Virgin Atlantic updates staff uniform code for freedom of gender expression (VIDEO)

Oct 3 2022, 6:50 pm

British airline Virgin Atlantic has introduced a new uniform code for its in-flight and ground crew to encourage inclusivity.

On Wednesday, the carrier announced that staffers would be able to pick their own Vivienne Westwood-design uniforms. Formerly, male staff members wore a suit and women wore a blazer and a skirt.

Now, regardless of their gender identity or sex, crew members will be given the option to pick between the two. They can also choose to wear or not wear makeup and heels and display their pronouns on a badge.

The airline said the new policy reflects the diversity of its workforce and is complemented by the rollout of optional pronoun badges for its crew and flyers. Virgin Atlantic will also focus on inclusivity training for staff and partners across destinations.

“At Virgin Atlantic, we believe that everyone can take on the world, no matter who they are or how they identify,” reads the carrier’s statement. “That’s why it’s so important we champion the individuality of our people and customers, enabling them to be their true selves at work and when flying with us.”

The ad campaign for the updated uniform code stars singer and LGBTQIA ally Michelle Visage, known for her role as a permanent judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

The announcement was met with transphobic criticism. Many said they would no longer fly with the airline if “a male pilot is wearing a skirt.” “Go woke, go broke!” some asserted.

But the change also garnered support. “This is sooo cool. I can’t wait to fly with such lovely crews in the near future. I love this project,” said one commenter.

Another shared that while they thought this step was progressive, the staff members still looked “uncomfortable” and that heels should not be part of the uniform as they can be unsafe during emergencies.

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