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Tattoos and Airline Companies | Popular brands of Tattoo Ink

This month, we were pleased to learn that airline company Air New Zealand has made the decision to end the ban on staff having visible tattoos. This, according to Air New Zealand has been done in a bid to allow staff to 'express cultural and individual diversity'., and to liberate their employees.   There are plenty of New Zealanders who want to be able to pay homage to their Maori heritage and have tattoos that proudly express their genealogy. So, as of September, all employees will be able to display 'non-offensive' tattoos in their place of work. 


This comes following reports in the local media of some high-profile cases where some job-applicants at Air New Zealand were flat-out refused roles due to their visible tattoos.  The company is now relaxing its tough rules on tattoos, which is of course a good thing, even if it is possibly a move brought on by some bad press that they recently received.  

Here's to hoping that other airline companies across the globe follow suit, however it doesn't seem likely that this move will inspire other companies any time soon.  Although most UK-based airline companies don't strictly ban tattoos, any tattoos on their staff must not be visible when staff are wearing the airline uniform.  But what does this entail?



Most airline companies will not allow employees to have tattoos in the red area.  So if you're a woman, and you just have a small initial tattooed on your ankle, this is an absolute no go, and you will be refused a job.  Males have it slightly easier given their uniform is trousers and the lower half of the body is completely covered, but it still means that even if you have the smallest of tattoos, your chances of getting a job as an air hostess are virtually none.  You cannot cover your tattoos with a scarf, bandage, make-up, jewellery, etc, and in some cases, if your uniform is white and you have a tattoo in a 'non-visible' place such as your back, but it shows through your clothing then you may be required to wear an under-shirt. 

The rules are even more strict for those wanting to work for Middle Eastern airlines, as thy do still physically examine new staff.  If you try and hide your visible tattoo, and are then found out, then you'll be expected to pay for your own flight home, and to cover any training costs, and other associated costs involved with hiring you. Yikes!  Qatar Airways have the most strict policy, with no tattoos allowed whatsoever, whether visible or not. 


There doesn't seem to be any signs of change when it comes to UK-airlines, however this isn't to say that there won't be more relaxed rules in the future, as tattoos are becoming much more widely accepted in the workforce, with workers such as doctors, nurses, policeman and fireman donning visible tattoos.  There's still a long way to go before the stigma of tattoos is completely removed from society, but things are certainly headed in the right direction!  


We'd love to hear your opinions on tattoos in the work place, so if you've had any experiences, negative or positive regarding your tattoos at work, then why not get in touch and let us know about it?  Don't forget to head over to our web-store where you can buy popular brands of tattoo ink online. 





Love Toni


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  • Antonia McLoughlin