United Airlines will revise its appearance standards for uniformed, customer-facing employees in what it calls an effort to be more inclusive.
United Airlines Plans More “Inclusive” Appearance Standards
In a memo to employees reviewed by Live and Let’s Fly, United praised individuality and inclusion:
We’re committed to creating a more inclusive culture where our employees feel welcome to be their authentic selves at work and celebrate their individuality, while also serving as ambassadors for our global United brand.
United says this is to “celebrate the qualities that make our employees unique and allow team members to connect with our customers on a more human level.”
Next month, United will share the full list of dress and appearance changes, but shared the image above and notes “significant and more inclusive changes” will occur concerning:
- visible tattoos
- nose piercings
Kate Gebo, United’s Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Labor Relations, said:
“As the face of United, our customer-facing teammates can provide an even better experience for our customers when they look and feel their best. We’ve spent the last several years listening to the feedback we’ve received from our employees and our Business Resource Groups to develop these revised standards. We’re confident that these modernized and more gender-inclusive appearance standards will provide a more authentic representation of the people and cultures that make United the company it is today.”
The new policy will be announced in detail next month and take effect on September 1, 2021. At least initially, it will only impact frontline, uniformed workers. Later in the year, United plans to widen the policy to include pilots, ramp workers, and other employee groups.
I have a lot of thoughts on this change, but will address them in a separate post.
For now, you can expect to see flight attendants, gate agents, and customer service reps at United to have a lot more discretion in their dress and appearance starting this autumn.