Southwest Airlines has begun terminating newly hired flight attendants as they approach the end of their training after deciding to enforce its long-standing restriction on visible tattoos while in uniform more strictly.
Trainee flight attendants were informed that any tattoos on their fingers, hands, face, or neck would result in an immediate release from training in an internal social media post, as reported by View from the Wing.
Even if flight attendants are able to hide their tattoos with makeup, strict enforcement action would still be in place. There have been multiple stories in recent weeks of newly hired flight attendants being fired while still in training.
Airlines are known for their rigid uniform policies, which have historically prohibited flight attendants from wearing tattoos that may be seen while in uniform. However, during the past few years, these regulations have begun to loosen, and Southwest flight attendants had anticipated that their company would follow suit.
Breeze Airways has recently followed United Airlines’ lead by allowing minor tattoos on fingers, sleeves, and even behind the ears. United Airlines was one of the first airlines in the United States to permit certainly visible tattoos in 2022.
In general, though, even airlines that have loosened their tattoo regulations haven’t gone as far as to permit flight attendants to show tattoos on their faces or necks.