Working for an airline requires adhering to a lot of rules, and not just for flight attendants.
People in other positions can have a hard time measuring up to strident dress code standards. Even common, socially acceptable hairstyles can get employees into trouble.
One former British Airlines employee is saying he was fired for sporting a trendy ‘do: the man bun.
Sid Ouared was training for a customer service role for a full two weeks with BA before he was terminated, The Sun reported. Ouared said he was told his hairstyle was against the dress code on the very last day of training. He claims that is what led his supervisors to dismiss him.
Ouared believes his termination is a case of discrimination. “According to them [the man bun] doesn’t comply with their uniform policy. The fact that they dismissed me for being a man with long hair is ridiculous and sexist,” he told The Sun.
“In a nutshell they pretty much dismissed me on the claims that my hair is like a 'girl's hair',” he told ITV News.
He says his supervisors offered him three alternatives if he wanted to keep his job with BA: cut his hair, put it in a turban, or wear dreadlocks.
Ouared is neither Sikh nor Rastafarian, so a turban or dreadlocks would be, in his opinion, inappropriate. And he was unwilling to cut his hair based on the principle that his previous employers have never had a problem with the length or style.
British Airways’ dress code states that men’s hairstyles must be “clean, tidy, well-groomed,” and “must not touch the shirt collar at the back or sides.” A neatly done man bun should resolve all these issues. However, there is one more requirement that could be used to restrict the male bun-wearers of the world: “Ponytails are only permitted to secure dreadlocks.”
Of course, women who wear their hair in buns are perfectly acceptable, even encouraged. Perhaps Ouared’s experience could be a jumping off point for a more open-minded dress code policy. In the meantime, he’ll hopefully find a more amenable place of work. Reps for British Airways said in a statement that they "do not comment on employment matters related to individuals."