balding patches to switch to a clean shaved or bald look.

“Bald look is allowed for crew with male balding patterns. Crew with U and V shape hairline on crown, visible scalp and large bald patches must keep a full bald look. Head must be shaved daily for a clean look. Crew cut is not permitted,” the updated handbook says. Not to forget that the hair “must be dandruff free at all times”.

The list is long. Beards are a strict no-no and male members must carry a shaving kit on every flight. Any spot of grey hair must be removed and dyed a natural shade or ‘company ruled colors’.

For female crew members, high top knots, low buns and pearl earrings are banned. Only diamond and gold studs can be adorned. Expensive stuff!

The Air Bible is quite considerate and well thought out in its project—in-depth tables of permitted eyeshadow shades, lipstick shades, nail paint shades of Bobbi Brown, HUDA beauty and M.A.C—all endeavouring to make up the Perfect Air Hostess. These requirements are part of the effort to construct a new image of the airline, which recently turned private.

Cabin crew members of many airlines are expected to follow strict dress codes and decorum, but the Air Bible’s commandments go an extra mile, instructing the members on what to say and what not to say on social media. They must refrain from posting videos in uniforms and cannot “discuss politics, religious, company related issues”. Members of the crew have expressed their discomfort with the guidelines, as Hindustan Times quoted an Air India official saying, “Some think it is required for building the image of the airline, but others see it to be a little too much.” Another Air India employee had a different insight into the matter. In a conversation with ThePrint, they said that some of the employees were not resistant to the change. These include the new, more younger recruits, who have embraced the uniformity. However, the permanent employees, particularly the ones in their 40s feel discomfort with the change.

02/12/22 Shania Mathew/Print

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