Can I get a Job as Cabin Crew with a Tattoo?

Jul 8, 2018 | Cabin Crew

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(Last updated on: 12/10/2020)

Quite frankly, if they are visible (ie. appear outside of ears which would be covered by uniform), then the answer is no. People have hidden tattoos and been fired when they have been found out. They have also had them removed in order to get their job as Cabin Crew. 

Today I read an article on the Mail Online about a girl that had her hopes of being BA cabin crew ‘dashed’ when she was sent home from her assessment day for having a tattoo. This article made me really quite cross for a number of reasons;

a) Why should she appear in a newspaper article complaining that she feels being sent home is unfair when she simply to meet the essential criteria? If somebody did not get a job because they didn’t have a degree or an English qualification when these are listed as essential criteria, would they have a right to complain? Of course not!

Can I Get A Job As Cabin Crew With A Tattoo?

b) British Airways have very high grooming standards and a large tattoo on somebody’s foot would look unprofessional- they clearly state that tattoos are not allowed… why would Larissa assume that they would change the rules for her?

c) After the media hype with the recent show ‘A very British airline’ I can’t help but feel that she is simply ‘jumping on the band wagon’, with such an unsubstantiated complaint. Does she just want some media attention? I suspect so!

d) She does not demonstrate the initiative and intelligence that British Airways would require anyway. For example, she makes unsubstantiated suggestions that 8 out of 10 people on UK high streets have tattoos. I think this is a huge generalisation, with no proof of its validity, that is not applicable to this argument. This may well be the case in some parts of the country- but are the people who live there likely to fly BA? I do not believe that tattoos are a bad thing by any means, but in general, BA’s target market is not people that live in the areas whereby most people sport tattoos. British Airway’s ethos is very much luxury, style and traditional ‘Britishness’, which would not be represented by crew that are covered in tattoos.

Secondly, her intiative is not demonstrated. Did she not read online (where it is VERY CLEARLY stated) that she is not allowed tattoos? A number of cabin crew do, in actual fact, have tattoos (myself included), but they have the initiative to either have them done in a place that cannot be seen, they purchase a very good tattoo cover up product, or they undergo treatment to have them removed. Did Larissa not think any of these would be appropriate? Furthermore, if working as cabin crew was her ‘dream, job’, why did she even get the tattoo done in the first place? People don’t usually decide on their their ‘dream job’ over night. I teach many aspiring cabin crew at the college that I work at, and every single one of them is aware of the required grooming standards at UK airlines and that tattoos are unacceptable. So I find it very hard to believe that Larissa would not have been aware of this.

Thirdly, why would Larissa think that her tattoo would be ‘covered up’ when she wore tights? I can assure you that 15 denier tights do not cover anything up!

British airways tattoo

Larissa has demonstrated here that she did not meet the criteria to become British Airways cabin crew for a number of reasons, not only because of her tattoo, and it honestly angers me that she thinks she has the right to complain and act as if she has been victimised.

There are thousands of people that apply to become cabin crew each year, why would they hire anything less than the best? Does she ‘look the part’ for British Airways? I think not!

british airways does not look the part

What do you think on Larissa’s story? I’d love to hear your views, please comment below!

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1 Comment
  1. Ian

    Being ex cabin crew (QF) retired, I find Larissa’s complaint very attention seeking. Personally I don’t like tattoos but each person has the right to have them, but as cabin crew I think they should be hidden from the public. QF allowed males to have a couple of tattoos as long as not visible. If on upper arms the crew had to wear long sleeves, down, at all times when in uniform. I believe Air New Zealand Maori crew to wear traditional tattoos, probably the first airline to do so with cabin crew & front line staff.



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Hi, am Dr Hayley Stainton

I’ve been travelling, studying and teaching travel and tourism since I was 16. Through Tourism Teacher I share my knowledge on the principles and practice of travel and tourism management from both an academic and practical perspective.

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