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Norwegian Air has a dress policy that bars female flight attendants from wearing flats outside the plane without a doctor’s note.

In a 22-page dress code obtained by The Independent, the budget airline states that women are required to wear heels that are at least two centimeters high on the tarmac or out in the airport. If they want to wear flats, they must carry a doctor’s note with them at all times — and that note has to be updated every six months.

A spokesperson for Norwegian Air told TPG that when it comes to the on-board footwear policy “cabin crew have to wear flat shoes in the aircraft cabin for safety reasons.”

The dress code also stipulates that women flight attendants must wear “eye makeup and light foundation, a tinted moisturizer, or powders.” Women are also only permitted to wear two rings per hand (no thumbs, though). Jewelry has to be made from gold or silver-colored metal — no religious motifs allowed.

Men, on the other hand, are not allowed to wear any makeup unless it’s covering up acne or a bruise. 

“Uniform requirements are one thing, but to impose heels and makeup is going too far,” Norwegian Labour Party spokesperson Anette Trettebergstuen said to The Independent. “The year 1950 rang and it wants its rulebook back. This is super embarrassing and they should have progressed further.”

The spokesperson for Norwegian defended the airline’s policy, saying, “Like all global airlines, Norwegian has a comprehensive set of uniform guidelines to ensure that our flying crew represent our brand in a smart and consistent manner. The guidelines were drafted with input from our pilot and cabin crew colleagues and have been well received, sharing many gender commonalities in addition to some specific male and female requirements.”

Last month, two major airlines relaxed their dress codes. Aer Lingus made an announcement that it would no longer require women cabin crew members to wear skirts or makeup on International Women’s Day. This came a few days after Virgin Atlantic made similar changes — offering women the option to wear trousers over skirts and quashing the makeup policy altogether.

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Featured image courtesy of Norwegian Air.

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