In mid-June 2021, United Airlines revealed that it will be adjusting employee appearance standards to be more inclusive. The airline has today revealed the full details of what’s changing, so let’s go over that.
In this post:
United revising employee appearance standards
As of September 15, 2021, United Airlines will be adjusting its appearance standards for uniformed, customer-facing employees, including customer service representatives and flight attendants. Then as of later this year these relaxed standards will apply to other work groups, including pilots, ramp service employees, etc.
These modernized and more inclusive appearance standards are intended to promote a supportive, encouraging, and positive environment for employees and customers alike, creating moments for employees to connect with customers on a more personal level.
Here’s how United Airlines describes the policy change:
At United, we believe we are all connected by the similarities we recognize and the differences we celebrate in each other. We’ve updated our appearance standards to empower our employees to represent themselves in the way they feel most confident. Our modernized appearance guidelines promote a supportive, encouraging, and positive environment for our employees and customers alike.
Here’s how Kate Gebo, United Airlines’ Human Resources and Labor Relations EVP, describes these the policy change back in June:
As the face of United, our customer-facing teammates can provide an even better experience for our customers when they look and feel their best. We’ve spent the last several years listening to the feedback we’ve received from our employees and our Business Resource Groups to develop these revised standards. We’re confident that these modernized and more gender-inclusive appearance standards will provide a more authentic representation of the people and cultures that make United the company it is today.
How will United uniform standards change?
United Airlines’ appearance standards are changing in several ways, including around tattoos, hair length, nails, and makeup.
When it comes to tattoos, all United employees will be able to display their visible tattoos, as long as they’re smaller than the size of their work badge.
When it comes to hair length, all United employees will be able to wear their hair down, as long as it’s shoulder length or shorter.
When it comes to nails, all United employees will be able to wear nail polish.
When it comes to makeup, all United employees will be able to wear natural looking makeup.
As of September 15, 2021, United Airlines will be updating appearance standards for employees to be more inclusive, allowing things like visible tattoos, nail polish, makeup, and longer hair. Previously there were significant limitations in each of these categories, so they’re being updated significantly.
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…