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An airline was fined for imposing strict rules about high heels and makeup on female cabin crew, report says

Vueling Airlines airplane is seen landing at El Prat AirportVueling has the same owner as British Airways, IAG.

Thiago Prudencio/Getty Images

  • A Spanish airline was fined for enforcing a strict makeup and high heel policy on female crew.
  • Vueling requires female crew to wear high heels and enforces makeup rules, per El Periódico.
  • Catalonia’s labor department fined the airline 30,000 euros (about $32,000) after a union complaint.

A Spanish airline has been fined for making its female flight attendants adhere to a strict makeup and shoe policy, a report says.

Vueling was issued with a penalty of 30,000 euros (about $32,000) for a policy that Catalonia’s labor department said put an unfair burden on female crew members compared with their male counterparts, El Periódico reported.

The publication said Vueling’s female cabin crew were required to wear high heels of between five and eight inches, and foundation that matches their skin tone.

They were also prohibited from wearing “artificial-looking or excessively long” eyelashes, and lipstick must be a “discreet” shade, per El Periódico.

Male flight attendants, however, faced the far less onerous demand of simply keeping a “clean and neat appearance.”

Following a complaint by Stavla, the union representing Vueling crew, the Inspecció de Treball determined that the airline could impose a “less burdensome and more balanced corporate image, without affecting fundamental rights” of workers, according to El Periódico.

“They have given us the reason, and we are studying more actions,” a union source told the publication.

A Vueling representative said it was considering its options following the ruling but there was now “no gender distinction or obligation to wear make-up.”

“We always consider any concerns that our crew may have and these are factored into decision-making and implementation,” the airline told AeroTime. “The company’s aim with the dress code is to always ensure comfort and safety in all environments.”

The budget carrier is owned by IAG, whose other airlines include Iberia, British Airways and Aer Lingus.

Vueling didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider made outside normal working hours.

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