American Airlines Tattoo Policy in 2023 (Flight Attendants & Pilots)

While it’s clear to see that the stigma around tattoos is fading, there are still many people who view them in a negative light. In fact, a recent study found that 1 in 3 Americans believe that having a tattoo can hinder their employment prospects.

With as many as reported 30% of adults in the United States sporting at least one tattoo, many industries were forced to relax their policies in recent years. The fact is, tattoos are becoming more and more commonplace, and employers are slowly catching on.

However, there are still some industries that remain staunchly opposed to body art. Certainly, air travel is one of them. While some airlines (eg. Virgin Atlantic) are pushing forward more acceptance for visible body art, others still have a super strict stance on the matter. Is American Airlines one of them?

If you’ve been thinking about starting the application process with American Airlines, it’s important to know their official stance on tattoos. This way, you can avoid any potential problems down the road.

So, does American Airlines allow tattoos? Let’s take a look.

American Airlines Tattoo Policy: All You Need to Know

As things stand, unfortunately, getting hired as an American Airlines flight attendant or pilot will prove to be a difficult task for many inked people.

One of the largest US carriers is still some way off from joining the likes of the aforementioned Virgin Atlantic in becoming more inclusive when it comes to staff with body art. That means a person working in the cabin or cockpit crew is not allowed any tattoos which are visible while wearing the American Airlines uniform. With that said, you are allowed to have as many tattoos as possible – as long as they’re not visible during flights.

Since the uniform is different for men and women, it’s worth mentioning the acceptable “ink areas” for each.

As you can see in the image below, the male crew isn’t allowed tattoos on the head, neck, arms, and hands. In addition to these restrictions, women working for American Airlines aren’t allowed to have any visible tattoos on their legs (from lower thighs to feet).

Allowed placement of tattoos at American Airlines

Allowed placement of tattoos amongst flight attendants

What’s more, even if you have small tattoos in the mentioned areas, covering them with make-up or band-aid is, unfortunately, not allowed (some airlines are fine with this solution).

Given that American Airlines is a company that still relies heavily on its traditional values, it’s unlikely that we’ll see any drastic changes to its tattoo policy anytime soon. So, if you’re planning on applying for a job with them, it’s best to keep your body art hidden. Otherwise, you might find yourself out of luck.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we’ve settled the matter of the current American Airlines’ tattoo policy, it’s time to take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions related to the subject. Find them below!

  • Is the tattoo policy at American Airlines the strictest?

Far from it. Just in the US, you have many carriers with the exact same requirements (eg. Delta or Frontier Airlines).

Globally, there are some with more extreme views. For example, Qatar Airways has a zero-tolerance policy – meaning you’re not allowed to have ink on any part of your body.

  • Do any airlines allow tattoos?

So, if American Airlines is so strict, what airlines are okay with tattoos?

As far as the US carriers are concerned, more relaxed policies can be found at Alaska Airlines, Skywest, and United Airlines. The trio offers the so-called badge/credit card rule, meaning you’re allowed to have single tattoos in visible spots as long as they are the size of your uniform badge or a credit card (or smaller).

  • Can American Airlines pilots have tattoos?

The same policy applies to pilots as it does to flight attendants. That means any tattoos which are visible while wearing the American Airlines uniform are not allowed.

  • Can I be a flight attendant with a sleeve tattoo?

As things stand, the only notable airline that allows such bold body art on display is UK’s Virgin Atlantic. We can expect more to follow suit in the coming years, however.

  • Why tattoos are not allowed on airlines?

The main reason behind this policy is that many airlines want to maintain a certain professional appearance. This way, they can avoid any potential negative feedback from customers who might not appreciate seeing inked staff members during their flights.

What’s more, some cultures still view tattoos as taboo, which is another factor that needs to be taken into account by international airlines.

  • How do flight attendants cover tattoos?

The most popular “trick” is the use of make-up or band-aids. For more extreme cases, laser tattoo removal might be the only solution.

More About American Airlines

American Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world, with approximately 6,700 flights per day to 350 destinations in over 50 countries. It is a founding member of the Oneworld airline alliance and is also the world’s largest operator of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

The airline was founded in 1930 as a consolidation of several smaller airlines  and has since undergone a number of mergers and acquisitions. American Airlines is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, and employs more than 130,000 people worldwide.

In 2019, American Airlines was the second-largest airline in the world by passenger traffic, with over 200 million passengers carried. It is also the largest airline by fleet size, with more than 950 aircraft in service.

American Airlines’ Tattoo Policy: Final Word

Overall, the tattoo policy at American Airlines is pretty strict. The company wants to maintain a professional appearance, and tattoos can be seen as a potential negative by customers.

If you’re thinking of applying for a job with American Airlines, it’s best to keep your body art hidden. In case you already have tattoos in the “banned areas”, the only solution is to get them removed.

Do you have any other questions about American Airlines’ tattoo policy? Let us know in the comments below!