Some of the tattoo lovers among you might wonder whether one of the most prominent jobs, Airline pilots, has any policy on having a tattoo? Might ask questions, namely, Can a pilot get a tattoo? Is there any obstruction? Or rules and regulations?

Well, Then, we are here to cover almost every answer you seek!

These days tattoos are seen almost everywhere, from Eastern to Western, from the Neolithic period and tribes to this modern age. The tattoo industry has also extended drastically, increasing the growing size of the tattoo community in recent years. So, the pilots and cabin crew community have not been left behind in this modern culture.

So, the million dollars question, Can an Airline pilot have tattoos?

The answer is yes!

A pilot can have tattoos beyond doubt. But different airlines have different policies so the rules may vary from airline to airline. Some airlines may allow small, not-so-visible tattoos since it is still seen as unprofessional in many professions. Yet, airlines following American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Delta Airlines, EasyJet, and Southwest Airlines allow their employees to have miniature or inconsiderable tattoos that are not that visible.

British airline Virgin Atlantic has welcomed to show off the crew member’s ink with the uniform. They have updated their recent policy and claimed to be the first UK airline to allow visible tattoos. Before the policy change, pilots had to keep their tattoos covered. To celebrate ‘International flight attendant day’ (July 12), they have posted images of the tattooed crew on Twitter, commenting they encourage their people to be themselves and that employees can exhibit their tattoos with pride.

Reason of having strict policies for tattoo

Although tattoos are taking place on pilots’ bodies and the guidelines are changing now and then, at some companies, tattoos are seen as unprofessional as they can be seen as a distraction, which might affect their customers negatively. Many passengers might not like it.

And pilots are universally respected as it is one the most highly skilled jobs with plentiful responsibility. All the passengers and crew depend on him to safely reach their destination. However, having a tattoo won’t stop you from fulfilling your duties. But, because of the maintenance of professionalism, airlines follow strict rules and regulations.

Can I Get a Tattoo- With the Dream of Becoming a Pilot?

As we mentioned earlier, despite some serious strict guidelines of airline companies, many allow you to have miniature inks, so you can also have tattoos. But, if the tattoo is too visible, hampering your professionalism, we suggest you reconsider!

It is better to have tattoos somewhere where they will not be seen easily- Such as inside your arm, upper thigh, side of your finger, torso, or back. Even though some allow it, we recommend not rushing into anything, as you can risk your dream job.

What If Someone Already Has a Tattoo?

And if you are already going for a pilot interview, then it is wiser not to mention your tattoo. However, if the tattoo is visible, try to remove it through lasering as it’s not painful or expensive.

But individuals who have inked on their ‘grey areas’ get the benefits, as their tattoos would always be covered. For example, a forearm tattoo can be covered up with long sleeves.

Some Distinguished Airlines Tattoo Policy

Till now (2022), the USA holds a total of 391 Domestic Airlines business, which has increased by 1.2% from the last year. Although we have already mentioned the names of some companies at the beginning, A few more policies of USA’s prominent airline’s companies are elaborated below:

  • Alaska Airlines: Alaska has its own rule regarding tattoos; they call it the “Badge Rule”(as the tattoo of their pilots or the attendants cannot hold ink bigger than their badge). They restricted the size and assured tattoos should not express violence, racism, or anything improper.
  • United Airlines: United Airlines has allowed tattoos on the arms, wrist, leg, and feet which would be already covered with a uniform, and the tattoo must be minimalist or small and not bigger than a credit card.
  • American Airlines: Although American Airlines is the number one domestic market share holder, the company forbids visible ink depending on the uniform design.
  • Delta Airlines: The policies regarding tattoos of this oldest company are the same as the other companies. They do not allow visible tattoos.
  • Southwest Airlines: The Company is acceptable with appropriately covered tattoos.     Other companies such as Allegiant Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Spirit, and so on follow the same rule.

An airline is a very conservative place, so if you are thinking of getting ink, consider the policies first, whether the company you are willing to work with has any restrictions. Many laser therapy specialists insist that the number of removers of troublesome tattoos is increasing because of professional goals. Some complications might occur, including pain, itchiness, swollenness, crusting, redness, and infection due to removing it, so it is wiser to educate yourself first before taking any step. Or the consequences of not getting the dream job or tattoo removal effects might take place.

Summary

As the days are passing on, the popularity of tattooing increases drastically. Especially in America, almost 46% of Americans, from teenagers to adults, bear at least one tattoo. In many jobs, tattoos are welcomed, as it expresses one’s taste in fashion, art, and self-expression. Jobs like fashion stylist, actor, model, website designer, and football players are completely safe with their career and having a tattoo. However, common employers like healthcare professionals, Police Officers, Teachers, Government workers, and many others are not allowed to have a tattoo as it is not professional. The same goes for airline employees. Pilots and crew must be aware of their appearance, as each company is sensitive entirely about their consumers, promising to give them the best service they ever could provide. So, following the rules and regulations is wiser, especially if you are applying for a pilot position. On some ends, we have learned that most airlines do not have any issues with tattoos until the tattoos are visible. Few companies, like Qatar Airways, are fully strict about having any tattoo, whether visible or not.

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