If you think you’re uncomfortable when you’re buckled into a seat at 35,000ft, spare a thought for the flight attendants in full uniform.
While male cabin crew members are usually dressed in a suit, the outfits worn by their female colleagues can be tight, revealing, scratchy creations that rival the tackiness of a bridesmaid’s dress.
Not all uniforms are created equal for women as standards vary from airline to airline, and female staff even train in their outfits so that in case of emergency they can carry out their duties while wearing their skirts and heels.
But uniforms are not without their problem. From skirts that are too short to Vivienne Westwood-designed uniforms that staff allege make their necks bleed, cabin crew have encountered all sorts of problems.
Tokyo-based airline Skymark was criticised for introducing minidress uniforms that staff said left them exposed to sexual harassment.
Both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have teamed up with top designers Vivienne Westwood and Julien MacDonald respectively, but even they haven’t been exempt from complaints by staff.
While Virgin workers complained of tight collars, BA cabin crew raised objections when they were told they would no longer be able to opt for trousers instead of skirts.
Carolyn Paddock, a former commercial flight attendant who continues to fly for a private client, said cabin crew around the world are generally satisfied with today’s standard uniform.
The travel insider said: ‘Fabric quality for uniforms has improved dramatically over the years. They are lighter in weight and have stretch.
‘It gives the uniform a crisp tailored look that has “give” which is very important to the flight attendants with all the bending and reaching that they do.’