El Al Airlines Requiring Flight Attendants to Wear Heels throughout Boarding

El Al Airlines previously required female flight attendants to wear heels when in the airport, but they were able to switch to flats once they were on an aircraft.

This policy is changing, according to Mashable:

“The company revises its service protocols regularly and it was decided in that framework to require female flight attendants to wear formal shoes while receiving the passengers to the flight,” El Al’s Vice President Customer Services Yehudit Grisaru said in a statement. “Immediately after the seating phase and throughout the flight itself, they wear work shoes.”

Now, as a former member of Heels First, I’m a huge fan of heels.  I’m almost constantly in my heels.

But when I was a bartender–or even when I’m at my standing desk–I wear flats.  It’d be crazy to stand around that long in heels.

Me at my desk:

my shoes

My shoes for at not-desk:


Very different.

And I’m on my feet at work voluntarily.  For someone who has to stand all day, I can’t imagine requiring heels for women.  Especially when they don’t, ahem, require them for men.

It brings me back to the issue with the Cannes Film Festival.

First of all, ignore the Daily Mail style hype, but this article that came out after that event describes just how damaging long-term use of heels can be.

And for those unfamiliar with the situation, women were turned away from screenings at the Cannes Film Festival for not wearing heels –including those with medical issues.

And it wasn’t as if those who were turned away had sneakers on.  People had fancy shoes.  Just flat fancy shoes.


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. Might now want to show bare feet on your blog…I bet Gary really hates it. 🙂

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Ha! No joke, I originally typed (sorry, Gary) after it but thought it might be too inside jokey.

  2. Standard FA contract stuff back in the day. Full uniform, including heels, during boarding, take off, landing, deplaning…basically whenever the cabin door is open. This is simply being professional. Being in your service apron before take off or during landing was considered a big no no as well.
    There were also strict rules to the amount of pins that one could wear on one’s uniform, as well as several other rules, much like the military. My guess is that many of the European, Asian carriers etc. still adhere to these rules. Professionality.

  3. Many workplaces require men to wear a full suit with tie, even in the heat of summer. Women at least have other cooler options.

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