Flying high and low

Etihad has changed its uniform for the first time since it started flying in 2003. Photo: Lee Hoagland / The National
Etihad has changed its uniform for the first time since it started flying in 2003. Photo: Lee Hoagland / The National

Etihad Airways has unveiled new uniform for its cabin crew, its first real attempt to update its look since it began flying in 2003. But what do the changing fashions in flight attendants’ uniforms say about cultural attitudes and passenger psychology?

Several decades ago, in-flight uniforms were designed only for stewardesses – men did not serve as cabin crew – and the shortest of miniskirts, hot pants and tight dresses skimmed obvious enough lines. That was also a time when air travel was considered glamorous no matter who you flew. How times have changed.

The age of no-frills travel and focus on safety has meant airlines now want to inspire calm rather than give passengers cheap thrills. Uniforms have become more gender-neutral and professional, subtly stating no more than an airline’s intention to have you flying high on a great track record of trust.

Published: December 21, 2014 04:00 AM

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