Air India has developed a new set of grooming guidelines for its cabin staff as it starts a transformation initiative. Around a month ago, it published an entire list, but a more recent paper outlines some substantial revisions to uniform and personal grooming standards.
New Rules: Male Cabin Crew
Since the Tata family acquired Air India, new directives for standard operating procedures and a few rules about the grooming requirements for cabin crew have been released. Air India has provided a new set of guidelines for its flight attendants in addition to the ones already in place in another similar notice.
Some of the new rules for male cabin crew members are as follows:
- Hair gel usage is required.
- Those who have bald patches or severely receding hairlines must shave their heads to maintain a bald appearance.
- Male cabin crew must shave their heads every day if they want to appear completely bald.
- No crew cuts are allowed.
New Rules: Female cabin crew
The list of rules is longer for female cabin crew:
- Earrings made of pearls are prohibited. Only plain gold or diamond-shaped earrings are permitted for flight attendants.
- Low buns and high top knots are not permitted hairstyles.
- There can be only four black bobby pins used.
- There is no room for personal preferences; strict adherence to eyeshadow, lipstick, nail polish, and hair shade cards is required.
- There may be only one bangle without a pattern or stones.
Furthermore, grey hair should be covered in a natural tone for both male and female flight attendants. "Fashion shades of henna are not authorized," according to the rules. Additionally prohibited are black or religious threads on the wrist, neck, or ankle.
A cabin crew member told The Times of India, “Details such as hair colour, or shaving the head, wearing tie-pins, these were never enforced. Enforcement will happen with the newer lot of flight attendants first.”
Added to the other updated rules that have been published in recent months is the new set of regulations. It was announced in January that the airline would monitor the body weight and body mass index (BMI) of its cabin personnel.
The idea that they would be weighed before taking off caused some commotion among the staff members, who were fine with a general uniform compliance check.
Air India has not stated what the BMI check will look for or whether passengers who are found to have a high BMI will face further consequences. The All India Cabin Crew Association retaliated, claiming that while cabin crew are primarily flight safety specialists with first aid training, their BMI has no bearing on their ability to do their duties.
A month later, Air India revised its cabin crew's operating procedures to ensure that all flights departed on time. Some of the SOPs required cabin crew to wear little jewellery to speed up security checks, the flight supervisor to give ground staff boarding clearance in a timely manner, to close the aircraft door without delay after boarding is complete, and to refrain from eating or drinking right before or during passenger boarding.