QF Pilots Less Than Delighted With New Grooming Guidelines

Open Jaw

Keep that moustache trimmed, Captain.

Qantas pilots are not thrilled with the contents of a 23 page guidebook issued last week, instructing them how to wear their new uniforms and laying down the law on grooming.

Pilots began wearing the new uniforms this week.

The Sydney Morning Herald cites a survey of almost 1,300 pilots which found most were critical of symbolic parts of the uniform, including new hats supposed to evoke the grand old days of flying boats. Some say the new look resembles a costume rather than a uniform.

Also contentious are the regulations governing moustaches, a frequent part of a pilot’s look since the early days of aviation.

Qantas regulations allow moustaches, but there are a number of restrictions. While trim moustaches are permitted, “long moustaches such as handlebar, horseshoe (or ‘trucker’) and similar styles are unacceptable,” the guidelines state. “The outline of the upper lip shall clearly be visible.”

Hair length “that falls onto eyebrows or shirt collar” is deemed unacceptable in the new guidelines. Beards are banned outright – they can obstruct oxygen masks – and sideburns must not extend below the earlobe.

While in uniform and in view of the public, pilots must not chew gum, drink alcohol or smoke.

Piercings – at least the visible kind – are banned too. “Wearing visible facial jewellery including the piercing of noses, eyebrows, tongues and mouths is not acceptable when in uniform,” the guidelines state.

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