Alaska Airlines Updates Employee Appearance Standards, Adds Pronoun Pins

Alaska Airlines Updates Employee Appearance Standards, Adds Pronoun Pins

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Alaska Airlines has this week adjusted employee appearance standards to be more inclusive, and has given employees the option of wearing pronoun pins. Let’s go over the full details of what has changed.

Alaska Airlines’ more inclusive appearance standards

As of Monday, March 28, 2022, Alaska Airlines has adjusted appearance standards for employees. These new guidelines were designed in partnership with employees, and are intended to provide more freedom and flexibility in individual and gender expression.

With Alaska Airlines’ updated policy:

  • Fingernail polish, makeup, two earrings per ear, and a single stud nose piercing are expression options available to all employees
  • Grooming policies have been updated to allow tattoos in more locations, and there are more hair style options
  • The airline is working on developing new, gender-neutral uniform pieces for frontline employees, in collaboration with Seattle designer Luly Yang; uniforms will be focused on fit vs. gender identification
All Alaska Airlines employees will be allowed to wear nail polish

As James Thomas, Alaska Airlines’ Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, describes this:

“I know firsthand what it feels like not to be seen, heard or able to bring your authentic self to work. When I’ve experienced this, it didn’t feel great and honestly made it hard to come to work every day during those times, or to deliver my best work. Our employees, guests and communities we serve have my commitment we are going to keep listening and pushing ourselves to be better.”

Alaska Airlines’ new pronoun pins

Going forward, Alaska Airlines employees will have the choice of wear pins with their preferred pronouns, whether it’s he/him/his, she/her/hers, or they/them/theirs. The airline is also working on enabling guests to have the option to choose their personal pronouns while booking travel, and that’s expected to be rolled out by the end of 2022.

Alaska Airlines is rolling out employee pronoun pins

As Isaac, a lead customer service agent in Washington D.C., describes this development:

“I answer to all pronouns. I accept he/him/his, she/her/hers, and they/them/theirs. I feel that there has been greater awareness and sensitivity to personal pronouns, and I love that. But I’m also cognizant that changes take time and I want our society to feel comfortable with how they view and communicate with me.” 

Isaac, an Alaska Airlines customer service agent

Alaska Airlines’ update about these changes has quotes and stories from all kinds of employees, so it’s worth a look. That includes this story:

Eager to always live their best life, Jason, an Alaska flight attendant by day and drag star by night, says the best thing a person can do when they don’t understand someone is to treat them with kindness and put themselves in their shoes. 

Jason shared they chose to come out at their senior prom. They slipped on a dress while their mom was out of the house and went to the dance. There, they were called a disgrace and accused of seeking attention. “I didn’t do it to make anyone uncomfortable or to be the first,” Jason said. “I did it for me, and that’s all that matters.” 

Jason says while the uniform changes are very positive, they also appreciate and look forward to the company’s support if faced with adversity among peers or guests who may find it difficult to see them wearing nail polish.  

Jason, an Alaska Airlines flight attendant

Bottom line

Alaska Airlines has just updated its appearance standards for employees, to allow more freedom and flexibility in individual and gender expression. This includes allowing visible tattoos, nail polish, makeup, earrings, nose piercings, etc. Furthermore, employees now have the option of wearing pronoun pins, so that they can be addressed by their preferred pronoun.

It’s no secret that a lot of frontline airline employees in the United States don’t take much pride in their appearance. Personally I’m excited at the prospect of seeing more people being able to express themselves, because hopefully it makes them more motivated to put their best foot forward.

And for anyone who is offended by someone else’s (non-offensive) tattoo or nail polish, try to be a little bit more open-minded…

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  1. Goforride New Member

    Alaska Airlines doesn't really give a rip about what the ACLU thinks. This is all about the never ending labor shortage in Seattle, where by far most of these employees work, as well as Portland and San Francisco.

    Because of minimum wage laws passed by the City of Sea-Tac where the airport is located, people driving the shuttle buses to the rental car facility make almost as much as Alaska Airlines customer contact employees.

    The...

    Alaska Airlines doesn't really give a rip about what the ACLU thinks. This is all about the never ending labor shortage in Seattle, where by far most of these employees work, as well as Portland and San Francisco.

    Because of minimum wage laws passed by the City of Sea-Tac where the airport is located, people driving the shuttle buses to the rental car facility make almost as much as Alaska Airlines customer contact employees.

    The reality is that real-dollar wages for customer contact airline employees have fallen steadily for a generation, meaning that airlines no longer can be as choosy aboout whom they hire. These jobs used to be solid family wage jobs. That hasn't been the case since ultra low cost airlines rose on one side and airlines were burdened with leveraged buyouts and 9/11 on the other.

    Now, airlines, particularly in Seattle, are fishing in the same labor pool as Target and Home Depot for employees. So if making their employees be a global industry laughing stock gets some labor who doesn't think they have to meet the established standards, that's a small price to pay.

    The idea that Alaska Airlines wants you to bring your "authentic self to work" is nonsense. They only want you to do that if your authentic self is woke.

  2. David Guest

    The left is practically dislocating their shoulder, patting themselves on the back for nominating a black woman to the Supreme Court. Yet none of you can define what a woman is. You don't see the irony in that??

  3. Nancy Guest

    I think this is a wonderful step forward for all employees. Now if only the rest of the country /world would get on board.

  4. Marston Gould Guest

    What I find amazing are all of the people out there who make comments such as "we con't care about the workers expression of themselves" or "there are only two genders, I don't care what people think."

    These types of close-minded perspectives demonstrate is that there are still a significant number of people out there who have no problem de-humanizing and/or disenfranchising other people or believe they have some birthright to enforce their views...

    What I find amazing are all of the people out there who make comments such as "we con't care about the workers expression of themselves" or "there are only two genders, I don't care what people think."

    These types of close-minded perspectives demonstrate is that there are still a significant number of people out there who have no problem de-humanizing and/or disenfranchising other people or believe they have some birthright to enforce their views on others. Wake up, those days are long gone. I salute Alaska Airlines for working towards a greater inclusiveness - and in particular - the allowances towards indigenous American employees who are heavily represented at Alaska Airlines with their presence in Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico and elsewhere.

  5. Dbk Guest

    If you are not comfortable addressing a flight attendant by their preferred pronoun then simply drop the pronoun and only say "excuse me, do you have ginger ale?" or if you want to get under their skin you only have to address them as flight attendant as in "excuse me flight attendant, do you have ginger ale?".

  6. Karen Guest

    I so appreciate Alaska Airlines for allowing employees to express their individualism in this way. Forward thinking and yet overdue!

  7. Bob Guest

    They need to upgrade or add additional servers as they have been unavailable for online registration for mileage plans for the past week.

    1. Marston Gould Guest

      You realize that like most companies, Alaska hasn't self-hosted for more than a decade. That's simply not how it works anymore.

  8. Stella Taug Guest

    Freedom.
    Respect for each individual.
    Alaska Airlines, you get 5 Gold stars for your forward- thinking policies! Bravo
    Stella Taug
    Juneau.

    1. Karen Guest

      I so appreciate Alaska Airlines for allowing employees to express their individualism in this way. Forward thinking and yet overdue!

  9. CMorgan Guest

    As someone who lives in Alaska and has flown more than a million miles with them all I can say is : What a joke! Instead of spending money on this nonsense why not give the employees a raise or spend the money on some worthwhile cause. The dumbing down of America continues!!!

    1. Marston Gould Guest

      Long gone are the days when we can just treat workers as replaceable and disrespect their humanity. You need to educate yourself. A significant portion of society has been made to feel like they are lesser for a very long time. Throwing money at a cause or even paying them more doesn't give companies the right to tell their employees to shut up and go away and just do as they are told. Alaska is...

      Long gone are the days when we can just treat workers as replaceable and disrespect their humanity. You need to educate yourself. A significant portion of society has been made to feel like they are lesser for a very long time. Throwing money at a cause or even paying them more doesn't give companies the right to tell their employees to shut up and go away and just do as they are told. Alaska is learning that how you treat your employees matters and that is just a smart business and cultural decision.

  10. Steven E Guest

    I think a corporation sets a certain standard geared towards their clientele and where they wish to position themselves in the industry - Having just flown a long haul US carrier I was appalled to see their standard of dress - all of them looked as though they worked for a fast food company - people will always push the envelope and take things to the next level and it always seem to point downward

  11. UA-NYC Diamond

    Must be really hard to be a Right-wing troglodyte living in 2022, when all they wish for was 1950 and where POC and LGBTQ people were beneath them, in the shadows, as second class citizens

    It's a bloody pin you mouth-breathers.

    1. Sel, D. Guest

      …and there’s also a middle ground, where we want everyone to be equal without the coddling and identity capitalism (while breathing through our nose nostrils). I hope all of the virtue signaling FAs wear the pins as “brave allies” and the trans and non-binary FAs decline to because it’s a tad silly. Just be you, we don’t need to start LITERALLY labeling ourselves.

    2. UA-NYC Diamond

      They still wear a uniform, not unclear they are Alaska employees - a bit of nail polish and a pin offend you? Make you think they can't do their jobs?

    3. Sel, D. Guest

      The FA could be wearing ONLY nail polish and I wouldn’t care. You clearly don’t understand a moderate stance.

    4. Marston Gould Guest

      Companies are very aware of the fact that hiring and keeping employees is going to be a critical success factor going forward, particularly as the supply for a workforce in the United States is predicted less than demand. Employees are waking up to the fact that they have choices. Customer service is hard. Hiring great customer service employees is extremely hard. Helping your employees to feel good about their jobs and who they are in...

      Companies are very aware of the fact that hiring and keeping employees is going to be a critical success factor going forward, particularly as the supply for a workforce in the United States is predicted less than demand. Employees are waking up to the fact that they have choices. Customer service is hard. Hiring great customer service employees is extremely hard. Helping your employees to feel good about their jobs and who they are in their roles will lead to better attraction and retention of employees and that's just good business sense. Without these employees, companies like Alaska wouldn't be able to grow and serve the customers they do today. Creating an inclusive company is just good business sense and if it makes a few customers feel uncomfortable, they can go elsewhere.

    5. John Guest

      @UA-NYC

      I assume, but cannot actually prove you are a 'mature' and somewhat educated adult; although your rant seems to belie that tenuous assumption. To the point: you and your kind are the reason why we can't hold respectful discussions. 'Stop. Breathe. Think. Speak.' It will do wonders for your personality.

    6. Mr. Obvious Guest

      Hahaha... Oh to see the look on your liberal face if Trump would have come forth with a proposal that everyone should wear a pronoun pin. OMG... The racial hate comments amongst others he would have gotten. Oh no, it's okay though for a woke company to do this. Hypocrites, each and every one.

      Does UA stand for United Auto-Workers?

    1. Cmorgan Guest

      As usual UA-NYC is spouting out his PC garbage. Go troll somewhere else. It is just a pin after all.

    2. UA-NYC Diamond

      Happy to spout "PC garbage" to a demonstrable racist...yeah I have seen your posts across the travel blogs, chump

  12. SeaNorse Guest

    I don't know how this matters to passengers, it seems like a internal issue how they address each other.

  13. Kevin Guest

    On another sad note, Alaska has dropped "Dude Looks Like a Lady" by Aerosmith from consideration for their new theme song.

  14. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Gold

    Thought 1: How long are these pins optional for employees? How long until the airline forces people to pick a pin, hence forcing them to participate in this pronoun concept that is born directly out of a war on truth?

    Thought 2: If an FA who is obviously a male but has a She/Her pin on - thinking Lia Thomas the swimmer here - isn't called by his "preferred pronoun," will he cop an attitude...

    Thought 1: How long are these pins optional for employees? How long until the airline forces people to pick a pin, hence forcing them to participate in this pronoun concept that is born directly out of a war on truth?

    Thought 2: If an FA who is obviously a male but has a She/Her pin on - thinking Lia Thomas the swimmer here - isn't called by his "preferred pronoun," will he cop an attitude on a customer who merely says "he" or "Mr.", terms that for centuries were innocuous or a non-event AND TRUE, and try to have that customer removed from the plane, perhaps even arrested, for failing to obey flight crew?

    This will almost assuredly result in confrontations between employees and customers, not for fights or even disobeying a mask mandate, but for a customer merely - and probably even politely - saying a truthful pronoun or title. This is a microcosm of the problem this agenda poses to society at large - it has a reasonably expected path, based on experience and observation, to persecution of the mainstream by those who take their demands for special treatment and redefinition of objectivity, to soaring heights, not to mention those seek to use for a far larger disruption of societal order of the majority that can serve a very dangerous future for society. Undermining truth and making it subjective, while silencing any dissent to that, is a part of how a society moves toward an authoritarian state....or moves further down The Road to Serfdom.

    1. henare Diamond

      but if you know what a person wants to be called then why would you choose to argue with that?

      you aren't the arbiter of someone else's truth.

    2. Mh Diamond

      If it's "someone else's" then it's not really the truth.

      Why would you choose to create a conflict by allowing alternate "truths" as you put it.

    3. robbo Guest

      #trump2024 will sort this pissant stuff out, go woke somewhere else Jathon sweetheart... focus on your damn job and the customers, you are a steward on a plane sweetheart, the same as a waiter in a restaurant, get over yourself, we don't care what you think petal, just get me a drink #giveyourselfanuppercut

    4. Aaron Guest

      Wow, you really are a triggered little thing, aren't you.

    5. Marston Gould Guest

      Let's talk about truth shall we.

      First off, it is biologically (e.g. scientifically) incorrect to believe that gender can neatly be broken into two categories, male and female. From both a physiological and genetic standpoint, gender is a spectrum just as no two people are ever exactly identical. This has been a scientific fact well documented for centuries.

      The authoritarianism in our society isn't the recognition of this, the authoritarianism is and has...

      Let's talk about truth shall we.

      First off, it is biologically (e.g. scientifically) incorrect to believe that gender can neatly be broken into two categories, male and female. From both a physiological and genetic standpoint, gender is a spectrum just as no two people are ever exactly identical. This has been a scientific fact well documented for centuries.

      The authoritarianism in our society isn't the recognition of this, the authoritarianism is and has been when the imposition of a white, generally male, paternalistic, misogynistic and/or transmisogynistic society, believing they have some birthright, to tell and impose on other people how their humanity should be defined. Education works both ways and the simple binary, simplistic and simpleton view of gender has been indoctrinated through a false mythology for about as long as time itself.

      Furthermore, if customers believe they have the right to be disrespectful to a companies employees when they don't like how that employee presents themselves just because they fork over a few dollars to their employer, they will quickly find themselves unable to access our economy.

  15. Mr. Obvious Guest

    Ben lights these little fires and then must just sit back and watch the comments roll!!

    There used to be a saying that what you do outside of work is your prerogative and was really no business of the company, unfortunately the woke society that has been created is pushing companies to take sides politically and this is becoming really dangerous. Personal freedoms and opinions are being attacked, all in the name of tolerance and inclusiveness.

    1. UA-NYC Diamond

      Funny how it's only the Far Right and their hate speech that causes the issues, and then it's the same people who get triggered when any company talks about DEI

    2. CMorgan Guest

      Yes UA-NYC ( poster child for the DNC) it’s always about the far right now isn’t it? Surprisingly you haven’t mentioned our former presidents name in this blog. I am sure you will eventually get around to it.

    3. UA-NYC Diamond

      Haven't in a while, it's only lemmings like you who are fascinated with the soon-to-be-convict and feel the need to slurp him every chance you get

    4. Aaron Guest

      You using woke as a pejorative says more about you than the people you are trying to insult. And none of it good.

    5. david Guest

      UA-NYC is so easy to trigger it's not even a challenge. Do like most. Light the fools fuse then sit back and enjoy the the display of insanity.

  16. Drew Guest

    Alaska’s corporate culture has changed quite a bit. I recall when they had prayer cards with the meals.

    Diversity & equity is a big topic in the workplace, at least at any large West Coast-centric company. I’m sure it’s important to some of their employees. Happy employees make for happy customers, right?

    1. henare Diamond

      Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are big topics throughout the US ... it's not just a west coast thing.

  17. CB Guest

    As a gay man I certainly feel we need to generally be as inclusive of a society as we can be. It stops there though. When someone comes to work they are getting paid to render a service and represent the company in a professional manner, which is one of the main points of having a uniform [appearance].

    Outside the workplace you can be who you are and *request* others to acknowledge you accordingly....

    As a gay man I certainly feel we need to generally be as inclusive of a society as we can be. It stops there though. When someone comes to work they are getting paid to render a service and represent the company in a professional manner, which is one of the main points of having a uniform [appearance].

    Outside the workplace you can be who you are and *request* others to acknowledge you accordingly. That includes pronouns, tattoos, piercings, whatever. But unless you work at an establishment where it’d be considered appropriate (bar, club, social event, etc.) leave it at the door when you come to work.

    1. Marston Gould Guest

      So basically what you are suggesting is that people who will likely spend 1/3rd of their adult life in the workforce should just shut up and do as they are told because you, the customer, don't care about their humanity. They should just be willing to be treated as if they really don't matter as individuals because they get a paycheck and that should be good enough, right? They can be people during their off...

      So basically what you are suggesting is that people who will likely spend 1/3rd of their adult life in the workforce should just shut up and do as they are told because you, the customer, don't care about their humanity. They should just be willing to be treated as if they really don't matter as individuals because they get a paycheck and that should be good enough, right? They can be people during their off time.

      I'm guessing you don't know very much about the cost of employee acquisition and retention and how that cost is only going to rise as the demand for workers exceeds supply.

      The attitude that we can just disregard each other's humanity is the root cause of a lot of what's wrong in our society - both historically and today.

      Many younger workers are learning - particularly since many companies have treated those that came before so badly for so long - that they really work for themselves and if an employer wants them to work there, then they need to treat them with dignity, respect and appreciation. Otherwise, they will just go somewhere else.

    2. Lexi Guest

      Many well paying, white collar jobs do not care about tattoos or piercings and respect pronouns and chosen names. I work in the financial industry in a relatively conservative state and the companies who care are far fewer than the companies that don’t. My point here is that to the majority of the population, these things are no longer considered unprofessional. It’s taken service oriented positions a long time to make changes and I’m glad...

      Many well paying, white collar jobs do not care about tattoos or piercings and respect pronouns and chosen names. I work in the financial industry in a relatively conservative state and the companies who care are far fewer than the companies that don’t. My point here is that to the majority of the population, these things are no longer considered unprofessional. It’s taken service oriented positions a long time to make changes and I’m glad they aren’t being held to an outdated standard anymore.

  18. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    Despite what some people think, there are only two genders: Male and female. Men are men. And women are women. Period.

    1. Dan Guest

      What a hurtful, ignorant stance. Maybe talk to a non cisgender person (trust me, it’s worth the effort) and just listen to them, without judgment. You may not change your mind but hopefully you’ll emerge more understanding and compassionate.

    2. Mr. Obvious Guest

      FNT states an absolute fact and Dan pulls the "ignorant-hurtful" card right out of the gate. No dialogue, no discussion, no other context requested from FNT, simply just ignorance on Dan's part. FNT made no judgements in his statement, he stated truth. Cisgender (non-cisgender) is referencing an identity and expression. At birth you are ASSIGNED a gender (whether you like it or not). If when you become older you consciously decide to identify as a...

      FNT states an absolute fact and Dan pulls the "ignorant-hurtful" card right out of the gate. No dialogue, no discussion, no other context requested from FNT, simply just ignorance on Dan's part. FNT made no judgements in his statement, he stated truth. Cisgender (non-cisgender) is referencing an identity and expression. At birth you are ASSIGNED a gender (whether you like it or not). If when you become older you consciously decide to identify as a dog or cat then you are non-cisgender. Stop throwing your intolerant stones at others.

    3. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Gold

      The untruth around this entire transgender issue was running through my mind as I read a section in F.A. Hayek's "A Road to Serfdom" last night on how the undermining of truth is a key part on the road to an authoritarian society. This is would align to general authoritarian political views of those who are strong proponents of the transgender movement. This war on truth is far bigger than this one issue and we may already be past the societal tipping point.

    4. Marston Gould Guest

      That is ignorant on so many levels, but in particularly biologically. In fact, your statement is full of several formal logical fallacies including an appear to ignorance, false dichotomy and hasty generalizations, just to name a few.

      It's not as if a piece of paper with some societal assignment changes ones biology - and the assumption that everyone is just 100% male or 100% female is just scientifically incorrect.

    5. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Gold

      Sometimes truth is harsh and can hurt people. But as we slip closer to a post-truth society - which pose very broad-ranging societal problems - pushing back on untruth is becoming less and less optional.

    6. Marston Gould Guest

      Push back can come in many forms. Those based on evidence and facts will in the long run prevail. Those based on mythology - such as the belief that gender is a simple binary physiological assignment - are falling by the wayside because the mythology doesn't hold up. That it changes people to re-learn the realities of the world and can make them feel uncomfortable is more a reflection on their education of expectations than anything else.

    7. Vinod Guest

      @ FNT Delta Diamond - Well said!

      God created Man and Woman

    8. UA-NYC Diamond

      May help to educate yourself a bit: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/10/its-intersex-awareness-day-here-are-5-myths-we-need-to-shatter/#:~:text=Myth%202%3A%20Being%20intersex%20is,people%20born%20with%20red%20hair.

  19. Sam Guest

    I'm glad that they're given the choice to wear the pins or not. Smart move by AS on that front.
    If this policy doesn't apply to you as a customer, then you should probably focus on those "more important things". Not your dog. Not your fight.

    1. Max Guest

      I as a customer greatly care about the persons maintaining&flying the plane to be healthy professionals. And not some sick confused bunch with severe problems that might impact their ability to safely operate the plane.

    2. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Gold

      How long until they force these pins on employees, i.e. force them to participate in this anti-truth paradigm?

    3. UA-NYC Diamond

      God it must really hurt to be so ignorant

    4. Canadian Platinum Guest

      This pronoun stuff too shall pass. Flavour of the year or decade?

  20. Jeb Guest

    I think this is great AS is trying their best to allow their staff to express themselves in ways that are appropriate. It says a great deal especially being that Alaska is one of the most conservative states socially & politically. This speaks volumes about how much they care about their employees and wanting them to feel safe & comfortable in the workplace.

    My only concern is with the huge rise of passengers misbehaving &...

    I think this is great AS is trying their best to allow their staff to express themselves in ways that are appropriate. It says a great deal especially being that Alaska is one of the most conservative states socially & politically. This speaks volumes about how much they care about their employees and wanting them to feel safe & comfortable in the workplace.

    My only concern is with the huge rise of passengers misbehaving & becoming increasingly violent by assaulting airline front line workers & the professional cabin crews- FAs. This could become a big problem @ trigger these nitwits to act out even more using this as an excuse to assault these professionals doing their jobs. I do believe if this happens AS will place these creeps on a “no fly” list (86’d) & prosecute them.

    1. Max Guest

      The airline is alienating their home customer base with this move.

      Might be an indicator that they are further shifting away their focus from Alaska to woke hipster cities like Seattle and the third-world-slum Portland.

    2. UA-NYC Diamond

      Let me guess, you live in Shitsville, Alabama?

    3. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Gold

      AS is based in Washington state, despite their name. That is hardly a hotbed of traditional conservative values.

  21. Debo Member

    I think this is wonderful. Bravo Alaska. Making employees feel more comfortable and welcomed helps to ensure great performance and service.

  22. DrewT Member

    For all the the "there are more important problems out there" people. Maybe so, but I'd bet this is pretty important to some of these employees. Thankfully, we as a society, and Alaska Airlines as a company, are fully capable of working on more than one thing at a time. And this is a problem that's easily solvable by just changing a policy.

    Could you imagine if we only ever worked on the "most important" problem, one at a time. We'd never get anything done.

    1. Sel, D. Guest

      I agree with the dress code stuff but the pronoun pins aren’t solving any problems. More customers will be upset about this (see below) than were previously upset about Alaska not having pronoun pins (probably nobody).

    2. Max Guest

      It's a workplace. People apply for a job to earn money. The company offers a job to get work done and earn money for their shareholders. Customers pay the company to use their service.
      In this case people want to get transported in a quick way from A to B, therefore they buy a ticket from an airline. The airline needs pilots, flight attendants, ground staff, ... to run the flights.

      Work time has...

      It's a workplace. People apply for a job to earn money. The company offers a job to get work done and earn money for their shareholders. Customers pay the company to use their service.
      In this case people want to get transported in a quick way from A to B, therefore they buy a ticket from an airline. The airline needs pilots, flight attendants, ground staff, ... to run the flights.

      Work time has absolutely nothing to do with private believes/opinions/feelings/activities of employees. That is something they have free time and a private life for to live out their personalities.
      Or is US society already so run down that people have to work all their life and don't have any life besides work?

    3. Michael SEA Member

      And an employee who wears nail polish, two earrings in each ear, has a visible non-offensive tattoo, and uses they/them/theirs for pronouns is still completely capable of providing superior customer service, as none of those things matter a damn bit when doing one’s job. So explain to me again why any of this should matter to an employer hiring people in customer service roles?

    4. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Gold

      It strikes me that, pin notwithstanding, they have opened the door to a diminished professional appearance by their employees. That's fine if they want to compete with Southwest, Frontier, or Spirit. I happen to prefer the professional standards of the world-class carriers. Though, given how companies cave to the wokes non-truth agenda, they will probably fall in line rather than stand up and say "personal matters should stay at home, especially when they are controversial."

      It strikes me that, pin notwithstanding, they have opened the door to a diminished professional appearance by their employees. That's fine if they want to compete with Southwest, Frontier, or Spirit. I happen to prefer the professional standards of the world-class carriers. Though, given how companies cave to the wokes non-truth agenda, they will probably fall in line rather than stand up and say "personal matters should stay at home, especially when they are controversial."

    5. Leyanne Guest

      "Work time has absolutely nothing to do with private believes/opinions/feelings/activities of employees."

      Based on this logic then employees should not wear crosses, hijabs, turbans, the star of David or any other religious symbol.

      Don't you think that, if someone feels more like themselves instead of forced into a box of someone else's making, that they would be happier overall? Happier when interacting with passengers, co-workers, airport staff etc? And as a result, perform just...

      "Work time has absolutely nothing to do with private believes/opinions/feelings/activities of employees."

      Based on this logic then employees should not wear crosses, hijabs, turbans, the star of David or any other religious symbol.

      Don't you think that, if someone feels more like themselves instead of forced into a box of someone else's making, that they would be happier overall? Happier when interacting with passengers, co-workers, airport staff etc? And as a result, perform just a little better (I'm sure many people do a great job even forced into that box).

    6. Max Guest

      @Leyanne
      Partly correct, Hijabs, Turbans and other strong religious symbols should not be worn during worktime in customer-facing roles. A chain with a cross/star of david/islamic moon/... UNDER the clothing is not an issue.

    7. Marston Gould Guest

      Nice try, but about as incorrect as one could be. Individuals spend 1/3rd of their adult lives at work. They have choices of where they work. The demand for workers, particularly customer service workers far outstrips supply. Like any other true marketplace, it's a two sided decision. Getting a paycheck is necessary but insufficient. If employees feel disrespected at one employer, they can and will easily go somewhere else. If enough employees feel that way,...

      Nice try, but about as incorrect as one could be. Individuals spend 1/3rd of their adult lives at work. They have choices of where they work. The demand for workers, particularly customer service workers far outstrips supply. Like any other true marketplace, it's a two sided decision. Getting a paycheck is necessary but insufficient. If employees feel disrespected at one employer, they can and will easily go somewhere else. If enough employees feel that way, recruits will find this out before they even join. At some point, it reaches the point where a company can't service their customers because they can't find enough employees willing to be treated with a lack of humanity, which isn't turned off from 9-5 or whatever shift you work, nor is it based on any tenure or the size of your paycheck.

      Alaska is just recognizing the reality that you can no longer recruit employees and grow your business if you don't treat your staff well. Those customers who feel like they have some innate right to be disrespectful to a companies employees or treat them only within the confines of their very limited world view are going to find themselves disconnected from the economy.

  23. Pam Guest

    As a retired airline employee of 40+ years I believe this new policy is misdirected. A person is representative of the company, Not his or her self.

    1. Marston Gould Guest

      So basically what you are saying is that companies can continue to act disrespectfully by forcing their employees to adhere to outdated dogma.
      You realize that we now live in a world where there is more demand for services than supply. There is a growing recognition of workers that at some point, pay and benefits - which let's face it have not kept up with the times - particularly in customer service - don't...

      So basically what you are saying is that companies can continue to act disrespectfully by forcing their employees to adhere to outdated dogma.
      You realize that we now live in a world where there is more demand for services than supply. There is a growing recognition of workers that at some point, pay and benefits - which let's face it have not kept up with the times - particularly in customer service - don't justify the level of disrespect that someone is expected to bottle up for 1/3rd of their adult lives. Alaska like other companies is competing for workers. When workers see that there are companies who are willing to create an inclusive environment for them AND provide them with the reasonable pay and benefits for the work they are asked to do - more of them will choose to do so over those companies that simply provide reasonable pay and benefits. All one has to do is look a the differences in retention at two other Seattle based companies - Starbucks (which has had a similar policy to Alaska and provide decent benefits and higher pay than many customer agents at Alaska) and Amazon warehouses which provide great pay and often a terrible work environment. Turnover at Starbucks is among the lowest in customer facing roles while Amazon has some of the highest. Do you think Alaska can continue to grow in a competitive marketplace if employers expect them to abandon their humanity for 40 hours a week? What does that cost in terms of employee recruiting, performance and retention?

  24. jfhscott Guest

    I too, hope that a removing a stifling policy on tattoos will finally let employees put their best foot forward. But my free management advice would be to avoid employees who let such things interfere with their motivation.

  25. Doug Guest

    I don't understand the idea of "expressing yourself" at work. The idea of a uniform is that an individual does not represent themselves while at work, they represent the company. Most customers are looking for a consistent, predictable and professional level of customer service and are frankly not interested in the self expressions of those providing the customer service. Furthermore, pronoun pins make no sense other than to serve as another visible sign of how...

    I don't understand the idea of "expressing yourself" at work. The idea of a uniform is that an individual does not represent themselves while at work, they represent the company. Most customers are looking for a consistent, predictable and professional level of customer service and are frankly not interested in the self expressions of those providing the customer service. Furthermore, pronoun pins make no sense other than to serve as another visible sign of how virtuous the company is in regards to the current culture war. In the English language pronouns are used in the third person (when you are talking about someone) not in the second person (when you are talking to someone). To speak to my FA, I do not need to know their preferred pronoun, I just need to know their name. I believe that people should absolutely be free to live however they want without abuse, harassment or government interference, but that doesn't mean that the workplace is the best place for self expression or corporate virtue signaling.

    1. DrewT Member

      Turns out employees are humans, and if you treat them like robots, many don't like that. In this case, it's really not about what you are or are not interested in, as long as the employee is being professional and doing their jobs. And like Ben said, many will do it better if they're not being treated like a robot.

      Re pronoun pins - it's helpful to know someone's pronouns even when talking to them...

      Turns out employees are humans, and if you treat them like robots, many don't like that. In this case, it's really not about what you are or are not interested in, as long as the employee is being professional and doing their jobs. And like Ben said, many will do it better if they're not being treated like a robot.

      Re pronoun pins - it's helpful to know someone's pronouns even when talking to them directly. For me, it helps to internalize the correct gender so I'm thinking about it correctly in my head; being from the South I'll throw in a "sir" or "ma'am" occasionally. And it's entirely possible you'll talk about the FA to another FA or another passenger on that flight.

    2. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Gold

      So it is no longer "the customer is always right" - remember, the person that is the entire reason you are employed and have a uniform to wear and a woke pin to attach to it - "Alaska...where it's all about the employee." That's a great tagline to put out to customers.

    3. Marston Gould Guest

      It was never the customer is always right. Ever.
      As Sir Richard Branson has been quoted several time:
      “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

    4. Leyanne Guest

      Why can't you wear a uniform AND "express yourself" at the same time? The uniform identifies you as an employee of the company, but you can put a little of yourself around that uniform. Some of the airline grooming guidelines are extreme and restrictive and Alaska is not the only airline revising these guidelines. No nail polish? More hairstyles allowed? Many are making changes just to be more inclusive of cultural aspects of their diverse...

      Why can't you wear a uniform AND "express yourself" at the same time? The uniform identifies you as an employee of the company, but you can put a little of yourself around that uniform. Some of the airline grooming guidelines are extreme and restrictive and Alaska is not the only airline revising these guidelines. No nail polish? More hairstyles allowed? Many are making changes just to be more inclusive of cultural aspects of their diverse staff and with the changes in society & the world in general - this is a good thing.

      Keeping your staff happy in their work life instills loyalty and pride within themselves and the company.

  26. Endre Guest

    I like the pin idea, but aren’t they a bit difficult to read with gold on dark blue? I would have to stare a bit before being able to read their pronouns, not sure if this makes the situation a bit awkward. Anyhow, transition is necessary and surely takes time. Good move, Alaska Airlines

  27. Alan Guest

    A very positive move from AS. Any employer should encourage employees to be their most authentic self!

  28. Regis Guest

    I am from a generation that associates tattoos with gangs and prisons. I am uncomfortable seeing them in airline staff. I wonder if they are on a work-release program from jail.

    1. Alec Guest

      Well its great you've recognized your biases!

  29. GM Guest

    Just got back from a red-eye SFO-JFK ==> temperature in cabin was below 40. Everyone was wearing a full Canadian Goose jacket to stay warm and cabin crew didn't seem to care at all... Maybe they should focus on this first.

    1. Max Guest

      Keeping it authentic - after all it's 'Alaska' Airlines.

  30. sharon Guest

    I am happy to hear that the company is being inclusive of its employees, way to go Alaska!! All people should feel comfortable at their workplace and accepted

  31. Max Guest

    Ffs there are more important problems in the world than this pronoun-bs.

    1. TravelinWilly Diamond

      You sound triggered, snowflake!

      There are lots of conversations on lots of blogs that may be more suitable for you.

    2. Regis Guest

      Max made a rational comment to which you replied with a personal offense and a suggestion for him to leave. It shows you are not very big on diversity (of opinion) and inclusion (of people with different points of view). Your knee-jerk comment indicates you were the one triggered and a snowflake.

    3. BookLvr Member

      Yes, but the war in Ukraine can't be solved by issuing every employee of United a pin that probably cost the airline under $2 per employee to purchase and liberalizing the dress code.

      If we can extend more acceptance and understanding to people of a variety of identities and make employees happier at work, we should do so. Isn't that kind of in the spirit of being a global traveler, wanting to understand people of different nationalities, cultures, and identities?

    4. BookLvr Member

      *every employee of Alaska

    5. Aaron Guest

      @Max

      And what are you doing to help solve any of these more important problems?

    6. Ralph4878 Guest

      I work with teenagers. Most - if not all - of my non-binary and trans students have considered suicide, thanks in large part to attitudes like Max's. Refusing to recognize someone's prefered pronoun or gender expression is dehumanizing and dangerous to their survival, I have learned in working with them. Why less than 1% of the population is so threatening to so many others boggles the mind when all they are asking for is to...

      I work with teenagers. Most - if not all - of my non-binary and trans students have considered suicide, thanks in large part to attitudes like Max's. Refusing to recognize someone's prefered pronoun or gender expression is dehumanizing and dangerous to their survival, I have learned in working with them. Why less than 1% of the population is so threatening to so many others boggles the mind when all they are asking for is to be seen as their true selves - something so many never have ask for in their lives.

    7. Max Guest

      @Ralph
      Just give them the appropriate dose of their natural hormones. I don't know any man with healthy testosterone levels who is gender-confused or suicidal. Neither have I ever heard of a woman with healthy progesterone+estrogene levels who was.

      Unfortunately modern day lifestyle/low quality nutrition has severely messed up hormone levels. If 20-year-olds nowadays have the testosterone level of an 90-year-old from 1985, it is no wonder they are not feeling right.
      Same...

      @Ralph
      Just give them the appropriate dose of their natural hormones. I don't know any man with healthy testosterone levels who is gender-confused or suicidal. Neither have I ever heard of a woman with healthy progesterone+estrogene levels who was.

      Unfortunately modern day lifestyle/low quality nutrition has severely messed up hormone levels. If 20-year-olds nowadays have the testosterone level of an 90-year-old from 1985, it is no wonder they are not feeling right.
      Same for women with estrogens-overload and progesterone-insufficiency. Fix these major problems and no one will care about minor ones like ‘correct pronouns’.

    8. mdande7 Gold

      People and companies are shockingly able to work on more than one thing at a time!

    9. Gaurav Community Ambassador

      @max please provide any data to back up your assertions about the decline in hormone levels and the correlation between them and gender diversity.

      And even if it is true why should someone have to adjust their body to conform to your wishes?

    10. Mh Diamond

      I find it strange that people think that redefining language and denying facts is the solution to people's personal issues - and imposing those requirements on others.

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Doug Guest

I don't understand the idea of "expressing yourself" at work. The idea of a uniform is that an individual does not represent themselves while at work, they represent the company. Most customers are looking for a consistent, predictable and professional level of customer service and are frankly not interested in the self expressions of those providing the customer service. Furthermore, pronoun pins make no sense other than to serve as another visible sign of how virtuous the company is in regards to the current culture war. In the English language pronouns are used in the third person (when you are talking about someone) not in the second person (when you are talking to someone). To speak to my FA, I do not need to know their preferred pronoun, I just need to know their name. I believe that people should absolutely be free to live however they want without abuse, harassment or government interference, but that doesn't mean that the workplace is the best place for self expression or corporate virtue signaling.

9
Alec Guest

Well its great you've recognized your biases!

9
CB Guest

As a gay man I certainly feel we need to generally be as inclusive of a society as we can be. It stops there though. When someone comes to work they are getting paid to render a service and represent the company in a professional manner, which is one of the main points of having a uniform [appearance]. Outside the workplace you can be who you are and *request* others to acknowledge you accordingly. That includes pronouns, tattoos, piercings, whatever. But unless you work at an establishment where it’d be considered appropriate (bar, club, social event, etc.) leave it at the door when you come to work.

6
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