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

Given how far the world has come in the previous two decades in terms of tattoo acceptability, you’d think that there aren’t any businesses that still discriminate against inked people.

Unfortunately, there are still plenty, and aviation is near the top of the list.

Spirit Airlines maintains a strong position on the issue when it comes to US-based carriers.

If you’ve been thinking about becoming a flight attendant or perhaps a pilot, the latest Spirit Airlines tattoo policy, which we describe below, should put your mind at ease.

Spirit Airlines tattoo policy highlights

Spirit Airlines Tattoo Policy – All You Need to Know

To be honest, the news isn’t good for a lot of tattooed folks who want to fly the skies with Spirit.

Currently, the airline forbids its crew members from sporting visible tattoos while in uniform. Unfortunately, due to the rigorous nature of the policy, even ultra-small tattoos are not permitted, nor can they be concealed with cosmetics or a band-aid (some airlines are okay with this).

Male and female crew uniforms are, of course, slightly different. As a result, the limited tattoo locations will vary.

Allowed tattoo areas at Spirit Airlines
Allowed tattoo areas at Spirit Airlines

All Spirit Airline crew members are prohibited from having tattoos on their heads, necks, lower arms, or hands (as shown in the image above). Ladies must also be ink-free from the lower thighs down.

When it comes to the number of tattoos in hidden areas, Spirit has no regulations in place (as of now).

Long-Sleeves a Possibility

There is yet hope even if you have tattoos on the lower regions of your arm(s) or forearm(s).

Working with Spirit Airlines gives you the option of wearing long-sleeved or short-sleeved uniforms. If you choose the former, your tattoos will be concealed as long as they do not extend past the cuff of your shirt.

It’s important to realize that this does not guarantee employment with the airline. The ultimate decision is always at the discretion of management, and you may be asked about your tattoos during the interview process.

Spirit Airlines flight attendant
Spirit Airlines flight attendant. Credit: spirit.com

Furthermore, it is not certain that you will want to wear long-sleeved uniforms at all times. Remember that during summer months, it can get quite hot on board, and you may not be comfortable if you’re constantly sweating under long-sleeved clothing.

In other words, you’ll undoubtedly have to pull up your sleeves at some time, which will expose your tattoos.

More Relaxed US Airlines

The strict policy of Spirit Airlines is shared by most major US carriers (eg. American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest).

However, a handful is more receptive to tattooed flight attendants and pilots. Here are a few noteworthy examples:

  • Alaska Airlines & United Airlines – small visible tattoos are permitted as long as they are tasteful and do not surpass the size of the uniform badge
  • SkyWest – authorizes visible tattoos on a case-by-case basis, based on their size, significance, and placement

Reasons Behind the Strict Tattoo Policies

Why are aviation businesses, in general, so averse to tattoos?

The main reason is that airlines want their employees to maintain a professional and presentable appearance at all times. This includes during layovers and while staying at hotels.

In other words, they don’t want their staff running around town with half-naked bodies covered in ink. It’s not exactly the best PR strategy.

Another consideration is that some tattoos may be viewed as offensive by people of different cultures and religions. Since air travel frequently involves international destinations, it’s important to consider the feelings of everyone onboard (passengers and crew alike).

Lastly, there is always the potential that an airline could change its tattoo policy in the future.