Estelle Hollingsworth, Chief People Officer at Virgin Atlantic, said: “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.”
The airline had previously prohibited its employees from displaying their tattoos. Uniformed employees had to either cover up visible tattoos with plasters or makeup, or request a special long-sleeved shirt instead of the standard short-sleeved version while on duty.
“But now, employees can show off their ink to the world, while still representing Virgin Atlantic in their uniform,” the airline said.
“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,” Virgin Atlantic’s Chief People Officer Estelle Hollingsworth said in a statement.
However, the easing of the ban does not extend to all types of tattoos.
Virgin said that face, neck, and head tattoos must remain covered for the time being, although it was currently reviewing that policy. Offensive tattoos are also required to be covered up.
In 2019, Virgin Atlantic dropped its make-up rule for female cabin crew, again becoming one of the first main airlines in the country to do so.
In 2021, United Airlines allowed cabin crew members to display their arm tattoos, nail polish and “natural looking” make-up.