Skipping Regional Due to Beard

Hello - Hope you guys are well. This is my first post on here, so forgive me if this has been addressed before.

I’m an aspiring pilot and my dream is to fly for the major airlines one day. I’m aware most airlines in the US do not allow beards but after doing some research and reaching out to some airlines, I found that there are some major airlines that do allow beards (Allegiant, JetBlue etc.). Part 135 operators that I contacted also allow beards, however none of the regionals that I researched or contacted allow any beards. Unfortunately for me, shaving off my beard wouldn’t be an option at the moment since my religion requires me to keep one.

So my question was, would it be possible to go through all my ratings with a flight school that allows beards and then build up the necessary turbine hours required by the major airlines at a part 135 operator and then get hired by a major (such as Allegiant)? This route avoids the regionals since they do not allow beards. Do major airlines consider hiring pilots who meet their requirements but have no regional airline experience? From your experiences/knowledge would this be possible?

Any other tips or guidance you may have for me would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:


Yes it’s possible although you’d be foregoing all the benefit programs, reimbursements and bonuses now being offered by the Regionals. You’d also be severely limiting your options.

Keep in mind that even the few Majors that do allow beards require they be short and very “neatly trimmed”.


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I thought ATP also required you to be clean shaven? Is this inaccurate?

You are correct, ATP does not allow beards. But he specifically asks, “would it be possible to go through all my ratings with a flight school that allows beards” and I’m quite certain he can and there are.




You might find that most 135 operators want their pilots to be clean shaven as well. You are severely limiting your career options with this choice.


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Thank you Adam and Chris for your replies, I really appreciate it!

I understand that, by not going for the regionals I’m limiting my options, but becoming an airline pilot for a major one day is my dream and there aren’t any regionals that I’m aware of (unless you know any?) that allow beards so going part 135 is my only option I believe. If there are any other routes to the majors that allow you to keep a well-trimmed beard then please do advise.

From your knowledge, do you have an approximate idea of how many years it may take for one to build the necessary turbine hours that a major airline like Allegiant requires, if working with a part 135 operator?

Many Thanks,


There’s really no way of knowing for sure? First after you’re trained you’ll need to build flight time to get to a 135 job (usually that’s around 750min). If you’re instructing at your local flight school that’ll probably take a year or so. Then you may not get put into a turbine airplane right off the bat. If you do it’ll depend on the amount of flying you do.
Again the beard could be an issue making job selection more challenging. Privided you can find some fairly busy operations you’re probably looking at a 3-4yr process.

As long as we’re on the subject, while I respect you honoring your religious beliefs, I am curious if you have any others that might be a challenge? You need to know that ALL airline pilot schedules are based on seniority. That means there’s no such thing as not being able to work certain days of the week or having holidays off. Just something to be aware of.