Many industries and companies have made great strides in what is considered acceptable and unacceptable for employees to work in recent years.
Starbucks, for example, began allowing employees to dye their hair brightly colored a few years ago, while Walmart recently announced that it would begin testing a policy that would allow employees to wear any solid-colored shirt or blue jeans. to work.
However, one industry has maintained strict dress codes, especially the widespread ban on visible tattoos while wearing a uniform: the airline industry.
Virgin Atlantic took an important step this week to allow flight attendants to have visible tattoos while on the clock, including body art on their face, neck and hands.
The historic decision makes Virgin the first UK-based airline to rescind its non-tattoo policy, marking a change that could set a precedent for other airlines in the future.
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“At Virgin Atlantic, we want everyone to be themselves and know that they belong,” says Estelle Hollingsworth, Virgin Atlantic’s director of people. “Many people use tattoos to express their unique identities, and our uniformed, customer-oriented colleagues should not be excluded from doing so if they want to. That’s why, according to our focus on inclusion “By defending individuality, we are relaxing our tattoo. Restrictions on all of our people. We are proud to be the airline that sees the world differently and allows our people to be truly themselves.”
Airline uniforms are unorthodox to begin with, famous for their bright red tones for female crew members and a soft burgundy version for men.
Virgin Atlantic joins the United States airline to allow the tattoos to be visible during the clock after United reviewed its policy last spring.
The caveat, however, is that visible tattoos must be smaller than the employees’ work badge.
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Most other major U.S. airlines, including JetBlue, American Airlines, and Delta, do not allow flight attendants to have visible tattoos while in uniform.
Dubai-based Emirates Airlines also has a strict policy against visible tattoos while working.
Virgin Atlantic had a bad time during the pandemic, as the international airline was very successful due to travel restrictions and other Covid-19 related setbacks in the industry, and the company introduced protection against the bankruptcy of Chapter 15 in the summer of 2020.
Still, things appear to be on the rise for the airline after a strong first quarter of 2022, and flight levels are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels later this summer.
The airline is expected to go public this year.