Looking at what big steps the world has made in the last 2 decades regarding the acceptance of tattoos in societies, you’d think that by now there aren’t any industries that still discriminate against inked people.
Unfortunately, there are still quite a few and aviation is at the front of that list.
When it comes to US-based carriers, Hawaiian Airlines continues to have a strong stance on the subject.
If you’ve been considering joining their ranks as a flight attendant or even a pilot, the latest Hawaiian Airlines tattoo policy we discuss below should clear things up for you.
Hawaiian Airlines Tattoo Policy – All You Need to Know
Quite frankly, the news isn’t great for a large chunk of people with tattoos.
As things stand, the airline prohibits its crew members from having any visible tattoos while in uniform. Unfortunately, the strict nature of the policy means that even ultra-small tattoos aren’t accepted, nor can they be covered up with makeup or a band-aid.
Naturally, the crew uniforms are slightly different for males and females. Hence, the restricted tattoo areas will also differ.
As you can see in the image above, all Hawaiian Airlines crew members can’t have any tattoos on their heads, necks, lower arms, and hands. Additionally, ladies need to be ink-free from the lower thighs down.
On a brighter note, the airline doesn’t care about the number of tattoos its staff has, as long as they’re not visible while in uniform.
Can a Long-Sleeved Uniform Save You?
If you have tattoos on the lower parts of your arm(s) or forearm(s), there’s still some hope.
Working for Hawaiian Airlines, you have the right to choose between wearing long-sleeved and short-sleeved uniforms. If you go for the former, your tattoos will be hidden as long as they don’t peek out below the cuff of the shirt.
It’s worth remembering that this by no means guarantees getting hired by the airline. The final decision is always up to the management and you might be asked about your ink during the interview process.
Moreover, it’s not certain that you’ll be able to sport long-sleeved uniforms at all times. After all, you need to consider the tropical climate of Hawaii where temperatures often exceed 30°C (86°F).
In other words, you’ll probably have to roll up your sleeves at some point and that’s when your tattoos will become visible.
More Relaxed US Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines’ tattoo policy is very similar to most US carriers (eg. American Airlines, Southwest, Delta).
However, there are a few that are more accepting of inked flight attendants and pilots. Here are some notable examples:
- Alaska Airlines – allows small visible tattoos as long as they’re tasteful and don’t exceed the size of the uniform’s badge
- SkyWest – allows for visible tattoos on a case-by-case basis, depending on their dimension, meaning, and placement
- United Airlines – shares exactly the same approach as Alaska Airlines
Why Are Airlines So Strict?
As you can see, the Hawaiian Airlines tattoo policy is quite restrictive and doesn’t leave much room for maneuver.
The question is – why are US-based airlines so against visible tattoos?
Well, there are a few reasons that come to mind.
Airlines want their flight attendants and pilots to look professional and presentable at all times. This approach appeals to a wider range of customers, which in turn boosts profits.
In some cultures, tattoos are still seen as taboo. As such, having them on display might result in offending certain passengers, which no airline wants.
Some people simply don’t like the sight of tattoos (for various personal reasons). Again, this could lead to lost customers and profits.