Airline defends bright lipstick ban

Airline defends bright lipstick ban

Turkish Airlines says pastels are the way to go. Some aren't happy with the beauty advice
Turkish Airlines says because its current cabin uniform does "not include the colors red, dark pink etc., the use of lipstick and nail polish of these colors ... impairs the (airline's) visual integrity."

Turkish Airlines has defended its recent move to ban flight attendants from wearing brightly colored lipstick and nail polish, such as pink or red.

A statement from the airline to CNN Travel said colors such as red and dark pink are unsuitable as they “impaired the visual integrity” of the Turkish Airlines uniforms.

“According to the generally accepted practices, personnel who work in the services sector are preferred to be artless and well groomed with a make-up in pastel tones,” the statement said.

The airline believes pastel colors give “a natural presence” which in turn “has a more gentle and attainable effect in communication.”

Nail polish in the same shades is also banned.

The airline did not respond to questions about when the ban would begin or how it would be enforced.

Staff attire and appearance together with standards of service are a major part of airline branding and the lipstick move does not appear too out of line with similar policies on other airlines.

However, an opposition government official called the ban a “perversity” and some flight attendants reportedly protested the ban by sharing images of red lipstick on social media sites such as Twitter and wearing it on flights, according to media reports.

Within Turkey, the announcement received mixed reviews.

Comments on Turkish news website Hurriyet have been varied with some offering support to the airline, stating that plainer make-up is often a standard in the service industry, while others claimed they will refuse to fly Turkish Airlines.

An opinion piece on the same site said the airline’s administration is “confusing corporate management with being a school principal.”

“We will not be surprised if soon they ban high heels, eyeliners and the appearance of ‘one strand of hair uncovered,’” wrote Mehves Evin, quoting an earlier statement from the airline.

The airline has been refining its dress code in recent years including implementing restrictions and guidance on things like hair dye and eye make-up colors.

It also recently altered its drinks policy. The airline no longer serves alcohol on international flights to/from nations whose flag carriers do not serve alcoholic drinks.

On some domestic routes, Turkish Airlines will only serve alcohol in business class. On several other domestic routes, alcohol service has been discontinued with the airline citing lack of demand and “logistical considerations.”

Also on CNN: 'Skirts only' rule lifted

What do you make of the lipstick ban? What’s more important to you – appearance of airline staff or airline service?

Qin Xie is a London based freelance journalist and trained chef. When not infiltrating Michelin restaurants as a kitchen tourist, she writes about food, drink and travel. Her work has appeared on Yahoo, FT, The Times and of course CNN. She has also just started working on her first book.

Read more about Qin Xie