The global aviation industry has been seen as a strict application of traditional gender roles through stringent requirements for female flight attendants. They had to wear makeup, high heels and skirts. In the early years, flight attendants also had weight requirements. Women pilots were rare.
Air travel was considered a glamorous affair in the 1960s, and the use of “ladies and gentlemen” to address passengers only added to its appeal during the so-called golden age. travel.
In recent years, airlines, including Virgin Atlantic, have responded to calls from flight attendants to relax some of the appearance rules, adding pants to women’s uniforms.
Following a campaign targeting Japanese workplaces that required women to wear high heels, Japan Airlines said in March it would allow flight attendants to choose the type of footwear they wear on flights . Flight attendants would also be allowed for the first time to choose to wear pants rather than skirts.
In 2017, the airline also changed its policies so that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees can enjoy family benefits previously granted to heterosexual couples. Competitor All Nippon Airways in 2018 designated a gender-neutral bathroom in the airline lounge at Tokyo International Airport. It also started in 2016 to allow passengers to register same-sex partners as family members in mileage programs.
Japan Airlines has said it is motivated by listening to its customers, but it is not the first major airline to contain the phrase “ladies and gentlemen”. Air Canada and Easy Jet, among others, have already stopped using it in ads.