Can Flight Attendants Have Tattoos?
Can a flight attendant have tattoos in 2002 or 2023? This is one of the most popular questions so many people ask before embarking on their flight attendant careers.
The answer, It depends on the airline.
Many airlines are coming around and are not as strict as they once were when it comes to tattoos.
With so many great reasons to be a flight attendant it’s no wonder you are asking, “Can flight attendants have tattoos?”.
Each airline has its own appearance standards and flight attendant requirements.
As an airline flight attendant, you are the company’s face—airlines like their customer-facing employees to adhere to strict appearance standards.
Gone are the days when flight attendants had to weigh in before a flight, but crew members still need to have certain standards met for their appearance.
The Flight Attendant Job Interview
When interviewing for a flight attendant position, it’s important to know what the airline tattoo policy is.
Before you even apply and submit your resume, make sure you can cover your tattoos for the interview.
When in doubt, show no visible tattoo for any flight attendant interview.
The competition for flight attendant jobs is fierce, so if you don’t already have a tattoo, my best suggestion is to hold off getting one until you are off of probation.
(New hire flight attendants have a probation period of six months to one year.)
If you already have a tattoo, you can work on covering it up for your interviews as an aspiring flight attendant. If you get invited to the training, tattoos will need to be covered as well as when you are in uniform.
Prep for the interview with The Flight Attendant Interview Study Guide Package
What Is A Visible Tattoo?
A visible tattoo is a tattoo that you can see while you are in uniform.
Airlines have appearance standards, and some airlines are stricter than others.
The No Visible Tattoo Policy:
Some airlines allow crew members to have tattoos as long as they are covered up in uniform, on the aircraft, or in the terminal.
Flight attendants can get away with discreet tattoos, not on the face, arms, neck, or hands that are easy to cover.
Airlines With A No Visible Tattoo Policy:
American Airlines – As an American Airlines flight attendant, no visible tattoos are permitted.
Delta Airlines – As a Delta Airlines flight attendant, no visible tattoos are permitted.
Frontier Airlines – As a Frontier flight attendant, no visible tattoos are permitted.
JetBlue – As a JetBlue flight attendant, no visible tattoos are permitted.
Spirit Airlines – Spirit Airlines does not permit cabin crew to have visible tattoos.
Southwest – As a Southwest Flight Attendant, no visible tattoos are permitted while in uniform.
Alaska Airlines Flight Attendant Tattoo Policy
Alaska Airlines has one of the least strict tattoo policies. They have the “badge rule,” meaning tattoos are not larger than your badge (which is about the size of a credit card.)
No tattoos are allowed on the face, neck, chest, or hands. In addition, no tattoos that are violent, racist, or sexist are allowed.
If your tattoos don’t meet those requirements, you can cover them up while in uniform with either your uniform pieces or makeup.
Alaska Air asks that you cover your tattoo if you are not comfortable talking about your tattoo because a passenger may ask you about it.
United Airlines Flight Attendant Tattoo Policy
Can United Flight Attendants have tattoos?
United Airlines is now allowing its flight attendants to have tasteful tattoos.
Tattoos are permitted on the arms, legs, wrist, and feet and must be no larger than a credit card.
There are no tattoos permitted on the face, hands, or neck for United Airlines flight attendants.
You can have one adjacent area of tattoos, no larger than a credit card (or your United badge which is the same size), visible on each arm/wrist and leg/foot.
Tattoos that are offensive to other employees or customers are not permitted. This includes violent, obscene, sexual, racist, or objectionable content and any imagery that includes weapons. United’s tattoo policy clearly states that “if you have any of this imagery please keep them covered by your uniform garments”.
Previously, United had a strict no visible tattoo policy in place.
United is now allowing nose piercings for all genders as long as it is a single stud no larger than 2mm.
SkyWest Flight Attendant Tattoo Policy
Visible tattoos are permitted with limitations based on dimension and location. Tattoos that do not fall within these guidelines must be covered by the uniform or with skin tone compatible tattoo makeup. Bandages are not an approved form of tattoo coverage. Offensive tattoos must not be visible.
Piercings SkyWest – Single stud nose piercing 2mm or smaller is allowed. Two piercings allowed per ear. Gauges must be plugged with clear or skin toned plugs and must not exceed ½”. Other facial, mouth, or tongue piercings are not permitted
What If I Have A Forearm Tattoo?
A question I get asked a lot is “Can I be a flight attendant with arm tattoos?” Most airlines have uniforms that include long sleeves. So if you can cover your forearm completely with makeup or you wear a long sleeve uniform, you will be set.
Many airlines don’t allow tattoos to be covered by bandages, so makeup and long sleeves are usually your only options.
Is It OK To Have A Wrist Tattoo?
A wrist tattoo could be considered visible unless you can cover it with a watch, makeup, or long sleeves.
All flight attendants must wear a watch, so it could be possible to cover a wrist tattoo with a watch.
If the wrist tattoo is the size of a credit card, you can get away with it at Alaska Air, provided the tattoo meets their criteria.
This type of tattoo is permitted by Alaska, SkyWest, and United Airlines as long as it is no larger than a credit card and is not considered “offensive”.
What About Piercings?
Airlines each have different grooming standards, and piercings are included in the grooming standards.
Airlines want their customer-facing employees to be conservative.
No airlines allow tongue piercings, but they all allow earlobe piercings for flight attendants.
Some airlines allow male flight attendants to have piercings as long as it is one stud per ear.
United Airlines is the one airline that I know of that is becoming more gender-neutral so the earring policy is the same for all genders, no guages are permitted and the earring sizes can be strict.
Because, earring sizes can be strict if you are interviewing remember to wear only one small earring in each ear, either a stud or a small hoop (dime-sized), which is usually acceptable for female flight attendants.
Some airlines are starting to become more progressive and allow nose piercings and Cartlidge piercings, but it varies from airline to airline.
Colored Nail Polish
Airlines are getting less picky about their flight attendants wearing colored nail polish as the years go by.
United Airlines now allows all genders to wear nail polish, and that’s quite a drastic change from how strict their appearance standards were in the past.
The colors of polish vary from airline to airline that is permitted. Neutral nail color for an interview is always a good idea.
How Can I Cover My Tattoos?
Long sleeves are great to cover your tattoos, but they can get hot.
Sometimes, when reaching into the overhead bins or working during the service, your sleeve may ride up, exposing your tattoo.
It’s nice that there is makeup that can get the job done with full coverage.
Do I Need Tattoo Removal?
Do I need to have my tattoo removed to be a flight attendant? That’s up to you.
If you are unhappy with your tattoo and would like to remove it, go for it.
If it’s difficult to cover or you don’t want to go through the trouble of using makeup to cover it, removal is an option.
Tattoo removal can be excruciating and time-consuming (They can take up to two years or more to remove!), but the pros still may outweigh the cons for some future flight attendants.
If you choose to go the route of tattoo removal, find a great tattoo removal specialist.
What About Flight Attendant Training?
At Flight Attendant Training, you will have to do ditching, which will require you to go into the pool. Ditching is a water evacuation.
Some aspiring flight attendants have been sent home from training for lying about having tattoos, and when then they went to training, the truth came out.
It’s best to be truthful and keep the tattoos covered so you don’t have the heartbreak of getting sent home.
It’s only a matter of time until all the airlines start allowing small, “tasteful” tattoos.
You will always need to cover any tattoos against company policy, but you don’t need tattoos to stop you from achieving your dream of being a flight attendant.
So there you have it. I hope I fully answered the question, “Can flight attendants have tattoos?” Did the answer surprise you?
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