One week ago, ticket agent Teresa Fischette asked the chairman of Continental Airlines to let her keep her job without having to wear makeup as required by a new grooming code. Harris Hollis never acknowledged her letter.

But on Wednesday, after Fischette's firing gained enormous publicity and women's groups began picketing Continental, Hollis relented."In retrospect, we just admit we made a mistake," he said. He added that the grooming code would be suggested, not mandatory.

Fischette, 38, said she would probably accept the offer to take her part-time job back with lost pay.

"I want to feel I can go back to my job and operate in good faith," she said after toasting her victory with champagne at the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union.

"It wasn't just a victory about makeup. This was about company prerogative and personal choice."