The flight attendants’ union is complaining to the National Human Rights Commission to fight against rules that female flight attendants can’t wear trousers or glasses and that their nails have to be manicured.

Union head Kweon Soo-jeong said: “We understand that we have a certain image to pursue, but we believe that the most important function of our uniform is to assist our passengers.”

Asiana Airlines is famous for its impeccable cabin service – it won the World’s Best Cabin Staff Award at the 2011 World Airline Awards.

One Asiana flight attendant said: “There are many cases when we have to stand up and sit down in front of our passengers which makes it not only uncomfortable, but sometimes dangerous.”

Another said: “I hate wearing manicures all the time. They make my nails weaker and they break.”

Min Man-ki of Asiana Airlines said the uniform was based on the Korean traditional dress, hanbok, and that did not traditionally involve wearing trousers.

This isn’t the first backlash from South Korean flight attendants – last year Garuda Indonesia hopefuls accused the airline of inappropriately handling their breasts in medical examinations.

Virgin Atlantic flight attendants, who wear red skirts, were voted the industry’s hottest.

And Ryanair releases an annual cabin crew calendar of scantily clad female flight attendants.