United Airlines unveils relaxed employee appearance guidelines

Aviation Updates Philippines – United Airlines has officially unveiled the details of its more relaxed employee appearance guidelines, loosening restrictions on hair, makeup, tattoos, nose piercings, and nails to allow its employees of all genders to express themselves more freely at work.

Photo by Adam Moreira
"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," the airline said in a statement.

Beginning September 15, United's customer-facing employees will be allowed to have visible tattoos and nose piercings, and they will be allowed to wear their hair down. They will also be permitted to wear makeup and paint their nails, regardless of gender.

Photo by United Airlines
Additionally, male-identifying employees will now be allowed to have long hair. Previously, male-identifying employees had to ensure that the length of their hair does not extend below the bottom of their jacket or shirt collar.

Photo by  United Airlines
However, the revised appearance guidelines still come with certain restrictions.

Visible tattoos will only be permitted on employees' arms, wrists, ankles, and feet, and not on their face, neck, and hands. The tattoos must also be smaller than the size of their work badge, and must not contain obscene imagery or wording, such as swear words. Moreover, employees will not be allowed to have more than one tattoo per arm.

Employees must only have one nose piercing, and it can only be a small stud. It should also not interfere with work and safety regulations.

Hair must be at shoulder length or shorter, and must be kept "neat and tidy."

Photo by United Airlines
Makeup must be "natural-looking" and should meet United's professional standards. Employees who wish to paint their nails must ensure that their nail polish follows the company's professional appearance standards as well.

Photo by United Airlines
United had already informed its employees back in June via a company-wide memo that it would be revising its employee appearance guidelines, though no details were provided.

According to the airline, the changes will initially apply to flight attendants and customer service representatives but will eventually be extended to pilots, ramp service employees, and other employee groups later in the year.