Virgin Atlantic will allow cabin crew to display tattoos on their arms, becoming the first British airline to relax restrictions on visible body art.
“At Virgin Atlantic, we want everyone to be themselves and know that they belong. Many people use tattoos to express their unique identities and our customer-facing and uniformed colleagues should not be excluded from doing so if they choose,” Estelle Hollingsworth, Chief People Officer at Virgin Atlantic, said.
Virgin (VAH) said that face, neck, and head inkings must remain covered for the time being. However, the airline said it hopes to change this policy in the near future. Offensive tattoos are still required to be covered up.
Hollingsworth added: “That’s why, in line with our focus on inclusion and championing individuality, we’re relaxing our tattoo restrictions for all our people. We’re proud to be the airline that sees the world differently and allows our people to truly be themselves.”
In 2019, Virgin Atlantic dropped its make-up rule for cabin crew members, again becoming one of the first main airlines in the country to do so.
For years, flight attendants have been restricted to stringent dress code and appearance policy, including restrictions on tattoos. However, airlines across the globe are slowly introducing more flexible and relaxed policies. In 2021, United Airlines allowed cabin crew members to display their arm tattoos, nail polish and “natural looking” make-up.
Korean carrier Aero K has introduced gender-neutral uniforms for cabin crew. The airline presents itself as a progressive company that places fewer restrictions on the appearance of cabin crew, particularly for women.