Air India’s grooming guidelines trigger murmurs of disapproval | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Air India’s grooming guidelines trigger murmurs of disapproval

Nov 24, 2022 05:41 PM IST

Tata Group, which took over Air India in January, has sought to upgrade the airline’s ageing fleet and improve its service levels

Air India has asked its cabin crew to regularly colour grey hair in natural shades as part of guidelines that cover travel even while they are on leave as part of the airline’s focus on grooming, which has led to murmurs of disapproval.

The guidelines were issued after the airline’s grooming circular in October. (Twitter)
The guidelines were issued after the airline’s grooming circular in October. (Twitter)

“Grey hair is not permitted. Grey hair must be regularly colored in [a] natural shade. Fashion colors and henna are not permitted,” say the guidelines issued after the airline’s grooming circular in October.

Autos-to-steel conglomerate Tata Group, which took over Air India in January, has sought to upgrade the airline’s ageing fleet and improve its service levels as part of its efforts to increase its market share to 30% on domestic as well as international routes over the next five years. Air India has a domestic market share of about 10%. It is estimated to have an international market share of around 12%.

The guidelines say rings only in wedding band design are allowed for men. Only bracelets Sikhs wear as a symbol of their faith with a max width of 0.5cm without any design, logos, or stones will be allowed.

The airline has asked the male crew to shave their heads in case of weak hair growth. The crew cut for them has been disallowed.

An Air India official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the guidelines are too strict and not going down well with the crew. “...some think it is required for building the image of the airline, but others see it to be a little too much.”

Women cabin crew members have been barred from wearing pearl ornaments and asked to wear only round gold and diamond studs without any design and ornamentation.

“While travelling as staff on duty, cabin crew who are scheduled to travel as passengers, when being positioned for flight/returning to base on completion of flight duty/training purpose, are deemed as travelling on duty and must be formally dressed as per office duty guidelines.”

The guidelines say cabin crew also travelling while on leave must be dressed in smart casuals and in decent attire while on board Air India flights.

“Attires such as torn jeans, sleeveless, crop tops, hot pants, short skirts ...flimsy slippers are not permitted... If dressed inappropriately, the crew may be asked to change clothes before they are issued their boarding pass.”

The guidelines say sarees must be worn on the natural waistline with not more than 1 inch of midriff visible. “...only allowed formal court shoes to be worn with sarees along with skin tone matching stockings.”

The crew has been asked to match their nail paints with lipstick shades. “...If nail length is zero, female crew use only nude nail paint matching to skin tone to camouflage the extremely short nails.”

The guidelines for men say beards and the green shadow on the chin are not permitted. “Male crew must carry a shaving kit on every flight.” The guidelines say crew in uniform should not wear sunglasses inside airports or aircraft. The crew members have been barred from discussing politics, religious, and company-related issues on social media.

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