Real Answers from Real Pilots

United Airlines Updating Employee Appearance Standards

https://onemileatatime.com/news/united-airlines-updating-employee-appearance-standards/

Thoughts?

I think loosening restrictions on ethnic haircuts is a good improvement and can absolutely look professional.

Will I initially judge someone’s life decisions based off of certain types of tattoos and piercings? yup, lol. Do the same thing when someone shows up on Day1 with a beard, bed-head or dirty shirt. But Ill still work with them and likely hang out on overnights.

I’m upset no hipster beards and males that identify as males can’t have long hair still.

Note: The official changes have not been released yet so we really don’t know the details, only have the couple pictures they released.

Chris F

5 Likes

Nugzari,

Honestly this is a tough one, at least for me. While I’m all for inclusion, like it or not and right or wrong, we’re all judged by our appearance. When the passengers are boarding the flight they all take a look to the left and they all want to see pilots that portray professionalism and instill confidence. Does that mean someone with piercings and a funky haircut isn’t or can’t be professional or skilled? Of course not, but I believe there’s a time and a place (also I’m old, crusty and cranky). That in fact is the reason we wear uniforms. It’s to present a standard of professionalism vs each individuals perceived standard.

In reality I think this is more about finding and attracting workers than it is about inclusion. The military has relaxed their appearance standards for the exact some reason.

Adam

1 Like

Nugzari,

I don’t have any tattoos or piercings and I probably never will. While they aren’t for me I think tattoos and piercings are okay as long as they’re tasteful. I also think an employee’s behavior and communication skills are far more important than their personal choices to pierce or tattoo their body.

I’m not bothered by this announcement in the slightest. In fact I think airlines are a little late to the inclusivity party, but I’m glad that they’re finally catching up. This subject fits right in with implicit bias training.

Tory

1 Like

Nugzari,
I’m all for the airlines becoming more inclusive in the form of appearance, as long as it’s still professional. I think they’ve been more conservative for some time compared to the times. As much as I’d like to think it’s to be more open and accepting, I agree with Adam, it’s more than likely to attract more candidates.

-Hannah

1 Like

As a younger guy, I definitely see this as a positive (even though I would personally prefer to dress professionally just because it makes me feel good).

Not a fan of everyone trying to be politicaly correct by tossing around “inclusive”, but allowing more room for people to be comfortable in their appearance is always a plus. I do agree though that appart from the political reasons, this is also a great recruitment tactic. I could see it appealing highly to many of my peers who are very much pro-everything.

Personally, I’ve got a bit of a bias towards barbers and their appearance; No tat’s no thanks. I’ve always had great experiences with barbers covered in tatoos or a punk look (Mostly because their personalities usually mesh very well with my own). Clean looking classic barbers not so much…

1 Like

Leon,

Interesting that you use barbers as an example. It makes sense you’ve had better luck with tatted barbers. In my experience artistic people (aka right brain) tend to want to express themselves visually vs pilots who are generally considered more analytical and methodical (left brain). Not saying either could have elements of either, but I’d argue that even if they were allowed, most pilots I know wouldn’t go running out to get inked and pierced (regardless of age).

Adam

1 Like

It’s not possible to tell from the pictures since everyone is wearing jackets but could it be possible that the new rules don’t apply to pilots?

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Alex,

You may be right. The article says, “uniformed, customer-facing employees, including customer service representatives and flight attendants.”

Tory

1 Like

From United:

“The plan is to expand many of these updated appearance standards to additional workgroups. This includes pilots, ramp service employees, and, eventually, other workgroups”.

Adam

1 Like

Thanks Adam, missed the second sentence.