Female flight attendants with Israel's El Al Airlines are upset with a controversial decision passed down from company leadership that requires them to wear high heels until every passenger has boarded and is seated, according to Stuart Winer of the Times of Israel.
Previously, female flight crew members employed by El Al could remove their heels upon boarding the aircraft, only being required to wear them while passing through the airport and greeting passengers as they made their way onto the plane.
An email sent to employees last week revealed the new protocol, leading angry flight attendants to organize a petition. So far, roughly 200 people have signed on, per the Times.
"It is unbelievable how much an employer can be disconnected from his workers," an anonymous stewardess told news site Ynet via the Times.
In addition to the obvious discomfort, disappointed employees argue that the new rule could have a negative impact on health and safety, potentially slowing flight attendants down in an evacuation scenario.
El Al's decision was apparently reached after the airline analyzed how other carriers' flight attendants dressed.
"The company updates its service procedures and within that framework it was decided that the stewardesses teams wear presentable shoes also when welcoming customers to flights," said El Al vice president of customer service Yehudit Grisaro via the Times. "Immediately after the seating, and during the entire flight, activities are in work shoes. We stress that this practice is accepted in the world air industry."
If the petition doesn't lead management to reverse the decision, the frustrated stewardesses say they plan to continue their protest in other ways.
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