what you need to know to pursue a career as a flight attendant 

If you’re considering a flight attendant career, you may wonder if a tattoo would impact your ability to qualify for flight attendant training and get hired as cabin crew.

Many national airlines have strict grooming standards, and those who want to participate in a flight attendant course and pursue a flight attendant career are required to adhere to airline policies.

Why do airlines have appearance/grooming standards for flight attendants?

It’s understandable why flight attendant schools and airlines hiring flight attendants have these requirements – the cabin crew is the face of the airlines. Airline steward/esses are the main points of contact between an airline and the passengers.

Flight attendants’ appearance is one of the first things noticed by customers, and it often leaves a lasting impression that affects the airline’s brand image.

Your flight attendant training will require that you adhere to a set of grooming standards, which helps ensure that the cabin crew is projecting a unified and professional image.

flight crew tattoo policy

No Visible Tattoos

For most US-based major airlines, tattoos cannot be visible when a flight attendant is in uniform. Many budget airlines, such as Spirit, Southwest, and Frontier, are also moving toward a stricter tattoo policy.

If you want to pursue a flight attendant career with international airlines, you may face more restrictions. For example, most airlines based in the Middle East won’t hire anyone with a tattoo.

If you have tattoos, one of the first steps to becoming a flight attendant is to understand each airline’s grooming standards so you can decide which opportunities to pursue or whether you’d need to have your tattoos removed before joining flight attendant school.

Have A Visible Tattoo?

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Airline Cabin Crew Tattoo Policies

Here are the policies of major US airlines regarding tattoos for cabin crew:

United airlines tattoo

United Airlines Flight Attendant Tattoo Regulations

According to United’s “Flight Attendant Uniform Appearance Standards,” tattoos must never be visible while you’re in uniform.

If your tattoo is on an area covered by the uniform, you’re not in violation of the flight attendant requirements. You can refer to the guidelines for the uniform designs to see if the available options are sufficient to cover your tattoos.

Delta airlines tattoo

Delta Airlines Flight Attendant Tattoo Guidelines

Per Delta’s Uniform and Appearance Guidelines, those seeking a flight attendant career with the airline aren’t allowed to have any tattoo that’s visible when wearing the cabin crew uniform (e.g., on the face, neck, hands, lower arms, or legs).

You can refer to Delta’s latest flight attendant uniform design to determine whether your tattoos violate flight attendant requirements.

American airlines tattoo

American Airlines Flight Attendant Tattoo Policies

Similar to United and Delta, American Airlines’ grooming standard for cabin crew forbids tattoos that are visible while in uniform.

To pursue a flight attendant career with the airline, refer to the latest uniform designs and see if your tattoos can be covered by the various options.

Jetblue airlines

JetBlue Flight Attendant Tattoo Requirements

According to a flight attendant training expert, JetBlue’s cabin crew aren’t permitted to have visible tattoos.

Again, you can look up the airline’s uniform design to see whether your tattoos can be covered by the garments. It’s also recommended that you wear clothing with similar coverage for your flight attendant job interview.

SOUTHWEST airlines tattoo

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Tattoo Regulations

Becoming a flight attendant with Southwest Airlines requires you to adhere to their flight attendant appearance standards, which state that “tattoos cannot be visible.”

However, tattoos are fine as long as they’re “appropriately covered by pants, long sleeve shirts, hair, makeup, or scarf.”

spirit airlines tattoo

Spirit Airline Flight Attendant Tattoo Guidelines

While there’s no tattoo policy in Spirit Airline’s employee handbook, information available on a career site indicates that tattoos must not be visible during interviews or when wearing the airline’s cabin crew uniform.

The airline’s uniform design is similar to those of most major airlines, and you should wear clothing with a similar level of coverage to your interview.

FRONTIER airlines tattoo

Frontier Flight Attendant Tattoo Policies

Per the airline’s guidelines, visible tattoos aren’t allowed while wearing the flight attendant uniform, even if covered by makeup, jewelry, or a bandage.

The policy prohibits tattoos in areas visible while wearing the cabin crew uniform, such as the face, ears, hands, wrists, and neck.

EMIRATES airlines tattoo

Emirates Flight Attendant Tattoo Guidelines

The airline’s regulation prohibits tattoos from being visible while in cabin crew uniform, and cosmetic and bandage coverings aren’t allowed.

On assessment day for your flight attendant training, you should wear an outfit that’s similar to the flight attendant uniform and follows the “no visible tattoo” policy.

Navigating Cabin Crew Tattoo Policies

Most major airlines have very similar “no visible tattoo” policies, and many consider covering up tattoos in visible areas with makeup or bandages insufficient for meeting the flight attendant requirements.

For some “grey areas,” such as lower leg or ankle, tattoos can be covered by wearing pants or dark stocking. If you have a tattoo on your arm, you can likely keep it as long as you’re willing to wear long sleeve garments, even during the summer.

Even when you’re not in-flight, your tattoos can’t show when you’re wearing the airline uniform or on duty (e.g., en route to the airport).

If you want to attend flight attendant school and pursue a flight attendant career, check that your tattoos aren’t visible while wearing the cabin crew uniform. If you have tattoos in highly visible areas, you may need to get them removed before becoming a flight attendant.

Still, Have A Visible Tattoo?

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Laser Tattoo Removal FAQs for Meeting Flight Attendant Requirements

Here’s what you need to know about tattoo removal if you decide to pursue a flight attendant career:

What’s laser tattoo removal?

Laser tattoo removal uses powerful lasers to break up the ink under the surface of the skin, turning them into smaller particles that can be flushed out by the lymphatic system. Unlike methods that use surface abrasion, laser tattoo removal targets the ink in the deeper skin layers so the tattoos can be removed permanently.

How long does tattoo removal take?

If you want to become a flight attendant and need your tattoos removed, you should plan for four to ten laser sessions spaced six to eight weeks apart. This is a safe interval so your skin can heal between sessions to prevent excess skin fatigue and scarring.

How much does laser tattoo removal cost?

The cost of the treatment depends on the tattoo’s size, location, and colors. It’s also affected by how old the tattoos are and how deeply the ink penetrated the skin.

Here at the Finery, we make it easy for you to budget your investment in meeting flight attendant requirements. You’ll get an estimate during your consultation, and you will pay this flat fee no matter how many sessions it takes.

Ready to pursue your flight attendant career? Don’t let your tattoos hold you back! Get your online evaluation today to see how we can help you adhere to flight attendant requirements and grooming standards.