Female Cathay Pacific Employees Will No Longer Be Required To Wear Skirts

Filed Under: Cathay Pacific

Since Cathay Pacific was founded over 70 years ago, the carrier has required all frontline female employees to wear skirts. This includes ground agents and flight attendants, and applies at both Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon. That will soon be changing.

This topic came to light earlier this month, when the flight attendant unions of both Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon request that the airlines update their image of flight attendants. The Cathay Dragon union was the first to bring this up, and then the Cathay Pacific union quickly supported them. At the time, the South China Morning Post’s awesome Danny Lee quoted a Cathay Pacific union rep as saying the following:

“The stereotype of the flight attendant is very old-style already: looking pretty, full make-up and wearing a skirt. It is a good time to have a revamp of our image,” Vera Wu Yee-mei, chairwoman of the Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Union, said.

“It excites us, this idea, that we can think about this direction, so maybe we can do some joint action [with Cathay Dragon] and support them to fight for this issue all together.”

The talks between management and the unions concluded today, with both sides agreeing that during the next uniform refresh, employees will have the options of wearing trousers rather than skirts. According to the latest update from the South China Morning Post:

“The company agrees to consider the option of a trouser uniform item for female crew. This will take place during the next uniform refresh,” the Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Flight Attendants Association said in a statement.

A spokesman for Cathay Pacific also said there had been an agreement.

“We are pleased that we have reached an understanding on matters raised,” the airline said.

“There is no progress without change. Now is the time to make this happen by working together to review the uniforms that accurately reflect the values we represent.”

Better late than never, I guess. This is certainly an option that all female employees at Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon deserve. While I think it should be an option at any workplace, I especially think it’s needed in the airline industry, given the long shifts and challenging conditions under which employees work. They should be as comfortable as possible (while still looking professional, of course, as much as I’d love for them to be able to wear pajamas to work, as I do). 😉

  1. They should indeed have the choice to dress as they wish. However, let’s be honest: we cannot deny that most men prefer attractive cabin crew highlighting their curves and suggestive traits. Feminists may find this shocking but that is nature

  2. Feminists be damned. Most women go for guys that make more than them, even if the women themselves are making enough, else they go for boy-toy . Women turn out to be as much of assholes as men are when they are giving the option to make any choice they want.

  3. I wouldn’t worry guys. Most Asian women like to glam up for work so it will mostly be the lesbians in trousers. No loss there!

  4. Nothing says “alpha male” like frequently commenting on an air travel blog about what makes you horny

  5. Love all the mansplaining in the comments!!!!!!1!!! REALLYY ADDS SO MUCH VALUE NOTW!!!!!!11!!!!!!!

  6. To be fair I’ve stayed in the Royal Orchid Sheraton in Bangkok many times over the last 18 years, a popular hotel for airline crew. I’ve hit on and been hit on by more air hostesses than I care to remember. A fun breed of woman but just don’t hit on them when they’re on duty as that’s kinda pathetic.

  7. While I do believe everyone should be free to dress however they want (in a manner commensurate with the profession, of course), I’m seriously surprised that this was a union demand.

    Most Asians care very much about appearance, and generally these feminist moves are more about the West imposing their standards on everyone else, than actual demand from the people being affected. Take for example Korean Air, where technically flight attendants are free to wear trousers instead of skirts, but I’ve yet to see a single flight attendant choose to do so.

  8. Can this airline focus on improving their pathetic passenger experience instead of this nonsense? Glad for the crew and all but how about keeping the revenue line happy too

  9. @David: I’ve actually seen some flight attendents in KE who wear trousers at work. OZ is a different story.
    “generally these feminist moves are more about the West imposing their standards on everyone else, than actual demand from the people being affected.” – as someone from South Korea, I complete disagree. This is one of the rhetorics from anti-feminist groups, but feminism here is now being driven by local demand, and the demand is quite high.

  10. Sample in South Korea:
    KE: trousers allowed and usually one or two attendents on a same plane wear trousers at work.
    LJ (Jin Air, low-cost carrier subsidiary of KE): Jeans are their uniforms for all attendents.
    OZ: trousers technically allowed, but still strongly discouraged.
    (Not sure about OZ subsidiaries)
    7C (Jeju Air, independent low cost carrier): trousers allowed. Seems that quite a number of attendents wear trousers at work.

  11. @Jay,

    Yeah, David clearly has no idea what he’s talking about. I’ve seen multiple KE attendants in pants on multiple KE flights. Meanwhile, he’s speaking in platitudes while ignoring everything discussed in the quoted article.

  12. Surely the issue is about choice. My young daughter has the choice to wear shorts or trousers as school uniform but she prefers to wear a dress. (All the garments are in the same school colour.) As long as the uniform is comfortable and she is able to do anything the other kids do (climb trees, jump in puddles, play in the mud) , she should be free to choose and I respect her choice of a dress.

  13. great…..soon the CX attendants will resemble the creatures we have to deal with on US carries: Overweight, rude and so hideous that I wouldn’t touch one with a borrowed d*ck

  14. Wow, some of the readers have misogynistic attitudes here. Serious or just jokes, quite a reading!! To the topic, I travelled often with CX, I could hardly remember if one female FA has caught my attention because she was absolutely pretty or wore her skirt beautifully or even in trousers etc… I only focus in how they perform their duty..the right service attitude, the knowledge of their crafts, their experience in handling situations…so honestly I do not care if MEN or WOMEN or GAYS in plain clothes or in national costumes will be the FAs on my cabin as long as they perform their duty rightfully with a touch of personality in order to have a great experience. I always try to create a sense of a personal touch with the FAs or CSMs when flying with them, meaning I encourage interaction when it is approriate and timely otherwise a decent service wirthout being intrusive. I always have very good service in First, Bus. or PE. For me the key is to give them the feeling I appreciate their job and efforts, but they should show or convey it with an outstanding service.

  15. Guys should be given a choice top 5 skirt or trousers? Misogyny is when equal doesn’t mean equal.

  16. @debit.. what??..seriously??..Misogyny is dislike of, contempt for or prejudice against women…and in one point you are right…WE are not all created equally…sadly!…

  17. @Alpha Male and others. I hate to inform you that most women do not think about whether you are going to appreciate how they look when they dress for work. They dress to feel comfortable, do their work effectively and feel good about how they look for themselves. Most are disguised by your blatant ogling. I know you think women spend all their time worrying about what you think. But I hate to burst your bubble. They don’t.

  18. The flight attendants on US carriers need to take a leaf out of the foreign airlines book on how to look presentable. Some of the uniform variations I have seen travelling in North America is very low class and these members of the airline front line show they have no pride in the uniform they are sporting. It’s about time that US airline management start clamping down on presentation. This is not a social outing for them and I am not paying a fair amount of money to see cabin crew looking shabby which is how too many of them appear.

  19. AEbonyTatas: “great…..soon the CX attendants will resemble the creatures we have to deal with on US carries: Overweight, rude and so hideous that I wouldn’t touch one with a borrowed d*ck”

    In a bunch of appalling comments about women, you stand out.

    Pretty sure with that attitude you’ve never had the chance of touching a woman with or without a borrowed appendage … time to get out of your mother’s basement and into the real world.

  20. So what about the FAs of the US airlines?? Are they too lazy and too laissez-faire in their working ethics? Meaning eventhough there is a company policy to be presentable and behaving properly as they are paid to do so..these people still do what they want??…So how come these people are still employed?? So how come there are still pax flying these airlines??..Lots of moaning instead of punishing these airlines by just not flying with them…go to one which deserves your money and your business..as simple as that…loyalty has to be earned..on both sides!!

  21. With all the horrific comments about female crew members, is there any wonder why so many of them have such contempt for you, the male passenger? You don’t own these employees. They’re not your property. You rented a seat on a plane for a few hours. Sit down, eat your food and go to sleep. Very few have the slightest interest in knowing the first thing about you.

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