Given how much acceptance of tattoos has advanced over the past 20 years, one may assume that there wouldn’t be any businesses that still discriminate against the tattooed community.
Unfortunately, there’s still a long way to go before we could say that all industries are equally accepting of those with tattoos. Certainly, one of the “bad guys” is the aviation industry.
One of the US carriers that maintains a firm stance on the subject is Envoy Air.
If you’ve been considering a job as a flight attendant or pilot, you should probably get familiar with the recent Envoy Air tattoo policy.
Envoy Air Tattoo Policy – All You Need to Know
Many tattooed people who desire to fly with Envoy Air have bad news coming their way.
Currently, the airline restricts its staff members from sporting tattoos while donning the crew’s uniform. Unfortunately, even little tattoos are prohibited, and they cannot be covered up with cosmetics or a band-aid (some airlines are okay with this).
Men’s and women’s crew uniforms are different. As a result, the tattoo limitations also differ slightly.
Both male and female cabin and cockpit staff are prohibited from having tattoos on their hands, lower arms, heads, or necks, as seen in the graphic above. Ladies must also be free of tattoos from their lower thighs down.
As a minor positive, Envoy doesn’t have any limits regarding the number of tattoos – as long as they are well-hidden.
Long-Sleeved Shirts an Option
Fortunately, there’s still light at the end of the tunnel even if you have lower arm/sleeve tattoos.
When working for Envoy Air, you have the option of long sleeves or short sleeves. If you go with option 1, your tattoos will be hidden as long as they don’t go past the cuff of your shirt.
Realize that this does not guarantee a job with the airline. During the interview process, you might be questioned about your tattoos, and management has the right to make the ultimate judgment.
Realistically, you’ll probably need to cuff your sleeves at some point, exposing your tattoos which can land you in hot water.
Some US Airlines Allow Tattoos
The majority of US airlines adopt the same strategy as Envoy (eg. Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian Airlines).
However, other airlines are more accepting of tattooed pilots and flight attendants. Here are a few notable examples:
- Alaska Airlines and United Airlines allow small, visible tattoos as long as they are tasteful and do not exceed the size of the uniform badge
- SkyWest assesses each visible tattoo individually, considering its size, relevance, and placement
Reasons Behind the Tough Stance
You might wonder – why so many airlines clearly hate tattoos?
There are several likely reasons:
- The airlines want to maintain a “professional” and “neat” appearance. This is especially important for US carriers who want to be seen as upstanding companies.
- There’s a fear that passengers will be turned off by tatted-up staff members. This is especially true for older generations who often view tattoos as taboo.
- Some visible tattoos can be seen as offensive by passengers who disagree with them. “Risky” tattoos include those that are political, religious, or sexually explicit.
- Tattoos can be distracting, and some people argue that they could potentially interfere with a crew member’s ability to do their job effectively.
At the end of the day, it’s up to each airline to decide whether or not they want to allow tattoos. Some carriers are more lenient than others, but the general trend seems to be moving towards a more restrictive stance.
If you’re dead-set on working for a particular airline, it’s best to do your research ahead of time and make sure you’re aware of their tattoo policy. That way, you won’t waste your time (and money) getting inked up only to find out that you don’t meet the requirements.