Virgin Atlantic Becomes First Global Carrier To Allow Cabin Crew To Show Off Their Tattoos

Ashley Hunte
A tattoo of a flower on a person's arm.
Unsplash | Eduardo Vaccari

For the longest time, while more and more people use ink to express their individuality and identity, workplaces have deemed tattoos "inappropriate" and "unprofessional." To the point where most tatted workers have to cover the art on their skin.

But that sort of attitude is beginning to soften in places, and more and more employers are doing away with strict tattoo rules.

Virgin Atlantic is the first airline to allow its workers to show off their tattoos.

Two airplane staff members smiling for the camera as their arm tattoos are clearly visible.
Virgin Atlantic | Virgin Atlantic

On the 31st of May, Virgin Atlantic announced their updated uniform policy, which allowed staff with tattoos on their arms to wear short sleeved shirts.

This comes a month after the airline's new campaign "championing individuality."

The Guardian writes that this change will greatly benefit anyone with tattoos on their arms, and while neck and face tattoos still remain banned, this could be changed in the future.

There are other rules that still apply to tattooed staff.

The back of a person's neck, showing tattoos on his neck as well as his hands.
Unsplash | Steven Erixon

For instance, any staff with tattoos deemed inappropriate (offensive language, nudity, drugs, etc.) will still have to cover their tattoos. Other than that, they're free to show their tattoos to passengers.

This isn't the first time Virgin Atlantic has changed up an outdated standard.

Virgin Atlantic flight crew dancing and giving thumbs up/clapping.
Giphy | Virgin Atlantic

Back in 2019, the airline scrapped the rule requiring female staff to wear makeup while on the job.

"The move was viewed as a significant change in an industry where female crew, particularly on the full-service international airlines, are still often trained in applying makeup to airline regulations," The Guardian wrote.

This move also comes in the wake of staff shortages across airlines around the world.

An airplane flying in a partially cloudy sky.
Unsplash | Kevin Woblick

In the wake of the pandemic, which saw thousands of airline staff laid off, airlines are working hard to hire more staff, especially since the demand for travel has gone up.

This change in the uniform will be appealing to anyone who wants to work in an airline who also happens to have tattoos.

A stock photo of a person with a tattoo sleeve.
Unsplash | Marc Kleen

Breaking down a barrier like this will definitely give Virgin Atlantic the edge over its competitors.

Many people are loving this change in policy.

The airline uploaded a TikTok earlier this week that shows off their uniform change, and the comments are overwhelmingly positive.

One user commented "loveeeee this! tattoos do not affect someone's ability to do their job!"

Others point out how this can be a great conversation starter while on a flight.

Nathan Fillion stammering and then putting his hand on his face.

"What an awesome talking point this would be. I'm a nervous flyer but having a chat with a crewmember about their tats would probably help calm me down," another user added.

And plenty of TikTok commenters were excited to have the chance to work as a cabin crew member.

A rainbow flag flowing against a blue sky.
Unsplash | Trey Musk

A user commented, "I’ve always wanted to be Cabin Crew, but been blocked cause I have a small tattoo on my wrist of a rainbow 🌈 now hopefully can follow my dream."

This move is sure to resonate with both staff and flight passengers.

A small child with balled fists, looking excited.
Giphy | CBS

In an announcement on the Virgin Atlantic website, they write, "Virgin Atlantic has always encouraged its people to bring their true selves to work and to the skies, and to take pride in what makes them special."

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!