Virgin Atlantic Overhauls its Tattoo Policy for Crew Members

Virgin Atlantic Overhauls its Tattoo Policy for Crew Members

May 31st was International Flight Attendant Day and widely celebrated with a trending hashtag. It was on this day Virgin Atlantic announced a major change to staff policy.

To mark the occasion Virgin have relaxed certain tattoo restrictions for cabin crew and uniformed colleagues.

This move they are claiming is set to be the first of any airline in the UK to make this kind of gesture

The airline’s values are centred on making the right things happen for the right reasons and providing experiences that make people feel safe, cared for and listened. They certainly aren’t averse to publicly putting the wishes and thoughts of their staff members in the public eye and have won lots of praise for doing so.


Only last month the carrier showcased their new branding campaign known as championing “inclusivity” that highlights the saying “I am what I am”. The relaxation in the tattoo policy is a natural continuation of this campaign.

In a requested media statement, Estelle Hollingsworth, chief people officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented on the policy change.

“At Virgin Atlantic, we want everyone to be themselves and know that they belong. Many people use tattoos to express their unique identities and our customer-facing and uniformed colleagues should not be excluded from doing so if they choose,” said Hollingsworth. “That’s why, in line with our focus on inclusion and championing individuality, we’re relaxing our tattoo restrictions for all our people. We’re proud to be the airline that sees the world differently and allows our people to truly be themselves.”

Up until May 31, 2022, Virgin Atlantic’s policies dictated that any uniformed employee was required cover up any visible tattoo with a long-sleeved shirt, plasters or makeup. (In May 2019, the airline also dropped its policy on requiring female cabin crew members to wear makeup and instead permitted them to wear trousers in place of skirts.)

Still, tattoos that are offensive must remain covered up. Neck, face and head tattoos also must still be covered. Yet an email from Virgin Atlantic on this announcement also said that “this is currently under review and we hope to change this policy in phase two.”

Virgin shared its news across their social media channels across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We’ll await to see these changes will have any impact across the rest of the airline industry, but in the meantime we at Inksurance applaud the changes being made 

by Virgin in allowing individuals to feel more like themselves and having their ink on display.

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