Cabin crew on Virgin Atlantic flights will no longer have to cover their tattoos on arms or legs to go to work. The policy change means they won’t have to wear a special uniform to hide their body art.
Previously, any employee in uniform had to wear a long-sleeved shirt, plasters or make-up so that their tattoos were not visible.
As short-sleeved shirts are uniform, a special shirt had to be requested.
The airline said that tattoos on the head, face and neck will still need to be covered up, although this policy is under review and could change too in phase two of the changes.
Any offensive tattoos must also remain covered up. The airline tweeted today: ‘Happy International Flight Attendants Day. Today we’re championing our wonderful cabin crew’s dazzling collection of individuals.
‘We’ve always encouraged our people to be themselves, so from today, they can now show their tattoos with pride.’
They shared photographs of some of their cabin crew who have tattoos, including one inking of an aeroplane in silhouette.
Many praised the decision, with one responding to the tweet: ‘I care about the friendly, professional service that I have always received @VirginAtlantic and not what someone looks like.
Allowing you flight attendants to be themselves is fresh air.’ Another said: ‘It is a shame tattoos were (and still are) stigmatised in the industry, but I am happy to learn Virgin Atlantic is bucking the trend and allowing their flight attendants to have them without hiding them now.’
However, some took exception, such as one man who wrote: ‘It’s a no from me. The crew are there primarily for our safety, not to display their body art.’
Estelle Hollingsworth, chief people officer at Virgin Atlantic, said: ‘At Virgin Atlantic, we want everyone to be themselves and know 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.
‘That’s why we’re relaxing our tattoo restrictions for all our people in line with our focus on inclusion and championing individuality.
‘We’re proud to be the airline that sees the world differently and allows our people to truly be themselves.’