Reading some headlines you might think United Airlines is waging a war on Christmas. That’s not really the case.
A number of blogs have talked about United “banning” holiday attire. That’s not the case at all. On the contrary, United is making an exception to its uniform policy this month to allow ground staff, flight attendants, and pilots to be a bit more creative in the spirit of the season.
While the focus has been on what is not permitted, I think it’s instructive to look at the entire memo sent to staff.
Every year, we commemorate the traditional holiday season by making an exception to our uniform guidelines. During the month of December, you may wear one of the following holiday accessories listed below. Accessories must be in good taste, in the spirit of the holiday, and not detract from your professional image. You must not alter your uniform in any manner. Adhere to all appearance standards and remember; you represent United when wearing your uniform.
- Conservative holiday scarf
- Conservative earrings
- One holiday necklace
- Conservative hair barrette
- Holiday hose/socks (with slacks only)
- One holiday pin
- Conservative holiday tie
- Holiday socks
- One holiday pin
The following items are not permitted:
- Head adornments (i.e., antlers, Santa hats, halos)
- Holiday vests or sweaters
- Holiday aprons
Now would it really hurt to let flight attendants wear festive red and green aprons or Santa hats? Probably not. But let’s not conclude that “Scrooge has made an appearance at United Airlines”.
Sometimes I realize I sound like a United cheerleader here and that is really not my intention. But the idea that United is against Christmas seems quite a stretch to me. This memo is several weeks old; a flight attendant sent it to me on December 4th, but I didn’t consider it newsworthy enough to cover. I cover it now to clarify recent headlines.
I’ll say this…United doesn’t use the term “Christmas” once in its memo on Christmas attire. Is that word verboten? But other than that, look for festively-adorned flight attendants and pilots with holiday neck ties on your next United flight.
image: British Airways