El Al airlines has directed its flight attendants to wear high heels during boarding. Under a previous policy, female El Al flight attendants were required to wear high heels at the airport, but could change into flats on the plane before passenger boarding.
The airline has defended its directive to attendants to wear “presentable shoes.”
“It should be noted that this practice is accepted in the airline industry worldwide,” an airline spokeswoman said. However, the workers union of El Al instructed its female flight attendants Tuesday to ignore the new set of rules.
“I am not convinced that high heels are an absolute condition for women’s presentability, and certainly not for a female flight attendant who is required as part of her job to be on her feet for extended periods,” Galia Wallach, CEO of women’s group Na’amat, wrote in a letter to El Al CEO David Maimon, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The union said the policy would impact the flight attendants’ safety and health, calling El Al’s stance “aggressive.”
Several aviation professionals have also criticized the decision as unethical, unhealthy and possibly counter to safety, according to Haaretz. Read more…