Flight attendants for Israel's El Al Airlines are upset over a new directive from management saying that they must wear high heel shoes on board every flight until all passengers have been seated.
So far, 200 flight attendants have signed a petition against the carrier's decision, with one anonymous employee telling the Ynet news site, "It is unbelievable how much an employer can be disconnected from his workers." Not only are heels uncomfortable shoes, some cabin staff say, they can also become a safety hazard during an emergency. The news was announced last week in an email sent to employees, and it replaces the old rule that cabin staff had to only wear high heels as part of their uniform when they arrived at airports and when they walked past passengers waiting to board. Once the staff was on the plane, they were able to switch to more comfortable footwear.
"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 Yehudit Grisaro, vice president of customer service at El Al. "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." The Times of Israel reports that Shelly Yachimovich, a Zionist Union member of the Knesset (parliament), believes this new rule wouldn't be in place if the higher-ups had to deal with heels. "Boo to El Al for requiring flight attendants to wear heels until the last of the passengers has sat down," she tweeted. "My suggestion: All the men in the El Al management should wear heels to work. Let’s see them."
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