Virgin Atlantic relaxes cabin crew tattoo ban to allow flight attendants to show ink

Virgin Atlantic cabin crew will now be allowed to display tattoos, after the British airline announced a relaxation of its policy ahead of a new recruitment drive.

The airline, founded by British billionaire Richard Branson, had previously banned uniformed employees from displaying their tattoos.

“But now employees can show their ink to the world, while representing Virgin Atlantic in their uniform,” the airline said on Tuesday, claiming to be the first UK carrier to allow visible tattoos.

Virgin Atlantic told Euronews Next that until today, uniformed workers either had to cover visible tattoos with plasters or make-up or request a special long-sleeved shirt instead of the standard version. short-sleeved while on duty.

“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 wish,” Estelle Hollingsworth, Human Resources Director of Virgin Atlantic . said in a press release.

“That’s why, in line with our goal of inclusion and championing individuality, we’re relaxing our tattoo restrictions for all of our employees.”

Neck and face tattoos prohibited

However, the relaxation of the ban does not extend to all types of tattoos.

The airline said neck, face and head tattoos must always be covered, although it is currently reviewing this policy. Offensive tattoos should also be covered up.

The news comes as Virgin Atlantic plans to hire 300 more flight attendants, at a time when airlines and airports are struggling to keep up with an increase in travel after months of COVID-19 restrictions.

Alongside the announcement, Virgin Atlantic posted messages of support to its employees on social media as part of International Flight Attendant Day.

“We have always encouraged our employees to be themselves, so starting today they can now show off their tattoos with pride,” the airline said in a tweet, posting photos of uniformed cabin crew with arm tattoos.

A traditionally glamorous role, flight attendants have always been expected to look well-groomed, with most airlines setting strict dress requirements for staff.

In 2019, Virgin dropped the requirement for female cabin crew to wear makeup.

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