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Vueling fined $32K for instructing female cabin crews to wear high heels

Photo by Juan Domenech

After being criticized for its treatment of female cabin crew members, low-cost carrier Vueling has been fined by labor inspectors in Catalonia, Spain. Local reports suggest that the Spanish airline instructed its female cabin crew members to wear high heels and makeup during their duty.

The cabin crew members were represented by the workers union STAVLA, which brought the case to the attention of the labor and workers department of the Catalan government.

According to El Periódico, a Spanish publication, female flight attendants were prohibited from wearing eyelash extensions that looked fake or were excessively long. Additionally, if they chose to wear lipstick, it had to be a subdued shade.

It has been reported that female staff members were directed to use a foundation that matched their skin color and were only allowed to wear black mascara. The airline also mandated that female flight attendants wear heels that were between two and three inches in height.

In contrast, the male crew members were only advised to have a tidy and well-groomed appearance, and were not given any specific instructions regarding footwear.

According to a Vueling spokesperson, the concerns of their crew are always taken into consideration during the decision-making and implementation process. The company’s dress code is designed to prioritize comfort and safety in all settings, and the style guide was developed in collaboration with crew member representatives.

As a result of the airline’s treatment of its female employees, it was fined $33,000 and instructed to maintain a business image in a more balanced way that did not infringe upon the fundamental rights of its workers. The Labor Inspectorate of Catalonia has proposed sanctions, but they are not yet final.

Vueling is a member of the International Airlines Group (IAG), which also includes British Airways, Aer Lingus, and Iberia.

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